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Ghana holds a flagraising ceremony to mark Commonwealth Day

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration on Monday held a flagraising ceremony to mark the 2024 Commonwealth Day.

The event, held at the forecourt of the State House in Accra, was on the theme: ‘One Resilient Common Future: Transforming our Commonwealth’.

Mr Kwaku Ampratum-Sarpong, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, hoisted Ghana’s flag, while that of the Commonwealth was hoisted by Madam Harriet Thompson, the British High Commissioner to Ghana.

The second Monday of March is Commonwealth Day, a day to celebrate the Commonwealth of Nations and its 56 member states.

The theme for this year’s celebration emphasises the need for the 56 member countries to work together to build resilience, unlock potential, and leverage the Commonwealth Advantage.

Mr Ampratum-Sarpong said the theme for the weeklong celebration highlights how the 56 member countries must harness their strengths by building resilience, unlocking potential, leveraging the ‘Commonwealth Advantage’ an
d fostering a connected, digital Commonwealth.

He said this transformation was vital to ensure a resilient common future where no one was left behind.

‘There are even more reasons to celebrate this year. Our Union is commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the signing of the London Declaration on 24th April 1949, which heralded the birth of a modern Commonwealth,’ he said

The Deputy Minister on behalf of the Government and People of Ghana extended his hearty congratulations to the entire Commonwealth family and fraternity.

He said Ghana’s relationship with the Commonwealth was both historical and deeply rooted in mutual respect and understanding.

Ghana joined the Commonwealth upon gaining independence in 1957, becoming the first majority-ruled African member of the Commonwealth.

‘We have been an active member, contributing to and benefiting from this unique family of nations,’ he stated.

‘Our shared history and common language have facilitated close cooperation on various fronts, from education and healt
h to governance and economic development.’

Mr Ampratum-Sarpong said the Commonwealth had been instrumental in the development of its member states, particularly in Africa.

He said through technical assistance, capacity-building programmes, scholarships, and youth empowerment programmes, the Commonwealth had played a pivotal role in enhancing human capital in Ghana and across the continent.

Programmes like the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan have enabled countless Ghanaians to pursue advanced education and professional development, enriching our nation with their skills and expertise upon their return.

He noted that Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration recently formally announced her interest in the position of Secretary-General of the Commonwealth.

He said the selection of a new Secretary-General would take place at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) on 22nd October 2024 in Samoa, to replace Baroness Patricia Scotland, who
se second and final tenure expires at the end of 2024.

He said Madam Ayorkor Botchwey had outlined a six-prong strategy if elected as the Secretary General to reposition the Commonwealth into a more resilient and robust organisation capable of handling the challenges of our common future.

The six thematic areas are Trade and Investment, Youth education, Skills, Innovation and Start-ups, Mobility and Labour Market, Climate Change, Small States as well as Managing resources for an effective Commonwealth Institution.

King Charles III, the Head of the Commonwealth, in a speech read on his behalf by Madam Harriet Thompson, the British High Commissioner to Ghana, said: ‘We must find ways of healing, and to support each other to pursue solutions.’

‘I cannot say often enough that it is by coming together that we create the best chances to improve our world and the lives of people everywhere’.

He said over the years countless people across the Commonwealth had been inspired to form their own Commonwealth Associat
ions from lawyers and accountants to business and trade networks, and many more besides.

Madam Patricia Scotland, Commonwealth Secretary-General, in a speech read on her behalf by Mr John Obeng Apea, Head of Mission, Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council, said over the course of 75 years, the Commonwealth family of nations had grown in scale, strength and experience.

‘Our inbuilt relationships are unique and extraordinary, drawing together one third of humanity, across five continents and six oceans, with an astonishing diversity of thought, tradition and experience, and 1.5 billion people under the age of 30.’

Source: Ghana News Agency