Mr. Wu Hongbo Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Secretary-General for the International Conference on Small Island Developing States

Brief Remarks at the Cultural Opening Ceremony

Your Grace, the Archbishop
Your Highness, the Head of State
Honorable Prime Minister Tuilaepa,
Your Excellency Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations,
Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am honoured and delighted to join you at this cultural opening ceremony.

Tonight, we are celebrating the convening of the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States.

Tonight, we are celebrating Pacific SIDS and SIDS across the planet.

Tonight, above all, we are celebrating Samoa.

I now take this opportunity to share with you what I understand is the meaning of Samoa.

  • S stands for Stellar performance. Samoa’s stellar performance over the past 15 months in tackling every task – no matter how large or small;
  • A stands for Amazed. We are all amazed by your unique Pacific island culture and splendid arts;
  • M stands for Moved. We are deeply moved by the commitment of each Samoan, every community and village for the success of the Conference;
  • O stands for Overwhelmed. We are overwhelmed by your legendary hospitality and warm welcome; and
  • A stands for Assured. We are assured of the propitious start and great success of the Conference and its implementation.

That is the S.A.M.O.A. we see tonight.

You welcome the world with open arms.

The world will remember this historic night.

Thank you, people of Samoa.