The Honourable Fiame Naomi Mataafa, Prime Minister of Samoa led Samoa’s delegation to the 10th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Organisation of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), held in Luanda, Angola.
The Summit was chaired by the President of Angola and focused on the theme, “3 Continents, 3 Oceans, 1 Common Destiny”: Building A Resilient And Sustainable OACPS”.
The OACPS comprises 79 Member States from Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific regions representing 1.2 billion of the global population and more than 40 percent of the United Nations membership.
Sixty four (64) members of the OACPS are coastal States, of which 38 are Small Island Developing States like Samoa. This is the first in person meeting for the Leaders since the COVID19 pandemic and thus provided an opportunity to discuss the impact of the pandemic, the worsening climate crisis, pressures of geopolitical changes and alignments; economic diversification and peace and security challenges.
The Summit was preceded by different Forums for Women, Youth, Diaspora and Private Sector ( Business Forum). The Leaders also held discussions with invited strategic partners including the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and leaders from Saudi Arabia, Portugal, Slovenia, Egypt, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, India, the European Union, the African Development Bank, and the Commonwealth.
The Summit resolved to strengthen inter and intra OACPS Cooperation to build resilience and and pursue OACPS States’ sustainable development objectives.
The Summit also underscored the importance of leveraging OACPS numerical strength and diversity to shape the international agenda and global response to the challenges facing the developing nations of the OACPS and strengthen development cooperation with partners based on equality, mutual respect and shared prosperity.
The Leaders assessed the implementation of the Declaration of the previous 9th Summit held in Nairobi, Kenya in 2019.
Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mataafa spoke during the inaugural ceremony to represent the Blue Pacific continent highlighting the priorities of the region that are aligned with OACPS strategies, calling for a united stance on these priorities such as climate change and ocean.
Fiame stressed the need to move beyond donor-recipient relations with partners but to focus on genuine and durable partnerships, where OACPS sit as equals.
Samoa highlighted concerns for the delay in signing the OACPS-EU new partnership agreement, and welcomed the OACPS leaders call for the signing to take place before the end of June 2023 in Samoa. The agreement is to be called the Samoa Agreement.
The Pacific also led discussions and called for commitment to adopt the UN General Assembly Resolution for an Advisory Opinion from International Court of Justice on Climate Change.
The Heads of State and Government adopted the Luanda Declaration providing a strategic direction for the Organisation for the next two years, which included a call from the OACPS Leaders to UN Member States to vote in support for this UN Resolution.
Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mataafa also represented the participants of the Summit to provide the vote of thanks to the hosts, the Government of Angola.
The Summit endorsed the Republic of Maldives as the newest member of the OACPS.
Prime Miniser Fiame held bilateral meetings with the leaders of small island developing states Vanuatu, Maldives, Barbados, Mauritius and Trinidad & Tobago to discuss SIDS issues within OACPS and the UN given Samoa’s chairmanship of the Association of Small Islands States in 2023.
Meetings were also held with the Secretaries General of both OACPS and the Commonwealth on the upcoming Signing of the Samoa Agreement in Samoa as well as hosting of CHOGM 2024.
The Prime Minister was accompanied by Peseta Noumea Simi, CEO Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, H.E Francella Strickland, Ambassador of Samoa to Belgium and Head of Mission to the EU, Fiona Lene-Samoa, Counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission of the Samoa Embassy in Brussels and Senior Sergeant Nanai Vani Vai of Samoa Police.
The Prime Minister’s statements and interventions for the 10th Summit of the OACPS Heads of State and Government are available here.