EU Ambassador Martin Dihm presents credentials to President of Vanuatu Iolu Abbil (18/03/2011)
On 1 March President Johnson Iolu Abbil Kaniapnin received the letters of credence from Martin Dihm, EU Ambassador and Head of Delegation to Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.
In line with the Lisbon Treaty, entered into force in 2009, Ambassador Dihm represents both the European Commission and the European External Action Service under the authority of High Representative Catherine Ashton. The Lisbon Treaty enhances the EU's capacity to operate more effectively and act more cohesively in matters of foreign affairs and security.
In his statement at the credential presentation ceremony at the State House, Ambassador Martin Dihm, stated that since independence, Vanuatu and the EU have enjoyed excellent and harmonious relations. "Our cooperation is based on a strong partnership, the Cotonou Agreement. It covers all relevant areas from political dialogue over gender issues to environmental issues and importantly the allocation of aid," he said. "The European Union is one of the most important donors in Vanuatu. Over the years, some € 92M have been made available in the sectors of education and development of productive sectors, including agriculture by the citizens of Europe to the benefit of the people in Vanuatu."
Furthermore, Ambassador Martin Dihm, emphasised the continued EU support to Vanuatu in its developmental process, in terms of aid and cooperation, climate change and political dialogue. He expressed his desire to further deepen the relation between the EU and Vanuatu. "We are particularly pleased that it has been possible to use your own administrative and financial systems to channel our aid and that this is even going to increase further," he said. Martin Dihm is a German national and was Deputy Head of the European Commission’s Directorate General for Trade before he was appointed EU Ambassador in September 2010.