Her Britannic Majesty’s Ambassador in Turkmenistan, Ms. Lucia Wilde, hosted a reception on 14 April 2022 in Ashgabat to mark Her Majesty the Queen’s 96th birthday.
This coincides with the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty on the throne. It is also the year when the Great Britain and Turkmenistan celebrate 30 years of diplomatic relations.
Here is the speech of Ambassador Lucia Wilde:
Good evening guests, friends and colleagues! Welcome to those observing Ramadan. And a very special welcome to our Guest of Honour, Mr Muhammetgeldi Serdarov, Minister of Finance and Economy of Turkmenistan. You are very welcome.
Thank you for joining us today as we celebrate three important events. First, we are celebrating Her Majesty the Queen’s 96th birthday. Second, we are celebrating Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, after 70 years on the throne. And third, we are celebrating 30 years of diplomatic relations between the UK and Turkmenistan.
I’d like to start by saying a few words in honour of Her Majesty the Queen. She was born in April 1926, meaning she turns 96 next week and she was crowned Queen in 1952, meaning this year she marks 70 years on the throne. These 70 years have brought many opportunities and many challenges. When she became Queen, the world had just emerged from a global conflict and was led by figures including Churchill, Truman and Stalin. During her reign, 14 British Prime Ministers and 14 US Presidents have taken office. During her reign, the world has witnessed the birth of space travel, the fall of the Berlin wall, the invention of mobile phones and the internet, world population rising from 2.5 to 8 billion people, the ending of some global health threats and the emerging of new ones and the certainty that serious action is needed to eliminate the existential threat of climate change.
Throughout Her Majesty has been a symbol of stability and continuity in a changing world. She has lived and worked by principles of service, duty and hard work, principles which those of us in public service strive to emulate. She is, quite rightly, taking on lighter duties at almost 96, something which I think we would all agree she deserves! I am glad you have been able to join us to mark both her birthday and her Jubilee.
We are also here tonight to celebrate another anniversary. The UK and Turkmenistan celebrate 30 years of diplomatic relations this year.
The UK and Turkmenistan’s business, trade and economy links have been a major part of our relationship over these 30 years. And how wonderful it is therefore that our Guest of Honour for tonight’s special celebration is His Excellency Mr Muhammetgeldi Serdarov, Minister of Finance and Economy.
Our relationship is always developing and innovating. We are excited to be focusing on opportunities in the green economy and in green energy. When I met His Excellency Foreign Minister Mr Meredov in January, he asked the UK to be ‘practical and active’. And so we have been. We are working actively to build business links in the green economy between our two countries – in hydrogen, in solar, in wind, in emissions capture and in more efficient use of water resources.
Practical and active is important. Principles are also important. The UK and Turkmenistan share important principles. Both countries are strong supporters of the UN system. Both countries regularly express our support for the principles of sovereignty and the importance of international law. Both countries have set out how investment in women and girls and in education will help create a better future for everyone.
That better future for everyone depends on us tackling climate change – together. In the UK we are experiencing climate change in yes – even more rain, flash floods and yes – even heatwaves. Turkmenistan is experiencing climate change in even hotter and drier summers, making life more difficult for people, plants and animals. The UK will remain a steadfast partner of Turkmenistan in its work to tackle the causes and effects of climate change. And of course the UK was pleased to host now President Serdar Berdimuhammedov at the Glasgow Climate Change summit last November.
I would now like to turn to some thanks.
Many people who have worked very hard to put this Birthday Party on for you today.
I would ask you to put your hands together at the end of my speech for them.
First, thank you to the wonderful work of the British Embassy team, all of whom have worked together to make tonight happen. You have done us proud.
Second, thank you to our sponsors, JCB, for supporting us to hold this event.
Third, thank you to Hypervision for providing the holograms for us this evening.
Fourth, thank you to Hajy, Artyom and Inna and the Yildiz team including their chef who has recreated the British dishes on the menu tonight.
Thank you to the orchestra, conducted by Mr Rasul Klychev with Maysa Niyazova who are playing a great selection of British – as well as international – music.
Thank you to our partners in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and especially to our Special Guest, Mr Serdarov.
And thank you to all of you, our colleagues, partners and friends, for joining us.
At 9 o’clock, I will present the prizes to the winners of our 30th anniversary and Jubilee biscuit competition and young people’s art competition. In the meantime, please do enjoy a selection of the excellent competition entries on the wall there.
There is a gift bag waiting for each guest – please do collect when you leave.
Finally, let me propose two toasts.
I propose a toast to the health and success of the President, Government and People of Turkmenistan!
I propose a toast to the health and happiness of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II!
Thank you for your attention and now I would like to invite our guest of honour, His Excellency Mr Muhammetgeldi Serdarov, Minister of Finance and Economy of Turkmenistan to say a few words. /// nCa, 15 April 2022
Here are some pictures from the occasion: