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Secretary-General: Commonwealth collaboration key to global stability

29 May 2017

The Commonwealth is well placed to tackle daunting global challenges such as climate change, extremism, inequality and poverty, Secretary-General Patricia Scotland told participants at an international conference yesterday.

Speaking to an audience of business leaders and government officials at the Horasis Global Meeting 2017, the Secretary-General outlined the Commonwealth’s powerful potential to support peace-building, stability, resilience and sustainability through its shared values and the cooperation of governments.

“Common law, shared language, and similar systems of governance, administration, and regulation, give us a truly remarkable advantage when we work together,” she said. “The immense good that is achieved through cooperation between governments, ministerial meetings, and official dialogue, is immeasurably enhanced by the vigour and dedication of Commonwealth civil society organisations, professional bodies and other groups.”

Secretary-General Scotland stressed the importance of drawing on the strength of the “huge pool of female talent now available within the Commonwealth and beyond”; and advancing women’s political participation, leadership, and economic empowerment.

The Commonwealth's initiatives to boost trade, end domestic violence, empower youth, deal with corruption and tackle climate change, demonstrate the 52-member intergovernmental organisation’s global value, she added.

The Secretary-General also spoke about the recently established Commonwealth Countering Violent Extremism Unit, set up to support member states to devise and implement national strategies to prevent radicalisation, and strengthen human rights and the rule of law.

Read the Secretary-General’s full speech here