Opinion

Discussions To Benefit Regional Security, Society

The following is the Prime Minister’s address at the welcome dinner of the 25th Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum at the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa, Natadola, on Monday.    
18 Jan 2017 11:37
Discussions To Benefit  Regional Security, Society

The following is the Prime Minister’s address at the welcome dinner of the 25th Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum at the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa, Natadola, on Monday.

 

 

Honourable speakers,

Honourable and distinguished Members of Parliament,

Ambassadors and members of the Diplomatic Corps;

Ladies and gentlemen.

 

Bula vinaka and a very good evening to you all.

It is my pleasure to be with you all again this evening after I had the honour of opening our forum this morning. My wife, Mary, and I are both delighted to host you all at this dinner.

After the busy day we’ve had discussing some of the most complex and pressing issues facing our region, I hope that this evening can serve as an opportunity for us all to relax a bit and build more personal relationships with our fellow parliamentarians – to make valuable contacts with our colleagues and form lasting friendships.

Because when we build friendships, we build trust, and trust is the cornerstone of enacting real change – to turning our discussions here today and over the next few days into policies that benefit the people of our respective nations.

It has been wonderful to see the mutual concern and sincere attention we have all afforded these matters, because our co-operation is critical to addressing the many urgent crises affecting the Asia-Pacific.

We share a region, we share a destiny and I was very proud to see we share such a strong commitment to each other as well.

Our discussions are for the benefit of not only national and regional security, but for society as a whole.

Because ensuring peace and prosperity means taking a hard look at systems of inequality that exist within and between our countries, and working alongside our international partners to eliminate any and all barriers to opportunity.

That is what we owe those we represent, and those future generations who will inherit the world we leave behind.

I very much look forward to our upcoming areas of discussion, particularly to what all of us in the room are prepared to do to confront the rising seas and extreme and erratic weather events caused by climate change and to keep our ocean resources sustainable.

Issues that – as I mentioned this morning – are of the highest importance to Fiji and the Fijian people.

Again, allow me to say how privileged my Government is to have you all in Fiji.

I hope you are enjoying yourselves so far and that you’ve had some time to soak in the beauty of Natadola that surrounds us.

So many people from around the world have fallen in love with Fiji and come back often to see us, and on an evening such as this it is easy to see why.

Thank you all again for being here, and I hope you all have a wonderful time this evening.

Vinaka vakalevu. Thank you.

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