Falklands : MOTION OF THANKS SPEECH BY THE HON MR MIKE SUMMERS
Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 08.06.2013 (Article Archived on 06.07.2013)
Mr Speaker, Your Excellency the Governor in rising to support the Motion of Thanks for the Governorís Address to the nation, it is interesting to note the number of challenges that were set out.
THANKS SPEECH BY THE HON MR MIKE SUMMERS
Mr Speaker, Your Excellency the
Governor in rising to support the Motion of Thanks for the Governorís Address
to the nation, it is interesting to note the number of challenges that were set
out. But fortunately for us these are
all challenges of success.. We have no
challenges of failure here. And anybody
who can sit up Ė stand up Ė I beg your pardon Ė and make a speech about their
country in the manner that you are able to do I think speaks volumes for what
has gone on in the past and where we plan to go in the future. Very few countries around the world would be
able to speak in the way you are able to speak about the success of their
countries, particularly in these modern times.
Everybody has mentioned the
referendum and of course we grew as a result.
It was a great event Ė it was an important event and part of a process Ė
the process of believing in ourselves and the process of taking our message to
the rest of the world.
And I have been the most recent
depart-ee from foreign shores and last week in Ecuador I had the opportunity to
speak to a significant number of ambassadors and representatives from a number
of countries about the fundamental right of the people of the Falkland Islands
to determine their own future. And even
those who publically support the Argentine sovereignty claim speak with a good
deal of embarrassment about the denial of the fundamental human right. In many cases, I donít think we are that far
off from making a bit of a difference in determining country policy.
So letís keep on with that. It is part of a process. The referendum was an end in itself Ė itís a
means to an end.
I would just at this point pay
particular tribute to Prime Minister David Cameron and Secretary of State
William Hague for their steadfast leadership and conscience in supporting the
people of the Falkland Islands to the right to self-determination and indeed
their support to all the overseas territories to look after their own interests
as best as possible and to support the fundamental human rights.
Mention was made of our visitors
and the visit of the US Senators and indeed all of the representatives of the
Commonwealth Parliamentary Association was important and does add to the
process of education around the world and education here. Actually we benefit hugely from it by
listening to other people. I benefitted
hugely from listening to the two former Chilean Foreign Ministers who visited
earlier in the year. They had a lot of
interesting observations and advice to give and the level of assistance they
can give us in moving forward with our public diplomacy programmes. Thatís an element of our work that we need to
keep talking about, keep thinking about and keep working on.
I will touch briefly on my
portfolio responsibilities. Much has
been said about Agriculture and the Rural Development Strategy. There is a lot of work to do in terms of
developing the Rural Development Strategy.
It sits there as a strategy on a few sheets of paper. But I am always convinced it sits there as a
strategy in our collective minds when we are putting together programmes for
the development of the Falkland Islands.
Lots of what we do is very Stanley-centric and we constantly have to be
thinking about what happens in the other areas of the Falklands, most particularly
with the advent of hydrocarbons which will again I fear be very Stanley-centric
and will cause a huge amount of development around Stanley. We must be constantly vigilant about ensuring
that we have proper balance. And I donít
mean a chip on each shoulder. I mean
getting balance between development in Stanley and development balance in Camp
and ensuring that people in other industries Ė the Tourism industry Ė the
Agricultural industry and the service industries are not disadvantaged by
developments that take place in hydrocarbons.
The import Substitution programme
remains important. Itís beginning to
move. We are delighted about the
successes of FIMCO. There, too we have
challenges, most particularly in how they are going to house their workforce in
the near future. But they are, again,
challenges of success and my congratulations to all those in the farming
community who supported FIMCO over the last several years Ė at least a decade
since its inception. Itís taken some
time but they really are getting there.
On Tourism I think itís been a
difficult year. We had our best
land-based season for many, many years but perhaps our poorest cruise vessel
season for many, many years due to a number of circumstances. Again, the Tourism Development Strategy is
there. The mechanisms to put it in place
are being worked on but weíve got quite a lot to do. I think the creation of the Statutory
Corporation will be important because it gives us the framework in which to
work on a cohesive basis to develop the tourism industry.
And the Air-links project is
absolutely crucial and we appreciate all the support we can get from anywhere
in delivering the Air-link Strategy.
And finally localisation; it has
been a bit like wading through Treacle but actually we are getting there. Itís not easy and we all appreciate the
difficulties all sides have in evaluating the localisation project at Mount
Pleasant. And I am delighted that we now
have the opportunity of working through the localisation of services in the Air
Terminal because that will then give us the opportunity to invest and will in
turn invest in the Terminal and will in turn contribute both to the Tourism
Development Strategy and the visitor experience for anybody coming to the
I would just like to close today
in supporting the Motion of Thanks by sending the congratulations of this House
to her Majesty the Queen on the 60th Anniversary of her Coronation