Fostering and developing economic and social policies is at the forefront of the 2Samoa Talks held in the US territory.
Called the “Atoa o Samoa” this is the first time since 2017 that both Governments have officially met, under new leadership on both ends.
Held at the American Samoa Community College Multipurpose Complex, Governor Lemanu Peleti Mauga during his opening remarks zeroed in on the title of their meeting Atoa o Samoa. Citing it is a fitting reference given that Samoa and American Samoa are one family.
The Governor’s written speech cited the Global COVID-19 pandemic had a profound and lasting impact on the world.
“Both countries were not spared the negative economic and social hardships and they aced similar challenges, the remote locations, global and climate change, limited access to healthcare, restricted border access, and the disruption to both economies.
Despite all these challenges, the Independent State of Samoa and American Samoa demonstrated remarkable resiliency.
Lemanu says as the world continues to reopen and we adjust to the new realities of our post-COVID-19 world, we too, must reengage in our cooperative work prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
They continue to foster and develop economic and social policies that are mutually beneficial and promote our common priorities.”
Adding the two Governments must explore and work collaboratively in areas where there is common ground and allows for the development of both economies to meet the challenges of the present and future.
“Developing and improving our immigration system and policies, collaborating to mitigate the negative climate change effects and improve resiliency, sustainable food security, advancing our telecommunication infrastructure, and addressing difficult social issues are just a few areas where we can come together for the common good.
“Meeting these challenges together, in the spirit of our shared benefit, will allow both countries to advance forward far faster than going alone.
We are blessed to have this opportunity to strengthen and renew our bonds as neighbors that share a unique history and heritage.
We have the capacity and capability to chart a path forward for both our countries mutual benefit. The Atoa O Samoa is an excellent platform to engage in open and honest dialogue to develop lasting policies for our collective wellbeing,” said the Governor.
Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa acknowledged the need to revive the talks and pointed to unforeseen circumstances that have halted the regular holdings of these meetings in the past.
“And the opportunity today and the course of these meetings will allow us to revisit the arrangements that will suit both sides.”
The Prime Minister says they will have the opportunity to review the realities faced by the two Samoa in meeting the obligations that have previously been assigned and afforded to both islands.
Adding that it’s important to facilitate communications between the two Governments.
Samoa’s Prime Minister says she looks forward to the meeting with Governor Lemanu and the American Samoa Government to savor the relations between the two Countries and validate the principles to pave the way to the decision to hold the 2Samoa Talks.