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As Christians from across Fiji come together to celebrate Christmas, surrounded by the warmth of loved ones, I am reminded of the future that we are working to build for our children and grandchildren––both at home, bringing greater opportunity into the lives of ordinary Fijians, and abroad, with our leadership on the issues that matter most to our future.

Christians recognise that, as His creation, God blessed us with this earth and made us its stewards. There was no better reminder of that sacred obligation than last month in Bonn, Germany at COP23, where our very own Timoci Naulusala and Shalvi Shakashi shared their stories with the world and spoke on the impacts of our changing climate.

Those moments, as some of the world’s most influential and powerful champions for climate action watched two Fijian schoolchildren speak so confidently and so profoundly on the threat we all face, were among the proudest I’ve ever experienced as your Prime Minister. Their spirit of youth, their bright light of undying optimism, is the same light that we see in all of Fiji’s children. And it is this same guiding light, this same hope, that the world saw upon the birth of Jesus Christ.

I am both proud and grateful to see that boys and girls across Fiji have more opportunities at their feet today than at any other point in our nation’s history, but our work is far from over. This Christmas, may we all rededicate ourselves to laying a foundation for future generations––one that we have built to be even stronger than that which we were given at birth. A vow to protect our planet for the sake of our children, and to continue to build the new Fiji, is the greatest gift that we can give.

With my wife, Mary, and all of the Bainimarama family, I wish every Fijian a very happy Christmas.

Vinaka vakalevu.

© 2018 Ministry of Communications