Today Monday, Antigua and Barbuda and the rest of the Commonwealth pause to celebrate Commonwealth Day.
Today’s activities will be observed with, speeches, exhibitions, and cultural events across the 56 Commonwealth member countries under the theme: Forging a Sustainable and Peaceful Common Future.
The day according to a press statement the day aims to unite 2.5 billion Commonwealth citizens in “celebration of their shared values and principles, and in pursuit of a common future, centered on sustainability and peace”.
His Majesty King Charles III as King and Head of the Commonwealth will preside over today’s matters
Another significance of the day is the tenth anniversary of the signing of the Commonwealth Charter, which outlines the values and principles that unify the 56 Commonwealth countries, representing one-third of humanity.
Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland says the people of the Commonwealth continue to stand together to face the challenges while seizing the opportunities of tomorrow.
“Where there is violence and conflict, we work for peace. Where there is insecurity, we protect the culture, process and institutions of democracy. Where there is poverty, we tackle it. Where there is injustice, we challenge it. Where our brothers and sisters have their lives threatened and disrupted by the impacts of climate change, we stand with them, working tirelessly for climate action and a more sustainable world. I believe profoundly that our family of 56 nations and 2.5, billion people is stronger, more vibrant, more connected and more purposeful than ever,” she said in a speech to observe the day’s celebration.
Scotland also addressed the growing co-operation within the Commonwealth at the time of polarization.
“Our unique qualities and advantages mean that the Commonwealth in 2023 is not simply a part of the international system, it is a beacon within it. These qualities shine in the fact that, with a multilateral system under strain, the Commonwealth is growing, precisely because of what we stand for and what we can deliver,” she said.
Adding “So, on this tenth anniversary of our [Commonwealth] Charter, as we renew our commitment to its values and each other, let us resolve together to ensure that in the years to come, we make the peaceful and sustainable common future we all strive for a reality for the whole Commonwealth.”
Meanwhile, around the Commonwealth, cities will host inter-faith, multi-cultural observances to mark the day.
“One of the largest gatherings will be the traditional service at Westminster Abbey in London and will be attended by The King, the Commonwealth Secretary-General, senior government officials, other dignitaries, and hundreds of young people,” according to a press statement.
Commonwealth Day has been celebrated on the second Monday in March every year since 1977.