Presentation of Letters of Credence (Pakistan, Tonga, South Sudan)
Rideau Hall, Wednesday, October 27, 2015
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What a delight to welcome each of you to Rideau Hall and to Canada.
We have a long history of diplomacy in this country, of which you are now a part.
At its best, diplomacy brings people together. It bridges differences. It builds on the strengths of all involved.
That’s the kind of diplomacy Canada seeks to engage in with the countries each of you represents—call it diplomacy for a smarter, more caring world.
High Commissioner Khan, let me begin by offering my condolences following the strong earthquake that was felt in northern Pakistan on Monday. The people of Canada extend their sympathies to all those who are struggling in its aftermath. We wish the people of Pakistan the very best in their efforts to recover and rebuild.
Let me also say, High Commissioner Khan, what a pleasure it is to welcome you back to Canada after several previous visits. You have had a varied and interesting career in both the public and private sectors, and this can only enhance your ability to excel as high commissioner. I wish you well with your new posting.
Canada highly values its relationship with Pakistan. As you know, people-to-people ties between our two countries are strong. For more than 100 years, members of the Pakistani-Canadian community have greatly enriched this country. And in fact, High Commissioner Khan, I understand that you have a nephew studying at Capilano University in North Vancouver, BC—how wonderful! I truly believe in the value of studying abroad. Let me close by saying that Canada looks forward to continuing to work with Pakistan on a range of important issues.
High Commissioner Tupouniua, I warmly welcome you to Canada for this latest posting in your long and distinguished diplomatic career. I’m certain your wealth of experience as an elected representative and diplomat will serve you well. The same can be said of your experience as secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Canada is a world away from the islands of Tonga, but you and your family are very welcome here, and I wish you all the best.
Canada and the Kingdom of Tonga enjoy friendly relations and co-operation through numerous international institutions, including the Commonwealth and the United Nations. Our country was delighted to send a representative to attend the official coronation of King Tupou VI last July, and we’re also pleased to work together as development partners. Canada looks forward to continuing its work with Tonga on a number of shared priorities.
Ambassador Akuong, it gives me great pleasure to extend greetings to you as the representative of Africa’s newest state, the Republic of South Sudan. You have held a number of important leadership positions throughout your career, and I’m certain you will help to strengthen the relationship between our two countries. I also note you spent your early working life as a teacher—a profession I devoted much of my life to prior to becoming governor general! I wish you well with your new assignment.
Canada is fortunate to be home to approximately 18,000 people of South Sudanese origin. Our people-to-people ties form the foundation of our relationship. Our country is pleased to work with yours on a variety of important issues, including South Sudanese development and humanitarian matters; peace and security; good governance and economic growth. There is much work to do and much that both Canada and South Sudan have to gain from a strengthened partnership.
To each of you: congratulations on your new roles and thank you for your interest in working with Canada. You are very welcome here.
I look forward to seeing you again soon.