Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi officially opened the community consultations with human rights champions, law reformers and community leaders this morning.
The one-day forum is part of the Samoa Faafafine Week 2016 programme.
Samoa Faafafine Association President, Sooalo Tootooalii Roger Stanley welcomed guests and Reverend Maauga Motu lead the prayer service.
The Prime Minister, who is also Patron of the Samoa Faafafine Association, emphasised the importance of the work and services provided by members of the association in Samoa.
He said all people are the same in the eyes of God and that every person should be treated fairly and equally.
“Every human being was made by God in His image,” said Tuilaepa.
“We have seen the charitable works that have been done by Faafafine and their contribution to their families, churches and villages.”
Tuilaepa said in Samoa, we have the first gender who are males, a second gender who are females, a third gender who are faafafine and the fourth gender are faafatama.
Tuilaepa also told of how his talk on Faafafine issues was broadcast overseas.
“I was interviewed on the issue of Faafafine because I’m the only leader of a country who is also patron of a Faafafine association,” said the Prime Minister.
“I was amazed when I was told that this interview was aired three times in Australia, because people requested to hear it again. Then I was told that this programme also aired in the United States.”
Tuilaepa praised the many talents and achievements by the faafafine community in Samoa and urged them to continue with their good work to assist the community.
Community consultations included presentations by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade; National University of Samoa as well as sessions for open dialogue.