I’m delighted to be here today to sign the newest version of the Melanesian Spearhead Group Free Trade Agreement – an agreement that stands as a culmination of the vision first set out by the Leaders during Fiji’s chairmanship of the MSG in 2011.
Today is a tremendous occasion for the people of Tacirua and all of its surrounding settlements, as it marks the start of an educational journey that will carry your children and the many generations to come into a new era of knowledge and prosperity.
Fiji is extremely proud to have renewed our participation with the APPF following the establishment of true parliamentary democracy – the first time in our history that our Constitution provides for common and equal citizenry and an electoral system that guarantees that every vote has equal value.
I’m delighted to be here today at the inaugural Fiji Rugby Awards to acknowledge the tremendous accomplishments of our rugby superstars, and of the coaches and staff who help put them on their path to success.
Expanding access and improving the quality of our children’s education has been one of my Government’s most significant accomplishments over the past decade.
As I’ve said many times before, we cannot allow climate change – and its disastrous effects – to threaten the hard-won progress my Government has achieved for the Fijian people. The development projects that have spread access to water, electricity and telecommunications at unprecedented levels. And the infrastructure that has connected the Fijian people like never before.
New Year is also a time when many of us make resolutions, some of which we keep and others that fall by the wayside. But this year, there is one resolution that as Fijians, we have a solemn duty to uphold. And that is to effectively carry out the task we have been given to lead the world in the fight against climate change.
I am very pleased to be here in Kumi Village to commission a major milestone for your community’s development – this new seawall and concrete walkway to keep the land and the people of Kumi protected from the surging tides that threaten your community.
Christmas is a time of great joy for Christians around the world. And even in the wake of yet another extreme weather event in Fiji which has again tested us as a people, a great many of us have gathered together today to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
As Christians come together all across our nation to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, my wife, Mary, and I are pleased to wish every Fijian a very happy Christmas.