Throughout my life, I have tried, in whatever very small way I can, to foster greater understanding between people of different faiths, to heal divisions and to remind people of so much that we share in common as opposed to what divides us. Indeed, as it says in Psalm 133 “behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!”.

The Holocaust must never be allowed to become simply a fact of history: we must never cease to be appalled, nor moved by the testimony of those who lived through it. Their experience must always educate, and guide, and warn us.

We must be fearless in confronting falsehoods and resolute in resisting words and acts of violence

With 2020 being seen as the “super year”, kick-starting a decade of action for people and planet…I intend to do my utmost to ensure that the message of urgency, systemic change, collaboration and integration is heard.

Do we want to go down in history as the people who did nothing to bring the world back from the brink in time to restore the balance when we could have done? I don’t want to. And just think for a moment – what good is all the extra wealth in the world, gained from “business as usual”, if you can do nothing with it except watch it burn in catastrophic conditions?

It is a great delight to welcome you this evening to Buckingham Palace, as the festival of Chanukah approaches, and to celebrate with you the contribution of our Jewish community to the health, wealth and happiness of the United Kingdom.

In this shared endeavour, it is my dearest wish that The Solomon Islands might become a beacon – in this region and across the Commonwealth as a whole - showing how extraordinary natural capital can be harnessed sustainably to guarantee the prosperity and security of future generations.

Although I have only been here a short time, it is already clear to me why these islands are known, the world over, as the Happy Isles. 

I wanted to thank all of you for being here today and for offering your support to this project in so many ways. This is just the beginning, of course, and a great deal of hard work lies ahead.  I can only say how proud I am to be joining you all on this journey, and how much I look forward to the day, if I am still alive by then, when the cathedral bells ring out once more.

We stand at the threshold of a global transformation with the potential to secure a prosperous and sustainable future for us all.  But can we cross that threshold quickly enough?  That is the defining challenge of this most critical of times.