11th July 2012, Suva: The Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mrs Saipora Mataikabara, today spoke on behalf of the Government at the 236th Anniversary of America's Independence.
Below is a copy of Permanent Secretary Mataikabara's speech:
Ratu Inoke Kubuabola
Minister for Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation
Statement at the 236th Anniversary of American Independence, US Embassy, Wednesday 11th July, 2012, 158 Princes Rd, Tamavua @ 12:00pm
• Excellency, Ms Frankie Reed, Madam Ambassador of the United States of America to Fiji;• [His Excellency the President];• Cabinet Ministers;• Permanent Secretaries;• Excellencies, Members of the Diplomatic Corps;• Distinguished guests;• Ladies and Gentlemen.
1.0 Thank you Madam Ambassador for your kind invitation to this auspicious occasion. Unfortunately the Honourable Minister has given his apologies as he is not well. It is therefore my pleasant duty to deliver this message on his behalf.
On behalf of H.E. the President, the Government and the People of the Republic of Fiji, I am honored and delighted to send best wishes to the Government and the People of the United States of America during this auspicious occasion–marking the 236th Anniversary of America’s Independence.
2.0 The National Day or the Fourth of July, as it is commonly known, is an important day in the US’ calendar set aside to commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776, declaring independence from Great Britain.
3.0 Ladies and GentlemenFiji and the US share a rich and long history of partnership dating back hundreds of years that we will continue to cherish. Our soldiers fought alongside the Americans during World War II and in the Pacific Campaign, in the Solomons and Guadalcanal.Many worked with Americans who were part of units that were based in Fiji during the war years.
4.0 Even in our schools, most of us still vividly remember our peace corps volunteer teachers from the United States, who brought with them innovative teaching strategies, and inspired us with their stories about America- the Land of the Free and the Brave!!
5.0 Today, our two countries continue tocollaborate on issues of common interest, especially those that embrace democracy, good governance, and economic development. In the Pacific, we are working to fight terrorism, illegal fishing, promote maritime security and strengthen economies. We are proud to count ourselves as a friend of the US and we look forward to continuing to reinforce this partnership in the many years to come.
6.0 I would like to convey our sincere gratitude to the US Government and its people for all its support towards the Fiji Government during this critical period as we try to tidy up our processes and pave the way for a brighter future for our people. Thank you for your assurances of understanding, encouragement, support and friendship.
7.0 We hope to continue to work with the US to consolidate democratic gains and economic growth; particularly as we embark towards elections in 2014.
8.0 We commend the US’s efforts to strengthen electoral institutions and enhance transparency.On that note, Fiji conveys its best wishes to the US Government as it heads for the polls in November.
9.0 Today, as we celebrate yourNational Day, be rest assured that Fiji stands with you as a friend. We are committed to this relationship for a brighter future for all.
10.0 Ladies and gentlemen, I now have the pleasure to propose a toast.
11.0 [Raise glass] To His Excellency the President, the Government and the people of the United States of America - Happy Independence Day!!!
Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation P. O. Box 2220 Government Buildings Suva, Fiji