July, 17th 2002
H.E Fiji President Ratu Iloilo Formally Welcomes ACP Delegates At Denarau
Fiji takes pride in its ethnic and cultural diversity because it has greatly enriched our society, and all our communities and have contributed to our nations progress says, His Excellency the President of Fiji, Ratu Josefa Iloilovatu Uluivuda.
At the same time, we are trying to weld together a united economy. This is a huge challenge. It has not been easy, but we are committed to it, H.E Ratu Josefa said.
H.E Ratu Josefa made the comments to members of the 3rd Summit of ACP (African Carribean Pacific) Heads of State and Government this afternoon, while formally welcoming the delegates.
H.E Ratu Josefa formally welcomed the delegates at the Sheratons Pro-Shop Lawn after traditional ceremonies of welcome were performed by the people of Narewa in Nadi.
The Narewa people are landowners of the Sheraton, Denarau, the venue of the ACP Summit and is also home to the Tui Nadi (chief of the district of Nadi).
H.E Ratu Josefa informed the delegates and other invited guests that Fiji was proud to be hosting the ACP Summit.
The honour we do to you goes beyond this gathering and the Island of Denarau. It goes to your people, in all their diversity, in so many many nations. We think of them and we feel close to them.
The Tabua, the tooth of the sperm whale, is the most sacred object in our rituals. Its highest significance today is that through it we are pledging our loyalty, commitment and support to continuing solidarity among ACP nations, he said.
H.E Ratu Josefa said that he hoped that the delegates meeting in Fiji would serve to strengthen the bonds of enduring friendship and partnership between our countries.
May the decisions you make contribute to improving the daily lives of our peoples. For that after all, is the highest purpose of national stewardship.
I pray that Almighty God will bless your discussions and help you to make wise decisions, H.E Ratu Josefa said.