21 May 2014

American Samoa to spell out colonial impacts at UN meeting

7:16 am on 21 May 2014

American Samoa will tell a United Nations decolonisation meeting in Fiji this week that United States laws have a debilitating impact on its economic growth.

The Speaker of the House, Savali Talavou Ale, says he will tell the special committee that American Samoans don't see themselves as part of a colony of the United States, but recent law changes place the territory further under its control.

The Fono can no longer override a governor's veto of a bill without US approval and the territory's constitution also cannot be amended without Congress approval.

Savali will tell the special committee that American Samoa elects its own governor and legislature, makes its own laws and controls its own borders.

He says the legal status of the territory will need to be remedied so it is not controlled by US interests, and he says despite the financial assistance from the US, sustainable growth is not possible under the current status.