Fiame: “Our Government will continue to safeguard the rights of all its citizens”


The United Nations Country Team in Samoa commemorated 78 years since the establishment of the United Nations in 1945.

The UN Day 2023, organised in Samoa, aims to demonstrate unity and hope for a profound and impactful presence of the United Nations to serve the Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa, and Tokelau; and to inform all of its partners and communities about its work and achievements and encouraging partnerships and meaningful support towards accomplishing common goals.

The event was attended by Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mataafa, UN Resident Coordinator Themba Kalua, members of the diplomatic corps, and the United Nations Country Team in Samoa.

Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa was the keynote speaker and cited the Samoa Government will continue to safeguard the rights of all its citizens, especially those who are most at risk of being left behind, including by strengthening social protection measures and prioritizing assistance for those in need. 

“We have focused on people-centered development as pivotal to implementing our agenda over the next five years,” Fiame said following our third Universal Periodic Review in 2021, our Christian values, culture, and traditions complement our human rights obligations and fundamental freedoms, which we have committed to respect, protect, and fulfill. 

“We are proud to have an independent judiciary that upholds the rule of law, and to be the only country in the Pacific to have an A-status National Human Rights Institution. 

“As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights this year, the government of Samoa pledges to strengthen laws, policies and institutions to ensure that all individuals can enjoy their economic, social, cultural, civil, and political rights without discrimination.” According to Fiame the commemoration of the United Nations Day and to do so on behalf of Samoa and other sister nations under the auspices of the Samoa Multi Country Office – Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau.

Samoa became a member of the United Nations in 1976.  It has been almost 47 years since we as a nation committed to the global pledge to ensure the promotion and protection of every person’s human rights.

“True to our commitment to the UN Charter, we have had a remarkable journey over the years.  

“We have strengthened our partnerships with UN entities and our stakeholders to promote people-centered development; we have witnessed progress in advancing women’s rights and gender equality through Samoa’s ratification of the CEDAW Convention in 1992; ensuring the protection of the rights of children through the ratification of the CRC Convention in 1994 and hosting the historic extraordinary session of the CRC Committee in 2020; and advancing the rights of persons with disabilities through the ratification of the CRPD Convention in 2016. By ratifying the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Samoa has also committed to ensuring the rule of law, freedoms of assembly, association, expression and religion, and protection from torture, ill-treatment, violence and arbitrary detention by ratifying the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in 2009.  

“We have over the years addressed and continue to address our country and regions’ most pressing challenges as we strive towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda and the full realization of our people’s human rights.  

“Though progress has been achieved, we face critical health challenges including those due to the measles outbreak in 2019 and the COVID pandemic. Recovery is gradual, tempered by the ever-present threat of the triple planetary crisis – the interlinked effects of climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss.

“Climate change and its effects on our people remains at the forefront for Samoa and the region in terms of its priorities that need immediate attention and urgent action.  Our lived experience is quite telling of the need for the international community to fully support without reservations, all actions and commitments to reverse the negative trends and lessen the impact on our environment.

“Our work on the elimination of discrimination against women and girls, ensuring the rights of our children and persons with disabilities also take priority.  

“We understand gender inequality limits social progress, hinders social cohesion and is a barrier to our economic growth.  Aspirations towards a prosperous economy will never be realized without equal opportunities to all members of our society especially the most vulnerable – including women, children and people with disabilities.” According to the Prime 

Minister the state of Samoa’s health is characterized by increasing child obesity and increasing rates of premature mortality due to preventable non communicable diseases reflecting poor nutrition and the unhealthy lifestyles adopted by our communities.

“In spite of all these challenges, we remain committed to the UN mandate.  “Samoa remains steadfast in our support of the United Nations and recognize that international cooperation is essential for a just, more sustainable, and peaceful future for our people and the planet. 

“Our role as the chair of AOSIS puts us at the forefront to continue to drive the UN system forward, calling on it to address the climate crisis and protect the most vulnerable in our communities.

“We have come a long way since we joined the United Nations in 1976, and despite being a small island developing country, Samoa hopes to continue its call for global solidarity and unity to address the pressing global challenges that we currently face. 

“These include the need to address with urgency the threats of the climate crisis; the accelerating loss of biodiversity; threats to human rights; worsening conflicts; misuse of information and new technologies; and garnering the political will to strengthen our collective action towards sustainable development.”