Thank you, your Excellency Honourable Prime Minister, for your words and especially thank you very much for the extremely warm hospitality I have been enjoying in your wonderful country.
This visit has two dimensions: the Fijian dimension and the Pacific dimension.
In the Fijian dimension it is a visit of gratitude in which I want to express how much we appreciate the extraordinary contribution of the Fijian people and the Fijian Government to all the important areas of action of the United Nations and all the important areas of international cooperation.
Fiji has been a strong and committed partner in peacekeeping. Fijian soldiers and Fijian police officers have shown enormous determination, enormous courage, and some of them, unfortunately, have lost their lives protecting the lives of vulnerable people – of women, of children – in some of the most dangerous places in the world.
There is a depth of gratitude that all of the international community in relation to Fiji that I want to express very clearly, being side by side with a former peacekeeper.