The Secretary General for the SIDS conference Mr.Wu Hongbo, SIDS spokesperson Christian Clark and H.E. Ali’ioaiga Feturi Elisaia, Samoa’s Permanent Representative of Samoa to the UN during last nights press conference.
By Lagi Keresoma
APIA: FRIDAY 05 SEPTEMBER 2014: The four days conference for Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) is labeled as an “extraordinary and shiny “ conference by the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General for the conference Mr. Wu Hongbo during the final press conference yesterday. With Samoa’s Permanent Representative to the UN in New York, His Excellency Ali’ioaiga Feturi Elisaia
“The UN appreciates Samoa’s tremendous hospitality and dedication in hosting a successful conference,” said Mr. Wu.
Mr. Wu said the UN office is amazed at what a small country can achieve.
The success of the conference according to Mr. Wu was not only the consensus adoption of the SAMOA Pathway but the smooth operation of the whole conference.
Asked why this conference was different from the Barbados and Mauritius conference, Mr. Wu said the last two conferences were label as government conference by their people..
“The Samoa conference, the whole country was involved and worked around the clock to ensure the success of it,” said Mr. Wu
Asked if UN would consider Samoa to host another SIDS conference, Mr. Wu said that was up to SIDS member countries.
This is the biggest UN conference to be hosted in the Pacific region and Samoa has outdone their best, said Mr. Wu.
According to Mr. Wu’s office who did a head count, 115 countries attended, 21 heads and leaders, 97 Ministers, 06 Associate ministers and leaders, 548 Non-Governmental Organisations and Civil Servants Societies and 3500 participants.
The Republic of Kiribati President Mr. Anote Tong congratulated Samoa for bringing the world to the Pacific.
“Samoa has done a great job,” said Mr. Tong.
France’s Associate Secretary for Foreign Affairs office Francois B. Hertland struggled with his English to find words to describe his feelings.
“I feel free and safe by the warmth and hospitality of the people,” said Mr. Hertland
He also made time to enjoy the Teuila festival evening shows.
Joel Raymond of Beguine Marseilles Africa enjoyed every moment spent in Samoa.
“I felt at home in Samoa,” said Mr. Raymond
Mr. Raymond said Samoa and Marseilles have a lot of similarities in the weather and culture.
“Samoa is very colorful and the conference was excellent,” said Raymond.
Mark Paul of Vanuatu commended Samoa for a conference so well organised.
“I applaud Prime Minister and people of Samoa,” said Mr. Paul.
Even media personnel who travelled often to Samoa in the past were “impressed” with how the conference was conducted.
H.E. Ali’ioaiga was also asked why Samoa opted to host such a prestigious conference.
“It is a significant year for Samoa because it is the year Samoa graduates from being a member of the least developed countries (LDC),” said Ali’ioaiga.
For that reason, the Samoa government decided to host the 3rd SIDS conference as a landmark for her accession to the developed countries category.
“It shows the strength and quality of Samoa when it comes to tackling anything,” said Ali’ioaiga.
Samoa does not differentiate amongst partners but accept and welcome all her partners said Ali’ioaiga.
“It means we do not judge but we take.”
In the handing over ceremony of the UN and Samoa flag, Mr. Wu again extended appreciation and gratitude to the government and people of Samoa for an ‘extraordinary conference.”