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Commonwealth Foreign Ministers updated on Samoa hosting CHOGM in October 2024

Source: Ministry of Trade & Foreign Affairs

APIA, SAMOA – 21 MARCH 2023: The Prime Minister of Samoa, Afioga Fiamē Naomi Mata’afa raised Samoa’s visibility as she met the Head of the Commonwealth, His Majesty King Charles 111 in London last week as Samoa prepares to host the Commonwealth Heads of Governments Meeting in Apia in October 2024.

Fiamē also attended the Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Ministers meeting as well as the celebration of the Commonwealth Day on March 13 with the theme “Forging a Sustainable and Peaceful Common Future.”

The Prime Minister took the opportunity to brief the Foreign Ministers on Samoa’s preparations so far, and its approach in hosting CHOGM in Samoa, now earmarked for October 2024. As well Samoa’s delegation used the opportunity to discuss with some of its partners potential areas of assistance for hosting CHOGM24.

Fiamē also met with Commonwealth Secretary General and Deputy Chairman, Lord Swire of the Commonwealth Enterprise & Investment Council. The discussions throughout the week were critical to the preparations for the hosting of the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Samoa in 2024.

Some of the Commonwealth Day events included the Flag raising ceremony hosted by the Speaker of Parliament, Royal Commonwealth Society Service at the Westminster Abbey and the Commonwealth Day reception at Buckingham Palace hosted by His Majesty King Charles III and the Queen Consort.

Fiame Womens Dialogue
Fiame Womens Dialogue

Marlborough House Dialogue on the theme “Women’s Leadership in the Commonwealth”. L-R: Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC (Commonwealth Secretary-General); HE Johnston Busingye (High Commissioner of Rwanda to the UK); Hon. Fiame Naomi Mataafa (Prime Minister of Samoa); and Prof Luis G. Franceschi (Assistant Secretary General of the Commonwealth).

The Commonwealth family also celebrated the tenth anniversary of the signing of the Commonwealth Charter which was signed by Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on 11 March 2013, and now re-signed by His Majesty King Charles III. This milestone in the journey of the Commonwealth was marked by the raising of the Flag for Peace where Prime Minister Mata’afa as the incoming chair of the Commonwealth, delivered remarks: “….as we raise the flag of peace, we raise hope for our Commonwealth family, for our youth, civil society, small and vulnerable states and we raise hope for a more resilient, sustainable and peaceful common future.”

The Commonwealth Flag of Peace represents shared values and principles of the Commonwealth, including co-operation on economic and social development, diversity, respect, friendship and the promotion of peace around the world.

While in London, Afioga Fiamē Naomi Mataafa also held meetings with His Majesty King Charles III at Buckingham Palace; and the Rt Hon. James Cleverly – UK Foreign Secretary to discuss issues of mutual concern and areas to strengthen bilateral relations.

Earlier in the week the Prime Minister was elected Chair of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) before she proceeded to Chair its 62nd Meeting.

PM with Ministers Action Group
PM with Ministers Action Group

Prime Minster Fiame Naomi Mataafa at the meeting of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group.

Prime Minister Fiamē was also the key guest speaker at the third session of the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Marlborough House Dialogues held 14 March 2023 on the theme “Women’s Leadership in the Commonwealth” where she shared her journey, the challenges and opportunities in becoming a young female holder of the paramount chiefly title Fiamē, the first female Cabinet minister, Deputy Prime Minister and now Prime Minister of Samoa.

The week long meetings in London ended with the Prime Minister speaking at the Panel Discussion organized by the Australian High Commission to focus on “Ambitious Net Zero Targets with Credible Action: Supporting Small Island States.” This was an important opportunity to continue to push for more ambitious climate action and to consistently accentuate what more needs to be done to address the climate crisis.

James Faiumu Commonwalt Day flag bearer
James Faiumu Commonwalt Day flag bearer

James Faiumu, Chevening Scholarship Student from Samoa was the flag-bearer for the Commonwealth Day Service.

Several events of the Commonwealth Day celebrations saw the participation of Samoans such as James Faiumu, a Chevening Scholarship Student from Samoa who was selected to be the Samoa flag-bearer for the Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey.

The Samoa Honorary Consul, Mr Lauaki Fereti Tuilagi led a small group of Samoans to sing at Buckingham Palace during the reception hosted by His Majesty King Charles III; while another group performed a Samoan Siva at the Commonwealth Marlborough House Dialogue in celebration of women in leadership.  Ms Brianna Fruean, a former Commonwealth awardee and youth environmental advocate also spoke during the Commonwealth day service on 13 March 2023.

PM with Samoans in London
PM with Samoans in London

Prime Minister Fiame and the Secretary General of Commonwealth with the High Commissioner of Samoa to the United Kingdom and the Samoan Dance Group in London who performed a Siva to conclude the Marlborough House Dialogue.

The Prime Minister was accompanied by Peseta Noumea Simi, CEO of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, H.E Francella Strickland, High Commissioner of Samoa to the United Kingdom, Ms Fiona Lene-Samoa and Ms Raenynn Manuleleua of the Samoa High Commission in Brussels; and ADC Mr Vani Vai.

The Prime Minister is now on her first official visit to Australia where she met Prime Minister Anthony Albanese yesterday.