6 September 2016

Samoa as host of the 11th Commonwealth Women’s Affairs Ministers Meeting this week is  presenting a statement to seek the most appropriate area of comparative advantage with the Commonwealth.

This was according to the Chief Executive for the Ministry of Women Community and Social Development, Afioga Naea Beth Onesemo-Tuilaepa when asked about Samoa’s mission statement for this meeting.

Ministers for Women Affairs from the Commonwealth countries are engaging in discussions in Apia at the Taumesina Island Resort.

The meeting is chaired by Samoa’s Minister for the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development, Afioga Faimalotoa Kika Iemaima Stowers.

The key objectives of the meeting are:

·        To inform on proposed Commonwealth priorities on gender equality and women’s rights in the period of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

·        To discuss emerging issues and increasingly critical development issues on gender equality, women’s empowerment and development to promote inclusive development and democracy.

·        To reposition the Commonwealth and its commitments to gender equality and women’s rights.

In an interview with the Ministry’s CEO, Naea talked about the importance of this meeting to the development of the role of women in any part of society.

“The commonalities that we have with other Commonwealth countries is our inherited history of Parliamentary democracy that we adhere our work with to ensure the increase in the number of women in decision making in any part of society in order for women’s voices to be heard,” said Naea.

Naea also mentioned the importance of goals set at the global level as in Sustainable Development Goals, the Pacific Roadmap and the Strategy for the Development of Samoa (SDS) which are being discussed during this meeting.

“Samoa wants to see the clarification of an integrated agreement in the goals and strategies that have already been set and to work together with other countries of the Commonwealth in achieving these goals.”

Other issues heard at the meeting today include Gender Equality and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, gender and climate change, women’s leadership in the Pacific states and Caribbean small island states.

The Adoption of the meeting communique and the proposal of host for the next meeting will be heard tomorrow.

Deputy Prime Minister, Afioga Fiame Naomi Mataafa will close the meeting tomorrow afternoon followed by a reception to be hosted by the Government of Samoa.

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