The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has urged commonwealth countries to co-operate more to provide a common future for more than 2.5 billion citizens living in their countries.
She said the collaboration between the 54 member countries, spread across Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and the Pacific, should be based on mutual respect and goodwill for collective benefit.
This was contained in a statement issued yesterday by the Minister in commemoration of the year’s commonwealth day; a day set aside to celebrate the friendship, spirit of unity, and achievements of the Commonwealth.
With its roots going back to the British Empire, the Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 54 independent and equal countries, including advanced economies and developing nation’sthat share goals like development, democracy and peace.
The theme for this year’s celebration – “Delivering a common future” – is in tandem with the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Rwanda.
It highlights how the member states are innovating, connecting, and transforming to help achieve goals such as combating climate change, promoting good governance, and boosting trade.
Given that 2022 marks the Queen Elizabeth II’s Jubilee Year, there is also a special focus this year on the role service plays in the lives of people and communities across the Commonwealth.
“Our Commonwealth family is dedicated to improving technical co-operation, capacity building, technology transfer and promoting Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” the Foreign Affairs statement said.
It said although the world was still grappling with the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on various sectors, the development of COVID-19 vaccines had raised hope of returning to normalcy within the shortest possible time.
“While the challenges may seem insurmountable, I know that as a Commonwealth family, though we may be apart. We stand together, united in purpose,” it said.
The statement pledged Ghana’s commitment to the Commonwealth by fervently upholding its core values and a future that is evidently marked by fairness, peace, sustainability, and security.
“We further commit to work together for a more equal and hopeful future for our commonwealth, and for our world,” it said.
On Commonwealth achievements, the statement said, the “Family of Nations”had amplified the voice of small and vulnerable states, championed the promotion of justice and human rights and upheld the rule of law.
It said it had empowered women, girls and youth, as well as provided electoral assistance to countries, ensured good governance and advocated the protection of the environment through its Blue Charter and climate change.
The statement congratulated Queen Elizabeth II on becoming the first British monarch to celebrate a platinum jubilee on February 6 this year, marking 70 years of service to the United Kingdom, the realms and the Commonwealth.
“We congratulate Her Majesty the Queen for her dedicated and selfless services to the Commonwealth, as well as convey Ghana’s readiness to join the other members of the Commonwealth family to celebrate this historic milestone,” it said.