Letters of Credence Ceremony

June 26, 2024

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I would like to welcome all of you to Rideau Hall.

Today, we gather on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabe peoples.

Land acknowledgements are a way to show respect to Indigenous people who have been here for thousands of years. Gestures like these are acts of reconciliation with the First Peoples of this land. It can also lead to greater understanding and respect between peoples, a lesson we can all take to heart, no matter where we come from.

Congratulations on your new roles, ambassadors from the Republic of Congo, the People’s Republic of China, and the Republic of Uzbekistan.

This ceremony demonstrates our commitment to working together on shared interests.  Canada is a nation that values diplomacy, dialogue, peace and collaboration.

Today’s ceremony is a reminder that we are here to build bridges, exchange ideas, explore avenues for co-operation and keep the channels of communication open.

As we face unprecedented global challenges, it is important that we work together, leverage our strengths, and find innovative solutions to create a better future for our youth.

We have all witnessed the effects of our changing environment. In Canada’s North, melting ice from a warming planet is affecting transportation and wildlife and is even causing the loss of life.

I know we are not alone. Other nations are facing more frequent extreme weather events or rising sea levels. Coastal communities and smaller island nations are already sounding the alarm.

We must work together and support greater transparency on this issue. We need to share what our countries are experiencing, and share our expertise and knowledge. We must also listen to each other because there is so much we can learn from different perspectives.

Another growing problem, which affects people from all walks of life, is online abuse.

Around the world we are seeing a disturbing trend of toxic online commentary, particularly towards women in leadership positions.

This harmful discourse has a devastating impact on mental health, and is leading women and others to pull away from leadership roles.

I encourage you to be allies and support those who are being attacked, because we need people of all genders to be involved in developing solutions.

You are all here today because of your commitment to dialogue, understanding and respect. Your work can transform lives and shape the course of history. As you face challenges and uncertainty ahead, I want to share with you a word in Inuktitut, my mother tongue: ajuinnata. This is an important concept to Inuit. It means to persevere. It means to never give up.

No matter what we are facing, no matter what our diplomatic differences may be, we all share this world. It’s up to all of us to care of it.

Canada’s beauty is vast and varied, stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and to the Arctic Ocean’s shores.

Welcome to Canada.

Thank you.