COMMONWEALTH DAY MESSAGE BY THE MOST HONOURABLE PRIME MINISTER, P. J. PATTERSON ON MARCH 8, 2004


“Building a Commonwealth of Freedom” is the theme under which Commonwealth Day is being celebrated this year.
The commemoration of this day focuses our attention on one of the important pillars of the Commonwealth, the commitment to democratic freedoms. These include, freedom of expression, respect for human rights, the rule of law, transparent and responsible government, and the promotion of democracy and good governance. This has been the Commonwealth’s message to the world since its inception fifty-five years ago.
Coming as it does in the wake of the Abuja Summit, today brings with it a reminder of the vulnerability of societies with fragile democratic underpinnings. In this we derive great comfort from the strength of the Organisation which has over the years refined its mechanisms for addressing systemically, those situations which would place in jeopardy, the values and principles which define the raison d’

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