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Call for unity in face of global crises

Azlan Othman

Commonwealth nations must stand together in the face of multiple global crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and ongoing insecurity.

This was said by Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland in her annual message for Commonwealth Day 2022 celebrated on Monday.

“In an uncertain world, with multilateralism under strain, the Commonwealth shines as a beacon of hope and promise, inspiring confidence in the benefits of international cooperation and collective action,” she said.

“We celebrate the diversity that enriches us, and the similarities that enable us to work together. Our points of unity make the Commonwealth unique in our world. Drawing from the deep wells of our unique history, they enable us to face the challenges of the 21st Century with clarity, unity and purpose.”

The theme for this year’s Commonwealth Day centred around the forthcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting – ‘Delivering a Common Future’ – which highlights how the 54 member countries in the Commonwealth family are ‘innovating, connecting and transforming’ to help achieve goals such as fighting climate change, promoting good governance and boosting trade.

Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson after the Commonwealth Service on Commonwealth Day. PHOTO: AP

This year’s Commonwealth Day also marks the start of the Commonwealth’s celebrations for Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – commemorating her 70 years of service and commitment to the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.

To celebrate Her Majesty’s historic milestone, a special focus was placed on the role that public service plays in the lives of people and communities across the Commonwealth.

In a message, Her Majesty The Queen said, “In this year of my Platinum Jubilee, it has given me pleasure to renew the promise I made in 1947, that my life will always be devoted in service. Today, it is rewarding to observe a modem, vibrant and connected Commonwealth that combines a wealth of history and tradition with the great social, cultural, and technological advances of our time. That the Commonwealth stands ever taller is a credit to all who have been involved.

“On this special day for our family – in a year that will include the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and the Commonwealth Games – I hope we can deepen our resolve to support and serve one another, and endeavour to ensure the Commonwealth remains an influential force for good in our world for many generations to come.”

Every year, people in Commonwealth countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Americas, the Pacific and Europe observe the day with a range of activities, including faith and civic gatherings, flag raising ceremonies and cultural events.

In London, where the Commonwealth Secretariat headquarters are based, the Secretary-General joined 1,500 international guests for a multicultural, multi-faith service at Westminster Abbey.