The Head of State, His Highness Tuimalealiifano Va’aletoa Sualauvi II, received the Ambassador of the European Union to Samoa, Julian Wilson, yesterday.
Mr. Wilson presented his credentials to his Highness Tuimaleali’ifano at his Moto’otua office yesterday.
Mr. Wilson was accompanied by his spouse, Claudine Elysée, and the Head of Cooperation, Christoph Wagner.
Mr. Wilson said the European Union (E.U.) and Samoa have a long standing tradition of co-operation and partnership dating back to the mid-1970's.
“The E.U.'s ambition is to further consolidate its role as a committed, reliable and predictable partner for the Paciﬁc negotiations on the new partnership between the E.U. and the African, Caribbean and Paciﬁc countries beyond 2020,” he said.
“Samoa is a key partner of the E.U. in the Paciﬁc and plays an important role in consolidating the alliance between the E.U. and Paciﬁc island countries. For example, a crucial area of this strategic cooperation is climate change."
“All eyes are now directed towards Bonn and we are working together towards a successful outcome at the ongoing C.O.P. 23 meeting under Fiji's presidency.”
Strategic relations include also other issues such as global (in particular maritime) security and strengthening common values on environment, democracy and human rights.
“Samoa's intention to accede to the existing Economic Partnership Agreement (E.P.A.) with the E.U. is very welcome,” said Mr. Wilson.
“The E.U. invited Samoa as an observer to the E.P.A. Trade Committee in October and looks forward to deepening the work on technical issues, but also on how to upgrade Samoa's capacity and competitiveness."
“The focus of the E.U.'s development cooperation with Samoa is on water and sanitation. Supply of quality water is a fundamental aspect in the battle to alleviate poverty."
“It reduces eases of water home diseases such as diarrhea and improves general living standards, especially for the most vulnerable in society."
“We also support the strengthening of civil society in Samoa, including important issues such as gender equality."
“ln addition, Samoa beneﬁts from E.U.'s regional programme and cooperation that extends to areas such as agriculture, disaster risk reduction, addressing root causes of violence against women, public ﬁnance management, waste management and marine protection.”
His Highness, Tuimaleali’ifano said the European Union has provided immense assistance in key development sectors of Samoa economy such as water and sanitation, hydro-electriﬁcation, education, health, agriculture given through sector budget support, the Civil Society Support program and through.
“As a small island developing State, Samoa continues to face challenges that are beyond our control,” the Head of State said. “Climate change and sea level rise, the degradation of our oceans and the resources therein, and vulnerability to natural disasters."
“We appreciate the role of the European Union in addressing these challenges through the E.D.F. bilaterally and regionally."
“Samoa takes note of the delayed Economic Partnership Agreement with the E.U. and is preparing for participation in the interim E.P.A. - we acknowledge the E.U.’s assistance in this regard."
“I am conﬁdent that during your tenure as the Ambassador and Head of the Delegation to the Paciﬁc you will endeavor to use your good office to further promote the Samoa-EU partnership.”
Mr. Wilson graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Economics of Africa and Asia at London University in I983. Later that year he began his career in journalism at the Economist Group where he was also an editor and consultant.
In I991, he pursued and completed his M.B.A. at the City of London Business School. In 2001, he was assigned by the European Union (E.U.) as the Head of Operations at the E.U. Delegation to Afghanistan.
Mr. Wilson was assigned to many of the following posts: Head of Unit in the Director General for External Relations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives (2003-2005); the Ambassador and Head of E.U. Delegation to Sri Lanka and the Maldives (2005-2008); Ambassador and Head of E.U. Delegation to Indonesia, Brunei and A.S.E.A.N. (2008-2013); before becoming the Deputy Managing Director for Asia and Paciﬁc in European External Action Services (2016).
Mr. Wilson is now currently the Head of Division for the European External Action Services for Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand and the Paciﬁc. Mr. Wilson will depart Samoa tomorrow and will return to the E.U. ofﬁce in Suva, Fiji.