Each ambassador highlighted the special relationship their respective countries have with the Cook Islands and outlined future projects and programmes they wished to initiative and continue in the Cook Islands.
In response, Queen’s Representative Tom Marsters took the time to detail how the Cook Islands had benefited from its diplomatic ties to each country represented at the morning’s ceremony.
Florence Jeanblanc-Risler, the first female Republic of France ambassador to the Cook Islands, said France and the Cook Islands shared responsibility in addressing the effects of climate change and drawing creative solutions to these issues.
The shared an ocean protection programme with French Polynesia as well as hospitality training opportunities in large Tahiti accommodation
India’s support of community programmes and initiatives were highlighted when Republic of India high commissioner Anumula Gitesh Sarma presented his letter of credentials.
QR Tom Marsters shared the Cook Islands’ support for India’s keenness and enthusiasm in having greater involvement in the Pacific.
He detailed the support the government of India had provided the Cook Islands through technical support in technology and trade.
Malaysia’s high commissioner, Dato Kim Eng Lim shared her country’s support for the Cook Islands bid` to become a member of the International Labour Force and its ongoing support for law enforcement training opportunities for local police in the area of narcotics.
In response, QR Tom Marsters expressed the country’s condolences on the tragic and still-unsolved disappearance of Malaysian Airlines passenger jets MH37 and MH17.
The recent support from Korea through the provision of audio and visual equipment and expertise to capture the milestone 50th constitution celebrations in July was used to highlight the deepening relationship between the two nations.
Republic of Korea ambassador Hae-Young Kim said sustainable development was a key area Korea would like to grow its relationship with the Cook Islands.
Climate finance was another form of assistance available from Korea.
David Vogelsanger shared his views on the similar environmental beauty shared by Switzerland and the Cook Islands.
Environment conservation, he said, was a common goal between the two countries as was providing support for isolated Cook Islands communities in terms of disaster preparedness.
Vogelsanger also commented on how he was overwhelmed with the beauty of the islands and friendliness of her people – a stark contrast he said from his trip nine months ago to Africa where he was confronted by shocking poverty and the degradation and exploitation of the environment and people.
Over katikati, the dignitaries shared friendly words, laughs and business cards and in the relaxed atmosphere diplomatic ties were strengthened in the islands.