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Slideshow: In Samoa at the SIDS conference

photos: Lilomaiava Andrew Fa’asau, Naenae Productions

Samoa continues to put on a spectacular cultural show of events to welcome United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and leaders and officials of the UN member countries that are in Apia to attend the 3rd international conference on Small Island Developing States.
 



Samoa's prep for SIDS Conference is FIRST CLASS

What a difference five months makes.

I was last in Apia in April - on the Foreign Minister Murray McCully's joint Pacific mission with the European Union.

We visited what was then a sports stadium and to put it bluntly it looked a long way from being anywhere near ready for the UN Small Islands Developing Nations conference which is being held this week. A very long way.

The bulldozers were hard at work, there were piles of earth, in short, it was a construction site.



UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon goes for sail on Hokulea

Hokulea and her sister escort canoe Hikianalia took some special guests for a sail Monday in Apia, Samoa, including United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and Palau President Tommy Remengesau Jr.

"People often say we are in the same boat," Ban Ki-moon said during a conference. "I would say we are all on the same small island on the same small planet Earth; this is like a small boat in the universe."

Ban presented crew members with a handwritten message in a bottle to take with them on their worldwide journey. The note said:



Conference on Small Island Developing States opens

Apia, SAMOA — Heads of State, policymakers, business leaders and representatives from civil society have gathered in Apia, Samoa, to pledge their support for small island developing states by forging partnerships that will help these nations to overcome a unique set of environmental and economic challenges.



Samoa PM acknowledges good faith shown in SAMOA Pathway document

The negotiated Outcomes Document of the 3rd Small Islands Developing States Conference that gets underway in Samoa today, has been hailed as a ‘rarity’ in the history of the United Nations.

The SAMOA Pathway, as its known, was negotiated and endorsed by member countries in New York, months before the Samoa meeting.

Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi acknowledged the leadership of New Zealand and Singapore in getting consensus, leaving the time in Samoa to discuss concrete proposals for partnerships.



Stellar line up for 24th Teuila Festival 2014 in the heart of Apia

Apia is in a festive mood and crowds have been growing all week at the Government Plaza enjoying the entertainment during the preliminary week of the Teuila Festival, buying food from the many stalls selling local and international dishes and wandering around the arts and crafts stalls.

The Teuila Festival has earned its niche on the Pacific cultural map and, the 24th annual festival starts in earnest on Monday.

Highlights will include the SIFA Fautasi Challenge, the Chief’s Fiafia Show and the Best of Samoa Entertainment Show.

Fautasi contest is eagerly awaited.



U.N. Secretary General bestowed chiefly title

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was on Sunday given the title of 'Tupua' or 'chief' in south-eastern Samoa by villagers whose homes had been struck by a tsunami nearly five years ago.
 
Wearing traditional 'siapo lavalava' around his waist and a beaded 'palefuiono' with feathers on his head, the Secretary-General sat across from Prime Minister Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi in a roofed social centre in Siupapa, a sub-village of Saleapaga.
 



Despite rumors, unlikely Ebola would come to Fiji, says WHO

THE risk of the Ebola virus coming into Fiji is low, says the World Health Organization.

WHO emerging disease surveillance and response, division of Pacific technical support Eric Nilles said Ebola would have to be imported, that is sick people coming to Fiji from countries with the virus transmission such as West Africa.

"This is very unlikely because of the very long distance from the affected areas of West Africa, because multiple flight segments are required, and because few travellers from West Africa visit the Pacific and vice versa," Mr Nilles said.



Without partnerships, island states face ‘termination’, says Samoa PM

Samoa’s Prime Minister has urged the international community to offer support to small island developing states, some of whom face “termination”, he says, owing to threats posed by climate change and rising seas.

On the eve of the International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS 2014), in Apia, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi stated that “quick financial assistance” is essential when a small island nation is reeling from the effects of environmental or economic disaster.



Samoa opens its first casino

Samoa is to open its first casino today.

It will be at Aggie Greys Resort at Mulifanua, near the international airport, and employ 100 staff.

The Prime Minister, Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, says the first casino will create more job opportunities and attract more tourists into the country.

Tuila'epa has told reporters in his weekly radio programme the idea behind the government's decision for a casino is for tourists to spend more days in Samoa and spend their wealth.

At the same time the prime minister says more money will be pouring into the local economy.



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