Excellencies, Ambassador of Japan to Samoa, UNDP Resident Representative, 10M Chief of Mission Australia and the Pacific, Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. We acknowledge the coming to fruition of this multicountry program across 7 countries in the Pacific, the funding support by the Government of Japan, the partners such as PIDC and the 10M, THE Governments of Japan and Samoa that will cooperate to ensure that there is an integrated and well coordinated approach to border management in the Pacific and of course all the national stakeholders
2. We acknowledge a peculiarity of this project for Samoa in that we were able to take a given formulation and adapted it to suit our needs – we thank the program administrators for the flexibility and willingness to respond accordingly. We want to demonstrate that we are a partner country and not just a recipient of development assistance.
3. While it is so convenient and probably cost effective to formulate a common platform for a group of countries, we should not forget that regardless of size and commonalities we should not overlook the diversities which if well addressed, will lead to more sustainable development initiatives. Addressing diversity will lead to a deeper understanding of what our vulnerabilities are within the context of small islands developing states like Samoa.
4. I am happy to promote advocacy for small islands developing states in the Pacific with Samoa as the current chair of the Alliance of Small islands States. This project will lend itself to further highlight the special case of SIDS and understanding of the vulnerabilities of this country grouping.
5. Thank you for your attention.
Ministry Foreign Affairs, 2 May 2023