23 Oct 2006

American Samoa didn't follow proper procedures for Forum observer status

11:38 am on 23 October 2006

American Samoa's Congressman, Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin, has been told by the US State Department that an application for observer status at the Forum went through the wrong channels.

The State Department has informed the Congressman that American Samoa by-passed the US State Department which is the lead agency on matters affecting US foreign policy and membership with international organizations.

The congressman said the Governor, Togiola Tulafono, wrote directly to the Secretary General of the Forum requesting observer status for American Samoa.

When the US State Department learned of this, it asked the Forum Secretary General not to act on the request.

Faleomavaega said American Samoa must follow US procedures and protocols when dealing with foreign governments and international organizations.