Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland has expressed her profound sadness at the passing today of the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Tonga, Samiuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva, at age 78.
In a statement, the Secretary-General said: "On behalf of the Commonwealth family, I convey my deepest condolences to His Majesty The King, the family of the late Prime Minister, and to the Government and people of Tonga.
“Mr Pohiva was an unwavering champion of the fundamental Commonwealth values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. As one of the longest serving members of parliament in the Pacific, he worked tirelessly for decades to bring about democratic reforms in the Kingdom.
“I spoke to him at the Pacific leaders’ forum last month, when his passion for fighting climate change was powerfully expressed. His leadership on this, as on other issues, will serve as an inspiration to many as we continue advocacy for our shared Commonwealth values and commitments.”