Samoa and Netherlands continue navigational ties

Netherlands Ambassador to Samoa, Mira Woldberg presenting her credentials to Samoa’s Head of State Tuimaleali’ifano Va’aleto’a Sualauvī 11 this morning

By Faye Seiuli

APIA, SAMOA – TUESDAY 23 OCTOBER 2018: The Dutch explorer, Jacob Roggeveen called Samoa “The Navigators” when he first sighted the island in 1722. Two hundred ninety six years later, the relationship between the Netherlands and Samoa has expanded to issues of common interest such as climate change and economic development.

“The sea has always being a defining factor in the history and culture of our nations,” said the Netherlands Ambassador –designate, Mira Woldberg when she presented her credentials to Samoa’s Head of State Tuimaleali’ifano Va’aleto’a Sualauvī 11 this morning.

“Today, the sea is as important as it was then, be in a different way,” said Ambassador Woldberg.

The two countries established diplomatic relations in 1979 sharing common values within the United Nations including strengthening cooperation on global security, rule of law, freedom, democracy and human rights.

The Head of State, Afioga Tuimalealiifano Va’aleto’a Sualauvī II acknowledged Netherlands multilateral development assistance to Samoa through the European Union.

He said as a small island state, Samoa like the rest of the Pacific neighbours is vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, such as rising sea level, unprecedented weather temperatures and frequent cyclones outside our normal cyclone season.

“Samoa commends the commitment of Netherlands to assist out joint efforts to deal with the challenges of climate change, and congratulate Netherlands in her election as a member to the United Nations Security Council in 2018,” said Tuimaleali’ifano.

Netherlands Ambassador Mira Woldberg with Head of State and Faamausili Leinafo Tuimalealiifano

“I consider myself fortunate and privileged to serve as Ambassador to your beautiful and friendly country,” said Woldberg.

She said one of the common issues of interest shared by both nations is climate change.

“Climate change requires an urgent response as was highlighted by the most recent report of the International Panel on Climate Change, and the Government of Samoa is a leader in this respect and an active advocate in international meetings on Climate Change,” she said.

The Netherlands believes that being prepared and building resilience to challenges are major priorities that require working in durable partnerships at different levels, in addition to Netherlands’ efforts as a member of the UN Security Council in 2018.

Netherlands is supporting SIDS in building resilience and capacity in a variety of ways such as providing expertise and blue diplomacy training for Samoan officials.

“The Netherlands and Samoa will continue to work side by side, at the bilateral as well as the multilateral level, in promoting issues that are of importance to our two nations, such as human rights, international peace and security, climate change and sustainable development,” stated Woldberg.