The Commonwealth of Nations: People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnerships

The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC
The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC
Secretary-General of the Commonwealth

At the 2015 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta our leaders identified the major threats we face and the challenges on which we need to work together. Many of these issues are interrelated. They also affect disproportionately people living on the margins or in disadvantaged communities.

I want to examine why it is that the Commonwealth is so well placed to tackle those challenges, and to bring hope for the future. I will begin by examining some of the distinctive characteristics of the Commonwealth that set it apart as an enduring, yet continually evolving and developing family. Bound together as much by interconnecting networks linking its people, civil society organisations and educational institutions as by governments, the Commonwealth brings ‘soul’ to international affairs. I like to think of it as a ‘goodwill’ of nations. The special place it holds in the hearts of its citizens brings it strength. A sense of continuity and building on the best of what we hold in common enables it to flourish as a powerful influence for good in this changing and turbulent world...

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