October 10, 2023
My Fellow Citizens,
Today, as we gather to commemorate the 53rd anniversary of Fiji’s independence, I am profoundly honored to address you.
This significant milestone fills our hearts with pride and gratitude, marking a journey of resilience, unity, and the unwavering spirit of our people.
This year’s Fiji Day theme, “Rebuilding Fiji Together,” reflects not only our aspirations but also the indomitable spirit that has guided us through the years.
It underscores our commitment to stand shoulder to shoulder, forging a brighter future for all Fijians.
Today, I wish to expand upon this theme, intertwining it with a vision that transcends our national borders—the “Pacific Zone of Peace.”
Recently, I had the privilege of representing our beloved Fiji at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
There, on the global stage, we introduced the concept of the “Pacific Zone of Peace” as our Blue Pacific’s invaluable contribution to global order.
This vision embodies the very essence of our commitment to peace, mutual respect, and unity in our region.
The “Pacific Zone of Peace” is rooted in the fundamental values of mutual respect for each other’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and political independence.
It calls for the nurturing and enhancement of international cooperation, inviting nations to collaborate on areas of common interest.
In an ever-changing world, it reminds us of the power of unity and our shared responsibility to create a better future.
We, in the Pacific, face unique challenges.
The threats of climate change loom large, casting a shadow over our islands and communities.
Rising sea levels, frequent cyclones, and the displacement of our people are daily reminders of the urgency to address this crisis.
It is in these trying times that the “Pacific Zone of Peace” becomes not just an aspiration but a lifeline—a call for global solidarity in the face of environmental challenges that threaten our very existence.
Today, as we celebrate our independence, we are reminded that peace is not only the absence of conflict but also the presence of cooperation and understanding among our people.
In our multicultural society, peace serves as the cornerstone that nurtures unity and drives progress.
It empowers us to harness the collective strength of our diverse backgrounds, cultures, and traditions.
In our rapidly developing nation, peace is the catalyst for innovation, investment, and economic growth.
It attracts partners and investors who recognize the stability and potential of a peaceful Fiji.
It equips us to confront the challenges of climate change and global disruptions with resilience and determination.
Our commitment to the “Pacific Zone of Peace” reinforces our dedication to fostering regional and global collaboration.
It sends a resounding message that Fiji is a staunch advocate for peace, both at home and on the international stage.
As we rejoice in the spirit of independence, let us rekindle our commitment to safeguarding and enhancing the peace that underpins our progress.
Together, as one united people, we will continue to build a Fiji that thrives economically and stands as a shining example of unity in diversity.
! Vinaka vakalevu!
Hon. Sitiveni Ligamamada Rabuka
Prime Minister of Fiji
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