French Speaking Pacific Parliament strengthen ties

Speaker of Vanuatu Parliament, MP Esmon Sai, and Speaker of the Assemble of French Polynesia, Gaston Tong Song, shaking hands after signing of Convention Agreement.

Vanuatu has successfully initiated and signed a Convention with the Parliament of French Polynesia, after doing the same with the Territorial Assembly of New Caledonia.

The remaining French Territories for Vanuatu to sign Parliamentary Convention with are Wallis and Futuna.

Vanuatu Speaker of Parliament, MP Esmon Sai, has just returned to Vanuatu after he signed a Parliamentary Convention Agreement with his French counterpart, Gaston Tong Song, in Pape’ete, Tahiti.

Speaking to the local media after his return from Tahiti through New Caledonia, Vanuatu Parliamentary Speaker, Sai, described the mission as ‘fulfilling the purpose’. He said the Convention between Vanuatu and Tahiti, opens the door for exchange of wide variety of technical and administrative programs that can benefit both countries; Vanuatu being a bilingual country while Tahiti and New Caledonia being the French territories.

The Vanuatu Speaker of Parliament was granted a time to deliver a speech in the chambers of the Parliament of French Polynesia, shortly after the signing of the Parliamentary Convention between the Speakers of the two countries. It was to strengthen the ties by forming what he termed ‘ Assemblée Parlementaire De La Francophonie of the Pacific’. This is taking together Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Tahiti and looking forward for Wallis and Futuna, to join in in the near future.

The Vanuatu Speaker of Parliament, MP Sai, also met the President and Ministers of the Government of French Polynesia, Eduard Frich, other officials in French Polynesia, and was accorded an official welcome including a speech he delivered in the Assemble of French Polynesia, with an attendance of the 57 Members of Assemble or Parliament.

He said in2019, Vanuatu will celebrate its 40th years as a member of the International Organization of the French Speaking countries.

Speaker MP Esmon Sai, told the French Polynesia Assemble, how Vanuatu was instrumental in it diplomacy to have New Caledonia and French Polynesia to become members of the Pacific Island Forum. He assures the French Polynesia Parliament that Vanuatu will continue to work closely with both French Polynesia and New Caledonia to advance relationship between the three countries at the Parliamentary level and in education, culture and economic.

Speaking in the French Polynesia Parliament, Vanuatu Parliamentary Speaker said: “Vanuatu and Tahiti, share much historical, educational, cultural, social and economic links. Historically, because during the condominium era of the former New Hebrides, Tahitians came and lived in Vanuatu and likewise with the people of Vanuatu who came and lived here and share their cultures. There have been Vanuatu students who came and study here in Tahiti as well as partake in sports activities and even living and working here. And politically because Vanuatu has been instrumental in ensuring the French territories become members of the Pacific Island Forum. Economically, because there are families from Tahiti who came and live in Vanuatu and run businesses there, including shipping services. Today, we are here to reinforce the link between the two countries at another higher level and that is at parliamentary level of the International Organization of the French Speaking countries in the Pacific and internationally,” Speaker Esmon Sai, told the 57 Members of the Tahiti Assemble or Parliament.

The Speaker of Vanuatu Parliament said while he is an Anglophone, he defends the French Parliamentary relations between the French Speaking countries in the Pacific because they share historical relationship and will continue to live with this in the years ahead: “It is part of our history, culture and economy. The are crucial and important issues that we must unit to address such as the environment issues in the Pacific, cultural importance of our Pacific ways of life and the French language link. When I return I will invite state ministers and government officials from Vanuatu to visit Tahiti, look at the economic development of Tahiti and what could be beneficial to Vanuatu,” Speaker Esmon Sai, told the 57 Member of the French Assemble.

The Vanuatu Speaker of Parliament, MP Esmon Sai, was accorded visits to economic development plants such as the Fisheries project, tourism projects and other economic development in Tahiti, before returning to Vanuatu.

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