Room for more PLG members says Samoa PM

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi, as one of the founding members of Polynesian Leaders Group says that there is room for three more new members to be part of the PLG, as PLG welcomes Wallis and Fatuna into the fold.

The French territory is now the ninth member of the PLG since the group was formed six years ago in Apia.

It was accepted with open arms during the PLG’s annual meeting in Apia on the eve of opening the 48th annual Pacific Island Forum Leaders meeting.

PM Malielegaoi reminded the group to expect more new members, with Hawaii, Easter Island and New Zealand Maoris in waiting.

The three potential members have formally approached the Polynesian group and PM Malielegaoi has moved for PLG to consider the three applications.

“We need to be more formalized in our structure. I think we have reached the stage where the issues have become sophisticated,” said PM Malielegaoi.

“And we (PLG) are right at the center.”Wallis and Futuna’s entry into the PLG makes it the largest sub-group in the Pacific Islands Forum,” he added.

Other members of the PLG are Tahiti, Tonga, Tuvalu, the Cook Islands, Niue, American Samoa and Tokelau, while Easter Island and Hawai'i attend as observers.

The PLG is a brainchild by Samoa PM who initiated a meeting with the leaders of Tonga, Tuvalu, the Cook Islands and Niue on the margins of the Pacific Islands Forum summit in Auckland in 2011.

The initial talks led to a second meeting in Apia in November that led to a memorandum of understanding formally establishing the Polynesian Leaders Group (PLG).

Announcing the launch, Tuilaepa said the member countries would work together "through this group to seek a future for our Polynesian people and countries where cultures, traditions and values are honored and protected.”

Its target is for members to achieve sustainable economic prosperity, observe democratic values, human rights and to promote and protect as well as uphold the rule of law.

It was also designed for the countries to cooperate in the fields of "education, culture and language, transport, environmental conservation and climate change mitigation and adaptation, health, agriculture and fisheries, tourism, trade and investment."



Photo supplied by Government of Samoa Facebook Caption: Leaders of member countries of PLG