Solomon Islands and the Swiss Confederation [Switzerland] have established formal diplomatic relations after the signing of a joint communiqué between their representatives today in Canberra, Australia.

His Excellency, Mr. Christian Muhlethaler, Ambassador of the Swiss Confederation to Australia, and His Excellency, Mr. Victor Ngele, High Commissioner of Solomon Islands to Australia signed the joint communiqué on behalf of their two governments.

In his brief remarks to mark the signing ceremony, Mr. Ngele said "the signing of the Joint Communiqué between the two countries signifies the commitment of the two countries to establish diplomatic relations, and cooperate in areas of mutual interests not only for the benefit of the two countries' citizens but for the common good of humanity as a whole".

Mr. Ngele said Solomon Islands believes that it is through the common understanding and cooperation between nations, through the establishment and nurturing of friendly relations, that is the pre-requisite to fostering and sustaining international peace, security and justice for all.

He added that despite being a small island state in the South Pacific region, far from the continent of Europe, Solomon Islands sees itself not as an isolated island but that it is a member of the global community.

"In order for Solomon Islands to harness the benefits of globalization, Solomon Islands recognises the need to align itself with nations that it share common values, beliefs and principles of democracy, good governance, the rule of law, gender equity and equality, equal opportunities for all in terms of education, employment and business," Mr. Ngele said.

Meanwhile, High Commissioner Ngele praised his colleague, Ambassador Muhlethaler, for his initiative and support in materializing the idea of establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Mr. Ngele gave assurance that Solomon Islands looks forward to developing and nurturing its relations with the Swiss Confederation, and to cooperate in areas of mutual concern and interests for the benefit of the two countries' citizens and the global community at large.