HomeCanadaJoint ministerial statement on Commonwealth Day

Joint ministerial statement on Commonwealth Day

March 13, 2023 – Ottawa, Ontario – Global Affairs Canada “Canada is proud to be enhancing its engagement in the Commonwealth. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Commonwealth Charter, and Canada has just started a new mandate with the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group, where we will work to uphold Commonwealth values. These values include tolerance, respect, understanding, democracy, human rights and peace. They help to define the Commonwealth, and Canada continues to advocate strongly for them. “Another important feature of Canada’s support to the Commonwealth is our role as host government of the intergovernmental Commonwealth of Learning (COL), headquartered in Burnaby, British Columbia. COL focuses on open education, distance learning and skills training across the Commonwealth, particularly among women and girls in developing countries. At the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2022 in Rwanda, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced .8 million in long-term institutional support to further COL’s important work. “Additionally, Minister Sajjan is serving as the 2022 to 2024 champion of the United Nations-Commonwealth advocacy strategy for small states. In this role, Minister Sajjan will help to mobilize efforts on climate change, the impacts of COVID-19 and other issues that have a significant impact on small states. The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, today issued the following statement to mark Commonwealth Day: “The Commonwealth is a unique institution. Its strength lies in its diversity as a values-based forum for discussion and interaction involving both developed and developing countries worldwide. The Commonwealth fosters shared understanding among its 56 member states, builds consensus and drives action on important issues, including climate change and international peace and security. “Commonwealth member states are marking an historic new beginning with His Majesty King Charles III succeeding Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as Head of the Commonwealth. This is an opportunity to reinvigorate the Commonwealth as we celebrate its strengths and renew our focus on work to be done.” 


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