CEO Finance Lavea and Minister of Health Tuitama tour the Taj Mahal prior to the private and public sector presentations preceding the FIPIC Summit.CEO of Finance Lavea and Minister of Health Tuitama tour the Taj Mahal prior to the private and public sector presentations preceding the FIPIC Summit.
The Prime Minister last night delivered Samoa’s statement to the Second Forum on India-Pacific Cooperation (FIPIC), hosted by the Government of India in the city of Jaipur.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa outlined his hopes for possible health sector support, particularly with respect to post-graduate training opportunities for Samoa’s doctors in India’s vast network of hospitals and medical facilities.
“We ask that you center your assistance to our country on our health sector, more specifically, for India to provide opportunities for Samoa’s doctors to gain post-graduate work experience in your hospitals.
“Additionally, we also respectfully request for your doctors and medical instructors to periodically work and take sabbaticals in Samoa to support our capacity building efforts.”
Samoa’s Prime Minister said that in Samoa’s view, such a programme of exchange will make the most impact in terms of priority assistance from India.
India’s Prime Minister stressed the importance of human resource development as a key area of cooperation.
“There is no other form of cooperation that is as effective in building a nation’s future.
“We will focus on developing capacity for health services in your countries.”
Echoing other Pacific leaders, Prime Minister Tuilaepa spoke of the Pacific’s challenges and collective efforts to combat the threat of climate change.
“To underscore the importance of the threat of climate change to the Pacific, we are doing everything possible through our Pacific Islands Forum, within our various sub-regional groupings and regional organisations, as well as in the United Nations and other intergovernmental bodies such as the Commonwealth, to reinforce the message of hope for a comprehensive and enforceable new Climate Change Agreement to be reached at the upcoming COP21 meeting at the end of the year.
Tuilaepa also referenced security concerns which had been raised when he spoke at the UN Security Council Open Debate last month, on the “Peace and Security Challenges facing Small Island Developing States”.
“The threats to our countries include the spread of firearms, drugs, people smuggling, illegal and dangerous use of information technology and IUU fishing which all require international partnership cooperation in order to successfully address.
“The comments from my fellow Pacific leaders including from Niue and the poignant reminder from Kiribati of the existential threat to the very survival of their country due to the effects of climate change left no doubt of the security threat climate change represents for the Pacific.”
Prime Minister Modi’s statement in response acknowledged the concerns raised by Samoa and the Pacific states.
“National action will succeed only through a strong international partnership.
“We must seek a global commitment to support adaptation to the growing impact of climate change on our lives and economy.
“India will work with you and others for a comprehensive, balanced and fair outcome at COP21.”
TRADE & DIPLOMACY
The Prime Minister also noted that Samoa is taking steps to raise its diplomatic representation in India and will be seeking Indian Government agreement to accredit ambassadorial rank representation to India.
In related news, the Indian Prime Minister announced that nationals of Pacific countries who visit India will now enjoy visa-free travel.
Prime Minister Modi said India was prepared to do more to strengthen trade.
“In addition to the FIPIC Trade Office in New Delhi, we can support development of micro, small and medium enterprises and will extend support for purchase of machinery for coconut processing and enhancing rice and sugarcane yields.
“We will also improve market access for SIDS.”
Samoa’s Prime Minister recognised the importance of FIPIC, as “an opportunity to further define the roadmap for deepening our cooperation and international partnerships.”
Pacific delegations also spent time visiting historical sites in Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, the most popular being the Taj Mahal and Amer Fort; whilst a delegation of Pacific media were invited on a familiarisation tour of India’s priority sectors to encourage understanding and promote areas of possible cooperation and exchange for India and Pacific countries.
The Second FIPIC Summit, held in Jaipur, was attended by heads of government and senior government officials from the 14 Pacific Islands countries: Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Samoa.