Link: Pacific Islands Report
Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i


Samoa Has No Plans To Request LDC Graduation Delay
Scheduled to lose Least Development Country status in 2014

By Lance Polu

APIA, Samoa (Talamua, Jan. 3, 2013) – Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi says Government has no plans at the moment to request the United Nations to postpone Samoa’s graduation from Least Developed Country (LDC) status scheduled for 2014.

However, he pointed out, Samoa’s vulnerability to natural disasters continues to be exacerbated by climate change. As has been the experienced with Cyclone Evan three weeks ago and the 2009 tsunami.

He said that natural disasters are a major threat to economic stability and sustainability for small island states like Samoa.

This vulnerability will be highlighted prominently when Samoa hosts the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) summit in late 2014, the Prime Minister said.

The single largest international conference to be hosted in Apia, over 2000 delegates from over a hundred countries are expected to attend the SIDS Samoa Summit, 2014.

Tuilaepa who was at the recent Climate Change global conference in Doha, said that small island states need to point out clearly and strongly to superpowers that their actions that exacerbate climate change, cost these low-lying islands dearly but at not fault of theirs.

The cost to Samoa of the devastation by Cyclone Evan, is placed at US$200 million. The damage is mainly from very strong winds, flooding and waves damage.

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