Letters of Credence Ceremony

April 30, 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 those who have been here for thousands of years … those who can teach us so much about our country. Gestures like these can lead to 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.

Welcome to your new roles, ambassadors and high commissioners from Chile, Tanzania, Malta, Cuba and Nepal.

These ceremonies reinforce the importance of strong diplomatic ties. And they reaffirm our commitment to working together to address our most pressing global issues.

Dialogue and diplomacy are our tools for tackling these challenges.

For example, we have seen a rise in toxic discourse, particularly online, targeting women, girls and other marginalized groups. As a result, we have seen a worldwide trend of women pulling away from leadership roles.

This lack of representation affects all countries. We need diverse voices and diverse perspectives in leadership positions.

I know that many in the international community share these concerns. That allyship is important. I invite you to be allies in raising awareness of this issue and in creating safer online spaces.

Climate change is another example of a pressing global challenge.

Many countries are feeling the impacts of climate change. There has been an increase in extreme weather events, which are devastating to communities and economies. And the warming planet is causing sea levels to rise, putting coastal communities and island nations at risk.

The question is, what can we do?

We must work together across borders to ease the impacts of climate change or toxic online discourse, or any other global issue. Raise awareness. Share what your country has experienced, and what expertise and knowledge you can offer. And ask for help, just as I’m asking for yours.

Together, we can make a better world for women, for girls, for every citizen of our respective nations.

That is my challenge to all of you … to all of us.

We cannot afford to wait. Our differences are not so different when put in those terms.

It can start by learning about each other. I encourage you to discover Canada and its diverse and culturally rich people, especially our Indigenous peoples.

I often share a word in Inuktitut, my mother tongue: ajuinnata. To Inuit, this is an important concept. It means to persevere. It means to never give up. No matter what we are facing, no matter what our diplomatic differences, we all share this world. And it’s up to all of us to care for it.

I encourage you to discover Canada, learn our stories and discover the beauty of this country.

Let us commit ourselves to listening and learning from each other. In this way, I know that our bonds will continue to deepen in the coming years.

Welcome to Canada.

Thank you.