Presentation of Letters of Credence (Republic of Austria, Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Federative Republic of Brazil, Republic of Nicaragua)
Rideau Hall, Wednesday, February 8, 2017
What a delight to welcome each of you to Rideau Hall and to Canada.
We have a long history of diplomacy in this country, from the treaties and alliances signed by European newcomers and Indigenous peoples to our present-day ties with the world.
At its best, diplomacy brings people together. It bridges differences. It builds on the strengths of nations, rather than dividing by weaknesses. It’s what I call the diplomacy of knowledge.
That’s the kind of diplomacy Canada seeks to engage in with the countries each of you represent, and I thank you for being here.
Ambassador Pehringer, I warmly welcome you to Canada. I have no doubt that, in addition to your many diplomatic experiences in service to Austria, your knowledge of English, French, Italian and Russian will serve you well here in Canada. This is a vast, diverse country, and as an internationalist you will thrive here. I wish you all the best.
Besides marking our country’s 150th birthday, 2017 marks the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Canada and Austria. Our two countries work together in a range of important spheres, including human rights, education and trade. I look forward to continued partnership between our two countries in these and other common priorities.
Ambassador Duc Hoa, it gives me great pleasure to extend greetings to you as the representative of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. You have held diplomatic positions in Asia, Europe and now North America, and I look forward to your contribution to building the relationship between our two countries. I wish you and your family the very best as you settle into your new home.
Canada and Vietnam have enjoyed a strong relationship for more than four decades. The pillars of our deepening friendship are our people-to-people ties, our development co‑operation and our trade and investment.
I was delighted to visit Vietnam in November 2011, and to meet with the people of your country to talk about such matters as education, innovation, trade and diversity. Canada is home to some 220 000 Vietnamese Canadians who are enriching our country through their contributions every day.
One of our finest authors, Kim Thúy, who wrote the Governor General’s Award winning novel Ru, is one such person. I look forward to a bright future in the Canada-Vietnam co-operation and partnership.
Ambassador Fontes de Souza Pinto, what a pleasure to welcome you to Ottawa and to Canada. You have had a varied and interesting career serving in positions around the world, and we are pleased to have such an experienced ambassador to represent Brazil. I welcome you to Canada in this wintry season, and wish you the very best as you settle into your new home!
Canada highly values its relationship with Brazil. We have a mature, multi-faceted relationship with important commercial, defence and cultural ties. Our relationship is anchored by shared values, and I was delighted to visit Brazil last August for the highly successful Olympic Games, and also in April 2012 with a focus on education, innovation and trade. These areas continue to offer great potential for increased collaboration.
Ambassador Quant Rodriguez, congratulations on your new role as head of Mission. You have arrived at the dawn of new era in Canada-Nicaragua relations, and this will be an exciting chapter in your career. I understand you also have a background in law, which gives us something in common—I taught law for many years here in Canada. I look forward to hearing more about your experiences and insights, and I offer you a warm welcome to Canada.
Canada and Nicaragua have a strong bilateral relationship centred on a number of common priorities, and with the opening of your Embassy in Ottawa, we have the potential to grow even closer. Our common concerns include development, trade and investment. Together, we will continue to engage constructively on these issues and many more, including poverty reduction, democracy and human rights. I look forward to a deepening friendship in the years to come.
To each of you: congratulations on your new roles and thank you for your commitment to working with Canada. You are very welcome here.
I look forward to seeing you again soon.