United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


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Honourable Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi
Prime Minister of Samoa at the ceremony to hand-over the
conference venue to the United Nations
Saturday, 30 August 2014 at 10:00 a.m.
Nu’utele Accreditation Centre
Tuana’imato, Faleata Sports Complex
Susuga Faife’au Toeaina Tauti’aga Senara
Conference Secretary General, Mr. WU Hongbo,
Members of Cabinet,
Members of Parliament,
Members of the Judiciary,
Members of the UN Secretariat,
Distinguished Guests,
We gather here today in unity and in partnership to bear witness
to this historic moment. The Government and people of Samoa hand
over to the United Nations in this ceremony this land and premises for
use for the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing
States (SIDS).
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In an important symbolic way, this ceremony reflects the theme of
the Conference of genuine and durable partnerships. Samoa’s
connection with the United Nations goes back to the years before
Samoa’s independence and the UN has also since remained a strong
partner in Samoa’s development.
The fact that Samoa is able to hand over the facilities today has
been possible through close collaboration with its partners. This
successful cooperation reflects in a very real sense ‘genuine and durable
partnerships’ in dynamic action. I would like on the occasion of this
ceremony to express our great gratitude to our partners both in
government and from the private sector for the generous and immense
contributions that made it possible for Samoa to meet the time line for
the Conference.
Today’s happy occasion also reflects the trust and belief of the
United Nations in Samoa as epitomised by the steady confidence of the
Conference‘s Secretary General Mr WU Hongbo that the facilities will be
ready. Mr Wu may well have had moments of doubt but he is too
consummate a diplomat and gentleman to let on. And knowing Mr Wu
he would not have wasted time worrying and instead take immediate
action behind the scenes to resolve any such doubt if they ever existed!
Light humour aside, I want to place on record our deep
appreciation to Mr WU for his leadership, guidance and personal interest
to ensure that our conference venue and related facilities are UNcompliance
and ready in time. Being host country is no easy task.
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Ensuring we meet all our responsibilities was challenging. But Mr Wu’s
understanding and forbearance of our challenges and the sympathetic
and ready support from this team allowed us to have today’s handover
In handing over the conference venue and facilities, I trust that
the UN will find them satisfactory. Importantly, I hope they will provide
all delegations that had graciously travelled from the corners of the
globe a welcoming sense of partnership so that their deliberations will
be facilitated and the decisions they take will be beneficial to the longterm
sustainability of SIDS.
Before ending my remarks, I would like to express my appreciation
to the many of our own people, in government, in the private sector and
in our community that worked tirelessly for months and over long hours
to complete the construction the landscaping. Thank you for your hard
work and many sacrifices.
On this note, it is now with great pleasure that I officially handover
the Conference premises to the Conference’s Secretary General, His
Excellency Mr Wu Hongbo.
Thank you.
Soifua ma ia Manuia.