The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey says the strength, power and the wealth of common features of the Commonwealth must be harnessed to better the lives of its member States who are under developed.
Addressing attendees of the flags raising Ceremony to mark the 70th Anniversary of the Commonwealth at the forecourt of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration on the theme; “A Connected Commonwealth”, Foreign Affairs Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, said “regrettably, despite our enormous collective resources, a number of Commonwealth member countries are still saddled with poverty and marginalization”.
“This state of Affairs presents a sense of hopelessness and despair across societies with the Commonwealth and constitutes an affront to our common sense of humanity and increasingly poses a threat to social coercion and progress” the Foreign Minister said.
The Power of the Commonwealth
The Minister observed that the countries of the Commonwealth are in a unique position to strengthen their collaborations and partnerships. This, she said is because “no group of countries in the world enjoy such a wealth of common features, including a common language and administrative and legal machinery modelled after the same British model”.
“The very organization of the Commonwealth therefore offers a rare opportunity for member States, and we must cease the moment to better the lives of our people,” Mrs. Ayorkor Botchwey said.
The Africa Head of the Royal Commonwealth Society, John Apea, read the message of the Queen of England and Head of the Commonwealth, Queen Elizabeth II, during the ceremony.
“Today, many millions of people around the world are drawn together because of the collective values shared by the Commonwealth. In April last year, I welcomed the leaders of our 53 nations to Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, and we all witnessed how the Commonwealth vision offers hope, and inspires us to find ways of protecting our planet, and our people,” the Queen’s message said.
It continued “we are able to look to the future with greater confidence and optimism as a result of the links that we share, and thanks to the networks of cooperation and mutual support to which we contribute, and on which we draw. With enduring commitment through times of great change, successive generations have demonstrated that whilst the goodwill for which the Commonwealth is renowned may be intangible, its impact is very real”.
The Queens message concluded that, “we experience this as people of all backgrounds continue to find new ways of expressing through action the value of belonging in a connected Commonwealth. I hope and trust that many more will commit to doing so this Commonwealth Day”.
Today the 11 March 2019, people in Commonwealth countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Americas, the Pacific and Europe observed Commonwealth Day.
The day is celebrated with a broad range of activities, including faith and civic gatherings, debates, school assemblies, flag raising ceremonies, street parties, cultural events and a multicultural, multi-faith service at Westminster Abbey.
The theme for 2019 is ‘A Connected Commonwealth’, which offers opportunities for the people, governments and institutions of this richly diverse family of nations to connect and work together at many levels through far-reaching and deep-rooted networks of friendship and goodwill.
This year also marks the 70th anniversary of the formation of the Commonwealth as it is configured today, with old ties and new links enabling co-operation towards social, political and economic development, which is both inclusive and sustainable.