Presentation of Letters of Credence (Hungary, Hellenic Republic, Indonesia, Bahrain, Mauritania)

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Rideau Hall, Tuesday, November 18, 2014


I am delighted to welcome you to Rideau Hall and to Canada.

This building has been the official residence of every governor general since Confederation in 1867, and it is where conversations about Canada and the world take place.

One of my great privileges as governor general is to welcome foreign heads of mission to this country. I am always glad to take part in these occasions, because diplomacy plays such a key role in building a better world.

Each of you has been chosen to represent the people of your respective nations, and to work with Canadians in search of common ground. It is an important public service. You know that positive international relations are built on trust and respect, and that these sentiments are earned and renewed, or eroded, on a daily basis.

In this age of profound globalization, your dedication to dialogue and to diplomacy is essential to our collective well-being. Thus it is with great hope and optimism that I greet you today.

Ambassador Ódor, I welcome you to Canada for this latest chapter in your foreign service career. I note your past experience as an educator and author of works on international issues, and am certain that your time here will only add to your depth of knowledge. I wish you and your family the very best as you settle into your new surroundings.

This year, Hungary and Canada mark the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our two countries. This is truly a reason to celebrate, as is another milestone: the 15th anniversary of Hungary’s membership in NATO. Today, relations between our two countries are entering a new phase. Canada attaches great importance to its relationship with Hungary, and looks forward to collaborating in a number of priority areas, including science, technology and innovation.

Ambassador Marcantonatos, it is a pleasure to welcome you to Canada. The depth of your diplomatic experience will no doubt serve you well during your time here. I note your academic background in both law and public policy, and look forward to talking with you on matters of importance to our two nations. Please accept my very best wishes as you take up your new responsibilities.

Canada and Greece enjoy strong bilateral relations based on our shared democratic values and people-to-people ties. Our country is home to more than 240 000 Canadians of Greek origin, a number which attests to our long history of sharing and working together. I am pleased at the vibrancy of the Canadian-Greek relationship and look forward to the deepening of our ties in the months and years to come.

Ambassador Faizasyah, I welcome you and your wife back to Canada! I understand that you met while participants in the Canada World Youth exchange program, of which you are both enthusiastic supporters. I am delighted to see you return as ambassador and I look forward to learning more about your plans for your time here. I wish you and your family the very best.

Indonesia and Canada enjoy a strong partnership in a wide range of activities and international institutions. I am also pleased to note that trade and people-to-people ties between our two countries are growing rapidly. The future looks bright for our continued co-operation, which holds great promise for our shared prosperity.

Ambassador Al Khalifa, I congratulate you on your new responsibilities that are in addition to your ambassadorship in the United States. Your diplomatic experiences will no doubt complement your efforts here in Canada. I also note your military background and your considerable leadership experience. Bahrain and Canada enjoy valued co-operation and I am pleased to wish you the very best as you learn more about our country.

The relationship between Canada and Bahrain is growing. Canadians support the political dialogue that is taking place in your country, and Canada also shares similar views to that of Bahrain when it comes to trade and security. I welcome the expanding relationship between our two countries.

Ambassador Boubacar, the experience and knowledge you have gained during your long and distinguished political and diplomatic career will no doubt serve you well here in Canada. I hope that we can find the time to share insights from our respective experiences and to discuss the relationship between Mauritania and Canada. I wish you great success during your time in our country.

Canada is happy to work with Mauritania on a number of important files, including trade and security. In particular, Canada is contributing to the economic development in your country through resource development, specifically mining. Our two countries have much to gain from working together, and Canada looks forward to continued partnership with Mauritania on key files. 

Allow me to close by once again congratulating each of you on your new postings and wishing you the very best for your time here. I look forward to getting to know each of you and to working together towards a fairer, more just and peaceful world.

Thank you.