Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that he commends Prime Minister Tuilaepa and all participating island countries and territories for the initiative to establish the Polynesian Leaders Group (PLG). In a letter to the Prime Minister dated December 2, 2011, Congressman Faleomavaega expressed his support and also congratulated leaders from the eight Polynesian island groups, including Tuvalu, Niue, Cook Islands, Tonga, Independent State of Samoa, the U.S. Territory of American Samoa, French Polynesian/Tahiti, and Tokelau that have ratified the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to create this historic grouping.
“As a matter of public record, I stated my support for a Polynesian grouping back in 2004 as reported by Radio New Zealand, and I am very pleased with this initiative that would serve the common interest pertaining to our history and cultural ties that bring our Polynesian island communities together in the Pacific region,” Faleomavaega said.
“Having such sub-regional intergovernmental organizations is good for the overall welfare of the Pacific region. Already, existing sub-regional intergovernmental grouping such as the Melanesian Spearhead and the Micronesian Group have shown how common interests in politics, trade, culture and language can be met. They’re working together on common interests among the different entities and see how they can approach problems and resolve them,” Faleomavaega added.
“The idea of a Polynesian confederation was first touted by his Majesty King David Kalakaua of the Kingdom of Hawaii back in 1887. At the height of imperialism and colonization in the Pacific Region, the idea then was to protect the interests of the Pacific island countries against the imperial western powers including Britain, Germany and the United States.”
“So in essence, the nineteenth century idea of a Polynesian group remains true today. However, in this time of global market expansion and technological advancement, the benefits to the participating island countries will arrive in the form of mutual partnership and close cooperation to promote good governance, accountability, transparency, and human rights. The PLG will make it possible for participating Polynesian island countries to work together on cultural preservation, economic, social and political development,” Faleomavaega said.
“I would also suggest that this should be inclusive of our Polynesian cousins including the Maoris, Hawaiians, Rapanuis even though they may be associated politically with New Zealand, United States and Chile, respectively,” Faleomavaega noted.
The Congressman concluded his letter by stating that, “Again I want to commend and congratulate Prime Minister Tuilaepa and all participating island countries in this historic inaugural undertaking.”