Thursday 23 July 2015

Meeting the Prime Minister of Tuvalu

Doina, Zeke & I arrived at the dock at 8:30 AM. We were met by a fellow asking if we were Micheal on Drina. We told him were not but that Doina was from Drina. We were informed that the Prime Minister would like us to attend a workshop in the building beside the airport terminal at 9 AM. We were to meet with another gentleman Flyodd so off I went to find Flyodd to let him know we had been summoned by the prime minister and ask him if we could meet with him in the afternoon. I located Flyodd and made arrangements to meet him in the afternoon. Upon arriving at the workshop we were informed that the Prime Minister would be signing the UN Coalition Against Corruption. At 9:00 the Prime Minister arrived. Then the Minister of Finance arrived. The attorney general arrived.  A few other dignitaries arrived a few minutes later and the MC started. Unfortunately the majority of the workshop was in Tuvalian. After the MC's opening comments & welcome to everyone a religious leader spoke and I think he ended in a prayer. Next the Prime Minister addressed the audience and told us Do the right thing & do things in the right way.  Other countries should commit to the agreement in their own country. There is lots of corruption in these other countries In many cases National & commercial interests take precedence. He ended with a plea to Save our homes.  The Prime Minister then signed coalition 
A lady from the Attorney Generals office explained the agreement. Then it was time for tea. The person Doina knew in the finance department came and spoke to us and indicated he would introduce us to the Honorable prime minister Enele S Sopoaga. Once the prime minister got his food we were introduced. He encouraged us to get something to eat and he would meet with us later. What a spread. There was crispy chicken, Tuvalu's version of donuts. All sorts of fruits and vegetables. Pancakes and sandwiches and grilled sandwiches. A type of lasagna made with corn beef I think. Several desserts including lemon cake, chocolate cake, bunt cake. They also had crepes rolled up and hot chocolate to drink. Once we finished eating the Prime Minister came and chatted with us. He was very interested to hear Doina had been here for the independent in 1979 and the prime minister told us his brother had been involved in the acquisition of independence as had one of the other dignitaries. He was very disappointed that Jimmy Cornell was not with us. He told us he would have loved to meet him. He told us his big focus was Save Tuvalu Save the world from climate change. Zeke piped up to say we should all get T-shirts made and he loved that idea. He felt in his position that maybe he couldn't wear one in Parliament or when he was meeting dignitaries. He was tickled that Jimmy had made the focus of the BPO climate change and that we were visiting Tuvalu to bring attention to climate change. He encouraged us to raise awareness of Tuvalu's dilemma in any way we could and to spread the word
Here we are sitting with the Prime Minister . I have decided that I will write a personal letter to the Right Honourable Prime Minister Steven Harper informing him of my meeting with Prime Minister
Enele S Sopoaga, the need for the Canadian Government to take climate change seriously and the seriousness of the issue particularly for this nation who are about to loose their homes due to the rise in sea level. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for writing about this Bob, I do encourage you to write to the Prime Minister and perhaps the other party leaders too!