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By Evelyne Toa

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Port Villa Presse, June 24) - Vanuatu largely benefits from the United Kingdome assistance in many fields of development.

In commemorating the 78th birthday of the Queen during the traditional reception held at the British High Commissioner’s residence at Tassiriki, Mr. Michael Hill outlined the continuous assistance provided by his government to the development of Vanuatu in a variety of sectors, ranging from the environment to health and education, and to human rights.

The British High Commission in Vila also continues to work closely with the commissioner of police, helping to address some of the challenges facing the Vanuatu Police Force (VPF).

He paid tribute to the significant and very welcome assistance being provided by other donors, in particular the government of Australia.

"In addition to that, we will also help to fund the establishment and construction of a police sub-post in Port Vila’s main street.

He also paid a tribute to the work of the British based organization VSO.

"Their program of assistance has made countless positive contributions to the development of Vanuatu over the years," Hill said.

He took the opportunity to acknowledge the contribution from Morgan Armstrong and Catherine Beattie. Over the past four years, Morgan has been in charge of the Vanuatu Office of the Foundation for the Peoples of the South Pacific (FSP).

FSP plays an important role in raising many of the pressing social issues affecting Vanuatu, such as domestic violence and HIV/AIDS.

The High Commissioner made special mention of the strength of bilateral relations between the two countries on the sporting field.

"I was very pleased that the High Commission was able to provide some financial assistance towards the Vanuatu Football team’s fund raising efforts to enable their participation in the recent World Cup Qualifying campaign. Although ultimately unsuccessful, the team performed very well, as witnessed by their victories over Fiji and New Zealand, and did their country proud," Hill said.

He concluded his speech to announce the visit to Vanuatu next month of the Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Reverend Rowan Williams.

As the head of the Anglican Church world-wide, the Archbishop will be visiting Vanuatu as part of a wider visit to the Diocese of the Church of Melanesia.

The High Commission is working closely with Lambeth Palace and with the organising committee in Vanuatu to ensure that as many people as possible get the opportunity to hear and see the Archbishop during his stay in Sola, Banks, Luganville in Santo and in Port Vila.

June 25, 2004

Port Vila Presse:


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