Vanuatu daily news digest | President’s Address to ParliamentPosted: November 18, 2014
A moving and comprehensive opening address by President Baldwin Lonsdale has just been given as the Parliament began its second ordinary sitting, the budget session.
Fr Baldwin Lonsdale began by stressing the spirit of the struggle for Independence, concentrating on the needs of the people. "Out of colonialism we have achieved a political freedom and future. This future will be directed by God, and the government must stand with god-fearing leaders," he said.
President Fr Lonsdale saw globalisation and and technnological influences causing a loss of community and family values in the national populace. Our God, Christian principles and our traditional values remind us of the principles of the founding of this nation, he observed.
He went on to address the land question and the shortage of it with a 2.6% annual population growth. "We must avoid becoming strangers in our own land," he said, reminding us that Independence had so much to do with returning all land to its custom owners.
Instability was also an important element in the presidential address. We had stability for the first eleven years, he observed, but then we moved to coalitions. This spoke more of self-interest was his comment. Each government was followed by another coalition and ended with a motion of no confidence. "We need a new roadmap for stability," said the President. He saw this being assisted by removing the positions of political advisers, insisting that service delivery be run by professionals able to take responsibility and be part of the public service.
HE President Fr Baldwin Lonsdale also had much to say with reference to getting service delivery out to the 80% of the rural population so in need of it. Self-reliance is needed there as in the national government at every level, the Head of State insisted.
vanuatudaily hopes to be able to bring you the full text of the President’s address to Parliament later.