It’s wonderful to be around so many Fijians and friends of Fiji again tonight. Mary and I have truly been humbled by the hospitality and warmth that you have shown to us during our time here in the United States. I can’t think of a better way to have celebrated our first Fiji Day in America.
While your smiles and kind greetings have made my delegation feel at home here in California, I have been even more touched by your words of encouragement. It gives me great reassurance to know that, thousands of miles away, you are still keeping Fiji in your thoughts and prayers. As I continue my push to grow and unite Fiji, I will always remember my time here. Know that when I say that I am fighting for all Fijians, I am also fighting for you.
Over the past few days, Mary and I have seen and talked to so many accomplished and talented members of our diaspora community. From Vancouver down to San Francisco, we are also blessed to have such great ambassadors for Fiji spread far and wide around the globe. Every day as a Fijian in America, your pride is a testimonial for our country. The smiles that you share with neighbors can turn into diplomacy. Your words and cherished memories can be converted into increased tourism and investment. And most importantly, your pride in our shared identity as Fijians brings our entire Fijian family closer together.
With COP23 fast approaching, the coming months are going to be an opportunity for you all to show that pride more than ever before. Fiji is not just leading the South Pacific – we are leading the world’s campaign on the most pressing issue of our time. Share the news and developments with your friends, your coworkers, and your community. By doing this, you are helping Fiji in ways that cannot be accomplished on our own. You are helping to build a better Fiji. And for this, you have my gratitude, and the gratitude of every Fijian.
Josaia V. Bainimarama
Prime Minister of Fiji