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Samoa NGOs oppose cruise ship plans for SIDS conference

Samoa’s Umbrella organisation for Non-Governmental Organisations, SUNGO, is opposing the government’s plan to have delegates to a UN Small Islands States conference that the country is hosting next year stay on a cruise ship.A member of SUNGO, the environmentalist Fiu Mataese Elisara-Laulu, told Talamua online the members want participants of the 3rd Small Islands States conference to be billeted to villages and churches instead.The conference planned for August and September 2014 looms as the biggest event Samoa has ever hosted, but the country is short of around 2000 rooms to accomodate the over 3000 participants expected.Fiu says SUNGO believe the resources targetted to acquire the cruise ship should be shared out to villages and churches to host the participants in order to convey the true Samoan cultural, spiritual and hospitality spirit.