Speech of the Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Hon. Charlot Salwai to marck 39th Independence Anniversary for Islands in Port Vila:
39 years ago Solomon Islands was born, born into freedom and sovereignty, born with legal rights to determine its own destiny and that of its people. You all have that rights to acknowledge this important day and you have to do so for years to come. It is therefore, a pleasure to be with you today in this celebration to celebrate your very existence as a nation.Solomon Islands and Vanuatu have two years difference in the birth of their nationhood and both celebrate their anniversary on the same month (which is July).This is not a coincidence and it is one of few commonalities that the two countries share together. Just to mention a few. Solomon Island Pidgin English and Vanuatu Bislama have many characteristics in common which cemented the close relationship between the two countries.The Panpipes and percussive bamboo bands of the Solomon Islands is also found in Santo and Banks Islands as well as in other parts of Vanuatu. So on the cultural levels, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands have many things in common in terms of our social / Lapita origins, economic and political ties that the two countries have.On a political Front, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands have a long history of working together on many development challenges and issues that confront our Melanesian Values and country’s sovereignty at all levels.The recent Border Treaty between the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu that I signed with Hon. Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare on October 2016 at Motalava was to strengthen the tie between the two countries in the spirit of Melanesia as well as to respect the international norms. The Treaty is also officially known as the “Motalava Treaty”.The “Motalava Treaty” is a testament to our close political relationship of which most international communities are still trying to work out how could this happen in an amicable manner.The decision was a milestone for the two Nations, concluding some 33 years of negotiations, which began in 1983. This is a clear demonstration of the capacity that exists in the region to overcome unforeseeable challenges that may hinter our nation building processes.On that note, allow me to convey my warmest gratitude to my Counterpart, Hon. Manasseh Sogovare and the Government and the People of Solomon Islands for their continuous support and close political relationship that the two countries have and demonstrated at all levels.Vanuatu has enjoyed a fruitful relationship with the people of the Solomon Islands in terms of economic resources, political support, social bonding and human resources and will continue to respect this mutual relationship for the betterment of our two countries.I believe that the current work of the MSG secretariat to deepen our regional integration through trade, economic relations, political support and management of our border issues and challenges will further enhance our close cooperation in the spirit of Melanesia.Today we are here to commemorate the 39th Anniversary of the Independence of the Solomon Islands, and on behalf of the Government and the People of the Republic of Vanuatu I wish the Government and the People of Solomon Islands a happy 39thindependence celebration.May God bless the Government and the people of Solomon Islands as they reminisced on how God liberate them from their Independent struggle.
Thank you for your attention".