Presentation of Letters of Credence (Serbia, Chile, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chad, Cambodia)

Rideau Hall, Friday, June 27, 2014

I am delighted to welcome all of you to Rideau Hall and to Canada, as you take on your new roles in the diplomatic community.

It is difficult to overstate the importance of diplomacy in today’s hyper-connected world.

As heads of mission, you are an integral part of the friendship that exists between Canada and your respective countries. Even in this age of instant, global communication, there is no substitute for meeting in person to discuss important issues–or for simply talking to one another and learning about each other’s cultures and nationalities.

Ambassador Papazoglu, allow me to offer you my congratulations on this, your first assignment as head of mission. I am certain that your wealth of diplomatic experience will serve you well here in Canada, as will your fluency in English and French. I hope that you will be able to find ways of sharing your knowledge of Serbian culture with Canadians—and I am certain you will find us an eager and receptive audience.

I would also like to extend my sympathies and best wishes to you, and to the people of Serbia, as you deal with the effects of the severe flooding in your country. Please know that Canada’s thoughts are with Serbia and the Serbian people during this difficult time. The strong people-to-people ties that exist between Canada and Serbia form the basis of our cultural, educational and economic relationships, and I look forward to continuing these relationships in the years to come.

Ambassador Silva, I am pleased to welcome you back to Ottawa! You have already made a strong contribution to the relationship between our two countries, having led your country’s delegation at last year’s Canada-Chile Political Consultations. I wish you the very best as you continue, and expand on, your important work here in Canada.

Canada places great value on its friendship with Chile, as you are one of our key partners in the Americas. Our two countries enjoy a broad, multi-faceted relationship that is based on our shared values and priorities. I look forward to even stronger Canada-Chile ties in the future.

Ambassador Špirić, allow me to offer you my congratulations on the success of your previous appointment, and to wish you well in your new role here in Canada! I am pleased to note your interest in education, civil society and community building. These matters are dear to my heart as well, and I look forward to hearing more about your experiences and ideas.

You and the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina also have my sympathies for the flooding that is taking place in your country. Canadians understand how devastating floods can be, and we wish you all the very best. Moreover, Canada supports your country’s democratic development, as well as the efforts being made to improve the lives and economic situation of your citizens. I look forward to continued co-operation between our two countries.

Ambassador Adoum, as you have received a degree in political science from the University of Laval, I am delighted that you need no introduction to Canada! And I was equally pleased to learn that four of your seven children have also studied in this country. There are countless benefits to an international education, and I would be interested to learn about your family’s experiences with Canadian schools. I wish you well in your new responsibilities as ambassador.

Canada and Chad share a number of priorities, and work together as members of various multilateral organizations, including the International Organisation of La Francophonie. Canada supports the efforts Chad is making to re-establish regional peace and security, and to increase the prosperity and well-being of its citizens. I am convinced that our two nations can achieve great things if we work together in pursuit of our common goals.

Ambassador Ry, I am certain that your long and distinguished career working in both your home country and Cambodia’s Foreign Service has prepared you well for this assignment. Your experiences with international organizations will have taught you a great deal about diplomacy, and I look forward to hearing the perspective you bring to issues that matter to Cambodians and to Canadians.

I am pleased to note the strengthening bilateral relationship between Canada and Cambodia. Our two countries are partners in ASEAN and Canada is proud to work with Cambodians in support of your country’s development. I look forward to continued collaboration between Canadians and Cambodians in the months and years to come.

I would like to once again welcome all of you to Canada. I hope that the new roles you are assuming will help to foster new and greater collaborations between our respective countries

Thank you.