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Regional sub-group is Samoa PM’s ‘Dream come true’

By Marieta Heidi Ilalio

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Nov. 20, 2011) – It’s official. The Polynesian Leaders Group (PLG) was formed in Samoa yesterday during a meeting of eight Polynesian countries. Held at the brand new Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi Building, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi chaired the meeting where the establishment of the sub-group was discussed.

In attendance were leaders from French Polynesia, Niue, Tokelau, Cook Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and American Samoa. Yesterday’s meeting discussed the importance of the PLG in providing a systematic approach to cooperation among Polynesian countries.

The idea is to develop, promote and protect common interests and objectives of the members and the Polynesia. Prime Minister Tuilaepa said the formation of the Polynesian Group is a dream come true.

"Today, a dream that was made five years ago came true, and eight countries of the Pacific are now confirmed as founding members of PLG," he said.

"This is where these countries will share knowledge and experiences in awareness and education to promote and protect cultures, traditions and languages."

The Prime Minister said the opportunity is also available to other countries in the Pacific who want to join.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by all the representatives.

American Samoa Governor, Togiola Tulafono, said the PLG is a special opportunity for their territory to have a bigger voice in sub-regional issues.

"I thank the Prime Minister of Samoa for this opportunity," he said.

The group from now on will hold annual meetings to receive reports and discuss cooperation activities between members in the course of the year. They will also address issues affecting membership and make decision on current and future activities.

Here is the outcome statement from the meeting:

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