Statement By Samoa Prime Minister for Plenary of the Second Democracy Forum

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Mr Chair President Yoon Suk Yeol

Excellencies

Ladies and Gentlemen

I thank you for the opportunity to provide a short statement at this Second Democracy Forum on how democracy delivers economic growth and shared prosperity in our country.

I will begin by underscoring the fact that economic development is one of the prerequisites for democracy and influences democracy in many ways. We know that it is economic growth that creates the conditions for democracy namely: urbanization, widespread of education and literacy, wealth, and heightened awareness of the importance of the protection of rights and issues of public affairs by simply increasing the level of income in a society.

We are also aware that democratic regimes revolve around institutions and policies which lay the foundations, through which principles of freedom and equality are designed and followed, which in turn have a positive impact on the economy. From our view of the world around us we know that the more well to do a nation is, the greater the chance that it will sustain democracy.

Since we graduated out of least developed country status in 2014, after progressive increases in income per capita, performance continues to improve aside from the disruptions of the COVID 19 pandemic and the impacts of other global challenges. And while the increase in Gross Domestic Product may be the primary method of measurement, there is much more, at play such as forming or greatly changing productive relationships, the influences of technological advancements, equity of opportunities, a people centred approach to development amongst other factors which bring about a transformation in the economic structure of a country.

Importantly for small islands states like Samoa we would welcome the support of the international community for the Multidimensional Vulnerability Index (MVI) tool, currently being finalised by the United Nations that provides the unbiased justification we need for International Financial Institutions to apportion concessional financing to help us prepare and recover from crises beyond our control.

Political stability matters significantly for economic development. Hence, this was the imperative coupled with the intent to fully restore our democratic processes following our general elections in 2021 and the transition to our current administration which aided us greatly to meet the onslaught of the COVID 19 pandemic, the pervasive impacts of climate change and other ensuing global crises which have reached our geographical isolation.

Thank you