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Ghana marks Commonwealth Day - Pledges commitment to values

BY: Juliet Akyaa Safo
Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey — Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration
Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey — Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration

Ghana has pledged its continuous commitment to the Commonwealth by fervently upholding its core values.

“We reaffirm our belief in this unique organisation as a powerful influence for good in the world,” a message from the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, to commemorate Commonwealth Day yesterday said.

Ghana joined member countries of the Commonwealth in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, America, Europe and the Pacific to commemorate the day.
Observed on March 14, every year, the day provides an opportunity for member countries to celebrate the friendship, unity and achievements of the Commonwealth.

This year’s event was on the theme: “Delivering a Common Future".

Ghana’s commitment

Ms Botchwey expressed Ghana’s commitment to work with other member states to ensure a more equal and hopeful future for the Commonwealth and the world.

She explained that the Commonwealth, also known as the "Family of Nations", had stood the test of time and had, among others, amplified the voice of small and vulnerable states, championed the promotion of justice and human rights and upheld the rule of law.

The minister said the Commonwealth had also empowered women, girls and the youth, provided electoral assistance for countries and advocated the protection of the environment in terms of the blue economy through its Blue Charter and climate change.

“As we mark this day with 2.5 billion other members of the Commonwealth family, I would like to take this opportunity to pledge, on behalf of the government and the people of Ghana, our commitment to the Commonwealth by fervently upholding its core values.

“It is our hope that as we commemorate this momentous occasion, we will cooperate more, with mutual respect and goodwill, to provide a common future for our people. We commit and look forward to a future that is evidently marked by fairness, peace, sustainability and security,” she said.

Fight against COVID-19

Touching on the fight against the COVID-19, she said although the world was still grappling with the negative impact of the pandemic.

“Thankfully, the development of COVID-19 vaccines has raised our hope of returning to normalcy within the shortest possible time. While the challenges may seem insurmountable, I know that as a Commonwealth family, although we may be apart, we stand together, united in purpose,” she said.

Queen praised

Ms Botchwey congratulated Queen Elizabeth II on her dedication and services to the Commonwealth.

“It may be recalled that on 6th February, this year, Her Majesty the Queen became the first British monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years of service to the people of the United Kingdom, the Realms and the Commonwealth.

“I wish to convey Ghana's readiness to join the other members of the Commonwealth family to celebrate this historic milestone,” she said.

Background

The Commonwealth, also called the Commonwealth of Nations and formerly the British Commonwealth of Nations, is one of the world’s oldest political associations of states and its roots go back to the British Empire, when countries around the world were ruled by Britain.

It is now a free association of sovereign states comprising the United Kingdom and a number of its former dependencies which have chosen to maintain ties of friendship and practical cooperation.