The new British High Commissioner to Samoa, Mr Jonathan Sinclair
APIA: THURSDAY 12 MARCH 2015: The British High Commissioner to Samoa, Mr Jonathan Sinclair departs the country tonight following a four day visit that started with the presentation of his credentials to the Head of State on Tuesday this week.
He also met the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Attorney General, youth leaders to mark Commonwealth Day and dynamic business women to celebrate International Women’s Day.
The High Commissioner also met with the Council of Churches, the Parliamentary Opposition, parliamentarians, the diplomatic community and civil societies to discuss shared goals.
“The focus of the meetings was to better understand the political landscape, sustainable development opportunities and business opportunities,” he said in a media briefing this morning.
“I learnt that Samoan culture, values, faith, national identity and sport remain central to understanding this country,” he observed.
“The distance between the UK and Samoa is 9779 miles, but distance has no consequence to old and valued friends,” said the British High Commissioner.
“We have a great deal in common including:
- we are both island nations
- we built these nations according to a number of shared values such as democracy, the rule of law, justice, free speech and social equity
- we have a common legal tradition and a common language
- we have common interests and close allies
- we are Commonwealth Nations who embrace the concept of good governance, democracy and the rule of law.
“I am honoured to become the British High Commissioner for Samoa as the representative of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
“We have a shared path and a shared future which will be based on the quality of global governance and the choices we make for our communities.
“I will build on the good work of my predecessor Vicki Treadell, which includes work on gender equality – in particular domestic violence which has been promoted through Stages of Change with the EU, sustainable development and climate issues and on other values that we both share.
“The FCO also supports education. This year we have interviewed Samoan candidates for a fully funded Masters Degree course in the UK. Applications or the next round will open around Oct. I would like to urge all young leaders interested in studying in the UK to apply to the Chevening Scholarship Scheme – www.chevening.org.
His parting words, “I look forward to my regular visits to Samoa over the next few years so that I may continue to develop the special friendship that we have enjoyed for decades.”