Ambassador of the Republic of France to the Solomon Islands, His Excellency Jean-Baptiste Jeangene Vilmer has presented his letter of credence to the Governor General, His Excellency, Sir David Vunagi today.
During a ceremony at Government House, the Governor General, H.E Sir David Vunagi accepted the letter of credence on behalf of His Majesty, King of Solomon Islands and the Commonwealth, Charles III.
The Governor General said Solomon Islands and France established diplomatic relations in 1979 and continue to enjoy warm cordial relations over the years based on mutual respect. The Governor General said both also share a common border with New Caledonia, which forges a unique bond that only neighbors can empathize.
The Solomon Islands acknowledges France’s commitment to address the development challenges faced in the Pacific continent.
“For Solomon Islands, we strive to work with all our partners and seek cooperation and collaboration with all to ensure our region is safe, peaceful and prosperous,” the Governor General stated.
Acknowledgement was mentioned for the support provided by France to assist in disaster relief and support during times of natural disaster.
“Your humanitarian support has greatly assisted the country through those challenging times.
“I am certain that France like Solomon Islands, share equal aspirations to see development and peace experienced by the general populace in our countries
H.E Sir David Vunagi commended France’s support to Solomon Islands and the Pacific region through its membership in the European Union.
“This affirms France’s continuous commitment and efforts in the global arena to uphold the principles of effective multilateralism, a necessary and vital medium by which the international community must utilize to address pressing global issues including climate change.
The Governor General also spoke high of France’s role in concluding the Paris Agreement which has played a significant role in shifting the international community’s attention towards Climate Change.
“For Solomon Islands, climate change remains the single greatest existential threat facing us. Therefore, France’s commitment in the fight on climate change is greatly appreciated.
“However, I must stress that climate ambitions under the Paris Agreement remains low and commitments from rich developed countries must increase in order to curtail the growing impacts of climate change currently being experienced by our communities.
He also states that Solomon Islands will continue to work with France as administrating power multilaterally on the rights of self-determination of United Nations listed French territories in the Pacific, in accordance to the UN Charter XI and General Assembly Resolution 1514 (XV).
The Governor General therefore is confident that with the wealth of experience and knowledge that His Excellency Jean-Baptiste Jeangene Vilmer has, France – Solomon Islands relations will be further strengthened and there will be deepened bilateral relations into areas that will be of mutual benefit to both countries and their peoples.
In presenting his letter of credence, Ambassador of the Republic of France to the Solomon Islands, His Excellency Jean-Baptiste Jeangene Vilmer said his predecessor has not been able to come to Honiara because of the Covid-19 pandemic, so the last time a French Ambassador presented his credentials here was in 2018.
“It’s been too long, and I’m happy to report that France is back,” H.E Jean-Baptiste Jeangene Vilmer said.
He said since his arrival last November in Port Vila, they have increased drastically the frequency and the level of political visits.
“The Solomon Islands can count on me to put that energy also in the bilateral relationship with the Solomon Islands, and to develop the political dialogue in the months and years to come,” He added.
The Ambassador said France is also a member of the European Union and one of the largest contributors to its cooperation fund.
“Over the years, the Solomon Islands have become a solid partner of the European Union. Our Partnership has allowed us to work together in order to address some of the most pressing challenges: governance issues, climate change, gender issues, rural development, infrastructure, water and sanitation,” he added.
–MFAET PRESS RELEASE