Office of the Vice-Chancellor

Office of the Vice-Chancellor

His Royal Highness, Duke of Sussex Speech during his visit to USP 24 October 2018, Japan ICT Centre, Laucala Campus

It is a great pleasure for me and my wife to visit USP in its 50th anniversary year to learn about the fantastic work that you are doing across your 12 member countries. 50 years ago my grandmother, personally delivered the Royal Charter to your University so it is a great honor for us to be here to celebrate this milestone and celebrate all that you have achieved across the region in that time. In my new role as Commonwealth Youth Ambassador, my goal is to listen to your concerns, learn more about the work that you are doing to combat these issues and highlight your remarkable achievements at the highest levels. Together, I believe we can make a lasting difference and this really is our best chance to turn the tides. One of my first tasks in this new job was to launch the Queen Elizabeth Scholarships, in honor of my grandmother and her lifetime of service to the Commonwealth.

We know that young people are the future of the Commonwealth; after all, 62 per cent of their 2.4billion population is under the age of 30. You will be the ones most affected by the global challenges that face us all. But you are the leaders that are creating the solution. One of the greatest challenges is undoubtedly climate change and all of you living here are confronted with this threat, in your daily lives. You are actually experiencing changing weather patterns, ferocious cyclones, and rising sea levels, particularly in places such as Tuvalu and Kiribati; and you have been living with this for many years, way before the world actually started talking about it. That is why I am proud to launch today, four new Queen Elizabeth scholarships for students from the Caribbean and Pacific regions.

These scholarships which are managed by the Association of Commonwealth Universities will support young people, to travel between these regions and study climate change and resilience at The University of the South Pacific, Fiji National University or University of the West Indies. These new scholarships will support more young people, like Aniva Peralta from Belize, who gained his MSC in Climate Change here at The University of the South Pacific and can now help to reduce the impact of climate change in his home country.

I am pleased to say there is also a strong partnership between the United Kingdom and the Pacific Islands in climate, across governments, businesses and academia. The Commonwealth is all about cooperation and collaboration. Your generation and our children will benefit from what you are doing today. We are counting on you.

Thank you.

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