Samoan Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mataafa. 23060807
Samoa’s prime minister has urged her fellow Pacific leaders to stop paying lip service to regionalism and walk the talk when making collective decisions.
Fiame Naomi Mataafa made the remarks this week as she
welcomed the secretary-general of the Pacific Islands Forum, Henry Puna, to
Fiame said Samoa strongly believes in being part of
the Blue Pacific that is free from military competition, and a Pacific that
remains free from unrest and war that affects many other parts of the globe.
"More than ever, there is increased interest and
jostling for attention in our blue Pacific region thus creating a very crowded
and complex geopolitical landscape for all of us, and our regional
architecture," she said.
Fiame said collectivism was needed more than ever.
"Our blue Pacific region has never ceased to
provide us with opportunities to strengthen regionalism. To act collectively
and to formulate and carry out effective joint responses to address the
challenges we face.
"But for regionalism to work, Forum leaders must
provide inspired and committed leadership in our foreign policy. It is not good
form to speak often about the centrality of the Forum, its values and
principles, but lack the conviction to act together.
"The 2050 strategy encapsulates how we can best
work together to achieve our shared vision and aspirations through a
people-centered lens and the Pacific in control of its regional agenda to
improve the lives of our Pacific peoples.
"In the conduct of Samoa's relations and work, we
endeavour to deal fairly and openly with all our partners, remain a strong
advocate of the Forum unity and centrality, as well as promote an inclusive approach
and respect for each other's sovereignty, regardless of size, or economic