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Remarks by the Hon. Fiame Naomi Mataafa, Prime Minister of Samoa to the Opening Reception for the Signing Ceremony of the OACPS-EU Partnership Agreement

SAMOA, November 14 - ‘The Samoa Agreement’

14 November 2023 @ Manumailagi Gardena Siusega

Members of Parliament

Excellencies

Members of the Diplomatic Corps

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have the extreme honour and pleasure to extend to all of you a warm welcome to Samoa and to our Blue Pacific region, particularly for delegates who are visiting Samoa and our part of the world for the first time. We are here on the occasion of the Special Session of the OACPS Council of the Ministers and the 46th Session of the ACP-EU Council of Ministers for the Signing Ceremony of the OACPS-EU Partnership Agreement, ‘The Samoa Agreement’.

Welcome to the wide expanse of our Blue Pacific Ocean and to our small island states. It has taken some time to get to this stage, but here we are now, today.

Your Excellencies’ presence in Samoa this week, representing 27 members of the European Union and 79 members of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States marks a momentous occasion for my Government and I and the people of Samoa, and for our Blue Pacific region.

You have our deep appreciation and gratitude in making the Samoa Agreement a reality for us all. Samoa’s hosting of the Signing Ceremony of the Samoa Agreement provides an opportunity for our Blue Pacific region to share with you our Pacific Way and lived realities.

The OACPS has made a lot of headways in the sustainable development of its Member States and their sustained progressive integration into the world economy since the Georgetown Agreement in 1975. Our focus on addressing the challenges and priorities of our members has been consistent in our engagement with the EU – from climate change, oceans, disaster risk reduction and resilience, migration, human rights, peace and security, and the sustainable management of our oceans and the resources that provide for our livelihoods and existence.

I wish to thank the European Union for your partnership in our sustainable socio-economic development efforts delivered through the various Development Funds, projects and programmes. The Samoa Agreement and its Protocols provides a further opportunity for us all, collectively, to address the key priorities and challenges we have identified further and the actions required to address them.

Under prevailing complex global circumstances, we must ensure that our engagement is meaningful and robust. This is critical to ensure the effective implementation of the Samoa Agreement and reinforcement of our forward to progressing this over the next 20 years.

For those of you who are here for the first time, do explore a bit of our country to discover for yourselves the enigma that is Samoa. As part of the reception tonight you will be treated to some demonstration of our culture through dance. I encourage you all to relax and enjoy tonight’s reception.

I wish to end with a Toast to our distinguished delegates and guests and to the success of the Samoa Agreement. Ia Manuia!

Soifua..

November 15, 2023