Presentation of Letters of Credence (Slovenia, Philippines, Iceland, Belgium, Togolese Republic, Swiss Confederation)

Rideau Hall, Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Check Against Delivery

It gives me great pleasure to welcome all of you to Rideau Hall for this presentation of letters of credence. I would also like to welcome you, on behalf of all Canadians, to our country.

I hold your work in the highest regard. You have travelled far away from your homes to take up residence in a foreign land. You have come here to build on our relationships and to achieve further success for your nations. I hope each of you will come to view Canada as a second home, a place where you will always be welcome.

Ambassador Cencen, as a career diplomat, you understand the importance of diplomacy in our globalized world. You have immersed yourself in many different cultures, and have also apparently served as a visiting professor at a number of universities. I hope that you will take the opportunity to explore Canada’s academic institutions, which are a particular source of pride for me.

Slovenia and Canada share many common goals, including security and the strengthening of democracy. Innovation and knowledge sharing are also areas in which we can improve our collaboration. I look forward to speaking with you about the specific ways in which we can further develop our friendship.

Ambassador Garcia, your knowledge and skills are most welcome in Canada. Our countries will undoubtedly both benefit from your dedication to building a better world. You and I share a background in legal education, and I hope we can find the time to discuss this common interest.

The Philippines and Canada share a strong friendship that is based on our people-to-people ties. With 660 000 Filipinos living in and contributing to Canadian society, it is no surprise that we are still finding ways to work together for the mutual benefit of our peoples. I look forward to new and exciting partnerships between our two countries.

Ambassador Sigurjónsson, I know that you are already somewhat familiar with Canada, and I hope that you and your family will see as much of the country as possible during your time here. Along with your fellow ambassadors here today, you have a history of creating opportunities around the world. I know that you will find Canadians to be wonderful partners in the pursuit of our shared goals.

Canada and Iceland—both proud, northern nations—collaborate in a variety of international fora. Our people-to-people ties are strong, having been forged a century ago. I am pleased to see that our friendship continues to grow, and I hope we can expand on our ties in the months and years to come.

Ambassador Delcorde, I am pleased to welcome you to Ottawa for this important posting. I am certain that the range of experience you have acquired over the course of your long career has given you considerable knowledge from which you will draw. I look forward to speaking with you about the relationship between our two countries, and I wish you the very best as you make your home in Canada.

I am delighted to note that this year marks the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Canada and Belgium. I am particularly pleased to see the developing relationship between our two countries in science, in technology and innovation, and in higher education. Canada and Belgium are stronger countries because of our friendship, and there remains great potential for further collaboration between us.

Ambassador Kpayedo, it is a pleasure to welcome you to Canada for this latest assignment in your impressive diplomatic career. I understand that you have already worked with Canada in the context of Togo’s efforts to combat human smuggling and illegal migration. I wish you all the best as you settle into your new home.

Canada and Togo have enjoyed diplomatic ties for more than 50 years and today our two countries work together on a range of political, economic and security issues. Through continued co-operation and dialogue, I am certain our two countries will improve their mutual prosperity, freedoms and well-being.

Ambassador Nobs, allow me to welcome you to Canada as you take on your new role. You are, of course, already familiar with this country, having studied at the University of British Columbia and you have experienced Canada’s great diversity and size. We are pleased to welcome you back and wish you well in your new responsibilities.

The close friendship and ties that exist between Canada and Switzerland are founded on our shared values and our commitment to democracy and human rights. We have strong people-to-people ties, which include thriving partnerships in business, education and science, technology and innovation. I look forward to even greater collaboration between our two countries.

Each of you knows that, in today’s rapidly changing world, it is more important than ever for sovereign nations to commit to dialogue and diplomacy. On behalf of all Canadians, I welcome you to Canada in a spirit of partnership and respect.

Let us work together to build a better world.

Thank you.