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We come into this Year of the Earth Dog a very different animal than we did a mere 12 years ago — and the best accomplishment of all is that all Fijians, regardless of ethnicity, background, or socio-economic standing, can celebrate these successes as equals. As a prospering Fijian family, united as one.
We truly do have a lot to be proud of when taking stock of how far we have come. But this Fiji Day, I urge you to not only remember the past, but to look to the future. To envision where we can take our nation next and how we can ensure that the world we leave behind for our children is a better one than what we inherited. 
It is indeed an honour and a pleasure to be invited to be chief guest in the renaming your container vessel from ‘Reef Nauru' to ‘Mana'.
I have today given my assent to the 2013 Constitution through the powers vested in me as your Head of State.
It is a great honour for me to be making this official visit to Tuvalu. And it is an even greater pleasure to be amongst friends, with common values and a common destiny as Pacific neighbours.
At the outset let me thank the Governor for the invitation to be the Chief Guest on this historic occasion to officiate at the unveiling of Fiji's 2012 Flora and Fauna series of banknotes and coins.
The Asia-Pacific region is at a critical juncture. Data is showing that HIV is declining but the progress is at a slow pace. If we do business as usual we will most likely miss the 2011 high level meeting targets.
We have come a long way in the AIDS response. We are now at a crossroad. We pause and ponder. Where are we now and where to from here?
Today is also a special occasion and a unique occasion in my opinion. Unique because we have some of the distinguished members of our faith based communities commemorating world aids day with us.
As a result of working together, many countries within the region are now within reach of achieving several of the key targets outlined in the 2011 UN Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS, and they are thus making clear progress towards MDG 6.
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