POLYNESIAN LEADERS GROUP FORMED IN SAMOA
Regional sub-group is Samoa PM’s ‘Dream come true’
By Marieta Heidi Ilalio
APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Nov. 20, 2011) –
It’s official. The Polynesian Leaders Group (PLG) was formed in Samoa
yesterday during a meeting of eight Polynesian countries. Held at the
brand new Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi Building, Prime Minister Tuilaepa
Sailele Malielegaoi chaired the meeting where the establishment of the
sub-group was discussed.
In attendance were leaders from French
Polynesia, Niue, Tokelau, Cook Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and American
Samoa. Yesterday’s meeting discussed the importance of the PLG in
providing a systematic approach to cooperation among Polynesian
The idea is to develop, promote and protect
common interests and objectives of the members and the Polynesia. Prime
Minister Tuilaepa said the formation of the Polynesian Group is a dream
"Today, a dream that was made five years ago
came true, and eight countries of the Pacific are now confirmed as
founding members of PLG," he said.
"This is where these countries will share
knowledge and experiences in awareness and education to promote and
protect cultures, traditions and languages."
The Prime Minister said the opportunity is
also available to other countries in the Pacific who want to join.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by
all the representatives.
American Samoa Governor, Togiola Tulafono,
said the PLG is a special opportunity for their territory to have a
bigger voice in sub-regional issues.
"I thank the Prime Minister of Samoa for this
opportunity," he said.
The group from now on will hold annual
meetings to receive reports and discuss cooperation activities between
members in the course of the year. They will also address issues
affecting membership and make decision on current and future activities.
Here is the outcome statement from the
- The first meeting of the Leaders and Representatives of
Polynesian countries was held in Apia, Samoa on 17 November 2011 and
was attended by the Prime Ministers of Cook Islands, Samoa and
Tonga, the Governor of American Samoa, the Ulu o Tokelau and Special
Envoys from the governments of Niue, Tuvalu, and Ma’ohi Nui-French
- The Leaders and representatives of Polynesian countries
expressed their gratitude to the Prime Minister, the government and
the people of Samoa for the arrangements made in hosting the first
meeting of Leaders and Representatives of Polynesian countries and
for the kind hospitality extended to them during their stay in Apia.
The Polynesian Leaders and Representatives acknowledged the
historical significance of the meeting to establish the Polynesian
(PLG) sub-regional group and the importance of the PLG in providing
a systematic approach to cooperation amongst Polynesian countries to
develop, promote, and protect common interests and objectives of the
members and Polynesia.
- The meeting agreed to and signed a Memorandum of Understanding
establishing the Polynesian sub-regional group. In so doing, the
meeting confirmed the critical importance of Polynesian people and
countries where cultures, traditions, and languages are valued,
honoured and protected; and where sustainable economic prosperity is
achieved, democratic values are observed and human rights promoted
- The meeting decided that through the PLG, members will work
together in the spirit of mutual understanding and cooperation to:
- Encourage sharing knowledge and experiences in awareness and
education to promote and protect cultures, traditions and
- Encourage mutual support of development efforts in areas
including but not limited to: transport, energy, environmental
conservation, climate change, education, health, agriculture and
fisheries, tourism, trade and investment;
- Encourage respect for the quality of governance, observance
of democratic values and human rights rule of law and right to
- Encourage the strengthening of connections with institutions
of regional and international cooperation.
- The meeting agreed that the founding members of the PLG are Cook
Islands, Niue, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, American Samoa, French
Polynesia/ Tahiti and Tokelau. The meeting further decided that a
state, territory or indigenous Polynesian population may be invited
to become a member or an observer by consensus decision of the
- The meeting agreed that the PLG would hold annual meetings to
receive reports and discuss cooperation activities between members
in the course of the year; address issues affecting membership and
male decisions on current and future activities. Annual meetings of
the PLG are to be held at the margins of the yearly Pacific Islands
Forum Meeting or at such other time and place agreed to by the
- The meeting decided that for the starting period a permanent
secretariat will not be established. Instead the Chair in Office
will provide the Secretariat for the PLG during facilitating the
implementation of decisions of PLG and to disseminate information to
members of cooperation activities and other information members wish
- For the Chairmanship, the meeting decided that Samoa having
taken up responsibility of chairing the first meeting of Leaders and
representatives of Polynesian countries to establish the
sub-regional group, will be the PLG Chair between now until the PLG
- The meeting decided that the first annual meeting of the PLG
will be held in conjunction with the Pacific Islands Forum Meeting
in Cook Islands in 2012.
- The meeting decided that the next Chair of the PLG will be Cook
Islands and will take up duties of the chairmanship at the first
annual meeting of the PLG.
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