APIA: 29 JANUARY 2014: The Ambassador of Netherlands, H.E. Mr. Arie Cornells Van Der Wiel announced that a gift of €50,000 ($170,000 tala) from the Dutch Government would be given to the Government of Samoa to assist the Government of Samoa in the preparation for the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States that will be held from 1-4 September 2014 in Apia, Samoa.
Mr. Van Der Wiel said, “This financial contribution is on top of an amount of €300,000 already made available by my government last year to the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs to help participating SIDS members with their travel and accommodation costs for the conference.”
The Prime Minister, Hon. Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi met with the Ambassador yesterday and expressed his sincere gratitude for the Dutch Government’s continuous generosity and support. He said, “Our two countries share bilateral ties that go back almost 300 years through Jacob Roggeveen, the first Westerner that sighted Samoa”.
The Ambassador stated that the financial donation was a reaffirmation of the Dutch Government’s strong commitment to the challenges of the Small Island Developing States. Moreover, it is to show the Dutch Government’s strong solidarity with Samoa’s conference agenda.
“The Netherlands and Samoa will continue to work side by side both at the bilateral as well as the multilateral level in promoting issues that are of equal importance to our two nations, such as renewable energy, human rights, international peace and security and sustainable development”.
Mr. Van Der Wiel has been in Samoa for the past three days meeting government officials, parliamentarians and the diplomatic corp. The Ambassador will depart Samoa Wednesday 29 January and will head back to Wellington, New Zealand where he is currently residing.