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Tuilaepa, Ki-Moon discuss wide-ranging topics

By Tupuola Terry Tavita APIA, Samoa (Savali, Sept. 6, 2011) – Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi this morning met with United Nations’ Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, with the backdrop of the Pacific Islands Forum meeting later this week.

Held at the SkyCity Convention Center, the two leaders spoke on a range of issues from climate change to gender equity, the Pacific Plan and youth development.

Mr. Moon also thanked Prime Minister Tuilaepa for "his major role" in getting him reelected. Of particularly note, Mr. Moon emphasized the need for more women representation in public office around the region.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa pointed out that that despite a slight drop in the number of women in the Samoan Parliament, half the government chief executives are women.

"But there are other issues involved with women’s reluctance to go into politics. Many prioritize raising families and looking after their children ahead of a political career.

"Of the two women in Parliament, one is cabinet minister. So we actually have a 50 percent ministerial composition for women parliamentary representation."

Prime Minister Tuilaepa also took the opportunity to invite the U.N Sec-General to Samoa’s 50th Independence anniversary celebrations next year.

"It’s a good opportunity for you – and perhaps the leaders of other small island states – to see how good leadership successfully works in small island states, despite an obvious lack of resources.

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