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Story Highlights

  • Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has called on the people of the Commonwealth to support those in need and those who feel excluded.
  • Commonwealth Day was observed under the theme: ‘An Inclusive Commonwealth’.
  • Her Majesty pointed out that being inclusive and accepting diversity go far deeper than accepting differences at face value and being tolerant.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has called on the people of the Commonwealth to support those in need and those who feel excluded.

“By doing so, we will continue to build a truly representative Commonwealth community,” she said in a message delivered by Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, during yesterday’s (March 14) Commonwealth Day celebrations at King’s House.

Commonwealth Day was observed under the theme: ‘An Inclusive Commonwealth’.

In noting the importance of the theme, Her Majesty, who is Head of the Commonwealth, said an essential ingredient of belonging to the group of nations is the willingness to share, to exchange and to act for the common good.

“By including others, drawing on collective insights, knowledge and resources, and thinking and working together, we lay the foundation of a harmonious and progressive society. The greater the diversity of those included in such a shared enterprise, the greater the gains,” she added.

She said that despite the various localities of people in the Commonwealth, “we can always benefit from being open to the ideas and encouragement of those around us.”

“Each of us can also make a positive difference in the lives of others by being willing to contribute and offer support,” she pointed out.

Her Majesty pointed out that being inclusive and accepting diversity go far deeper than accepting differences at face value and being tolerant.

“True celebration of the dignity of each person, and the value of their uniqueness and contribution, involves reaching out, recognising and embracing their individual identity,” she said.

The Commonwealth Day function was organised by the Royal Commonwealth Society.

Among those in attendance were: British High Commissioner, His Excellency David Fitton; Canadian High Commissioner, Sylvain Fabi; Chairperson, Royal Commonwealth Society, Indera Persaud, who all raised a toast to the Queen.

The Commonwealth comprises former British colonies and current dependencies, along with some countries with no historical ties to Britain. It comprises 53 countries and represents 2.3 billion people, 60 per cent of whom are under 30 years of age.

Some of the members include Australia, Canada, Cyprus, Fiji, Ghana, Grenada, India, Jamaica, Malaysia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Singapore and South Africa.

Commonwealth Day is celebrated across the Commonwealth by young people, schools, communities and civil society organisations on the second Monday in March every year.

It provides an opportunity to promote understanding on global issues, international co-operation and the work of Commonwealth organisations.

The Royal Commonwealth Society, founded in 1868, is a network of individuals and organisations committed to improving the lives and prospects of Commonwealth citizens across the world.