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Cultural identity theme to 34th Independence

Last year's Independence Day celebrations at Bairiki. Photo: Contributed.

Last year’s Independence Day celebrations at Bairiki. Photo: Contributed.

Kiribati Adaptation Program – Phase III (KAPIII) applauds the selection of this year’s Independence Anniversary theme, to ‘maintain cultural identity in development’ (‘babwaina te katei inanon te rikirake’).

KAPIII Project Manager Kautuna Kaitara said as a development project tasked to improve the resilience of Kiribati to the impacts of climate change, the KAPIII team was fully committed to upholding a culturally aware approach to all projects.

“KAPIII is tasked with increasing water supply and improving coastal protection in various local communities across the country and to ignore culture in any of these communities or projects would be very devastating,” Mr Kaitara said.

“I would like to congratulate the selection of 34th Independence Anniversary theme and hope it is reflected upon with some thought because our culture is very unique and without this identity Kiribati would be lost forever. Happy Independence celebrations to everyone.”

The Gilbert Islands became independent as Kiribati on 12 July 1979. In the Treaty of Tarawa, signed shortly after independence and ratified in 1983, the United States relinquished all claims to the sparsely inhabited Phoenix Islands and those of the Line Islands that are part of Kiribati territory.

The 34th Independence Anniversary celebrations will feature an exciting and action-packed week of events, starting this Thursday 4 July, 2013 with the Inter Secondary School Competition at Bairiki Field.

Download the 34th Independence Anniversary – 2013 program (208KB, pdf)

Friday, the anniversary’s official day one, will see the continuation of the Inter Secondary School Competition from 7am as well as an early final inspection for gardening before the evening’s celebrations begin with the Opening Ceremony, live on Te Kabao BPA, at Bairiki Field from 7pm.

Key activities throughout the week include:

Day 2 (Saturday 6th July):

9am: Powerlifting, Bairiki Square
10am: JSS/Open Semi Final Soccer, Police Field Betio

Day 3 (Sunday 7 July):

7pm: Gospel songs competition, Bairiki Field

Day 4 (Monday 8 July):

11am: Wrestling Day one, Bairiki Field
11am: Weightlifting Day one, Bairiki Square
11am: Boat race, Bairiki Side
7pm: Open Talent, Bairiki Field

Day 5 (Tuesday 9 July):

9am: Wrestling Day two, Bairiki Field
9am: Soccer knockout SSS, Police Field Betio
9am to 5pm: Taekwando Final, KNYC
10am: Powerlifting Final, Bairiki Square
5pm: Cultural dancing Competition/JSS and SCC, Bairiki Field

Day 6 (Wednesday 10 July):

6pm: Beauty Contest, RKU Stadium

Day 7 (Thursday 11 July):

3pm: Boxing, Bairiki Volleyball Court
6pm: Battle of the Band (TSKL), RKU Stadium

Day 8 (Independence Day, 12 July, 2013):

From 6.30am at RKU Stadium
Finals from 10am at various locations

Download the 34th Independence Anniversary – 2013 program (208KB, pdf)

Hillary Institute

President awarded Hillary Laureate

President Tong receives his award from Hillary Institute  Chairman David Caygill. Photo: Rimon/OB

President Tong receives his award from Hillary Institute Chairman David Caygill. Photo: Rimon/OB

Kiribati’s President Anote Tong was awarded the 2012 Hillary Laureate in a reception at the New Zealand High Commission in Tarawa, Kiribati on Tuesday night.

The Hillary Institute of International Leadership selected President Tong as its 4th annual Hillary Laureate awardee and the first for Leadership in  “Climate Equity”, is the Institute’s  leadership focus until 2015.

The Laureate is given to a leading social entrepreneur who also embodies the humanitarian commitment of the late Sir Edmund Hillary, a celebrated New Zealand public figure (he even appears on the New Zealand five-dollar note).

The Institute’s chairman, David Caygill, says no nation symbolises more dramatically than Kiribati both the impact of climate change and the inequity of that impact on different nations.

“President Tong has been tireless in his efforts to draw these concerns to the attention of the world. We hope this award assists his endeavours,” Caygill said.

Hillary Summit Governor and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Chair, Dr Rajendra Pachauri, added: “I am truly delighted at the selection of President Anote Tong. I cannot think of a more deserving person for this recognition and honour.”

A spokesperson for President Tong said His Excellency was honoured to have been selected and “extremely pleased to accept such honour on behalf of his people and his nation and others similarly affected by climate change”.

President Tong is the recipient of many awards and recognition for his leadership, the most recent being the Peter Benchley Ocean Award for Excellence in National Stewardship of the Ocean.

Former  Hillary Laureates are Jeremy Leggett (UK-2009), Peggy Liu (China-2010) and Aimee Christensen (USA-2011). Ms. Liu also won the Hillary Step prize earlier this year.

His Excellency Anote Tong

Kam na mauri and welcome

On behalf of the Government and people of Kiribati I am pleased to welcome you to this website, which is designed to bring you information and updates on our situation in Kiribati.

You will be aware that our small country is facing critically difficult times with regard to climate change issues & its impact on our future. We hope the content and links from this site will assist you in understanding more clearly our situation. I am also pleased to refer you to the short video clip “Kiribati – A Call to the World” here on this page which very much represents the concerns and feelings of our people.

We thank you sincerely for your interest, and refer you to this site, or the contacts detailed here, if any further information is required. In closing may I offer our traditional Kiribati blessing—Te Mauri, Te Raoi ao Te Tabomoa—may good health, peace and prosperity be with you all.

Anote Tong
President of the Republic of Kiribati