In his capacity as the Queen’s Representative, Marsters said Mandela, a former president of South Africa, was globally known for peace, freedom and equality.
He said July 18, is designated by the United Nations as International Nelson Mandela Day, in recognition of the South African leader’s invaluable contributions during his lifetime to the struggle for democracy in his country and internationally and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world.
“Mandela truly personified qualities which we must all aspire to – determination, perseverance, integrity, honesty and wisdom and the Cook Islands joins with South Africa and the global community in celebrating his life and contributions and drawing inspiration to ensure our actions today and into the future to ensure peace and equality,” said Marsters.
In receiving Tulelo’s Letters of Credence, Marsters assured the High Commissioner of the country’s commitment to working with her to strengthen co-operation with South Africa, through greater people to people relations in the tourism, sports and cultural aspects.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement said the Cook Islands established diplomatic relations with South Africa over 20 years ago and whilst interactions have been intermittent, there has been periodic co-operation in the regional and multilateral fora. They are in relations with the European Union through shared membership by the two countries of the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group and in multilateral fora such as the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the United Nations Education Science and Culture (UNESCO) Organisation.
Foreign Affairs secretary Tepaeru Herrmann said “Tulelo’s accreditation and visit is an opportunity to strengthen south-south co-operation with South Africa and the wider African continent including in the multilateral fora on the big issues of our times.”
High Commissioner Tulelo and the Queen’s Representative exchanged books at the end of the ceremony – one on the Cook Islands, the other on Nelson Mandela.