1 year ago
The nation of Antigua and Barbuda, on Monday, March 14 joined other Commonwealth nations in the celebration of Commonwealth Day 2016 under the theme “An Inclusive Commonwealth”.
Following the Commonwealth Day parade, students from across the nation along with other distinguished guests, converged at the Government House for the flag raising ceremony and the delivery of the Queen’s Commonwealth Day message.
Governor General, His Excellency, Sir Rodney Williams thanked the organizing committee noting that it is important to continue to increase public awareness of the importance of Commonwealth as the significance of the organization is not clear to many.
On this very special occasion, Sir Rodney delivered the Queen’s Commonwealth Day message.
Queen Elizabeth II noted that wherever we live in the commonwealth we can always benefit from the ideas and encouragement of those around us.
This, Her Majesty added, is an essential ingredient of belonging to the Commonwealth: the willingness to share, to exchange and to act for the common good. By including others, drawing on collective insights, knowledge and resources, and thinking and working together, we lay the foundations of a harmonious and progressive society. The greater the diversity of those included in such a shared enterprise, the greater the gains. Each of us has cause to celebrate the sense of belonging expressed in our 2016 theme: 'An Inclusive Commonwealth'.
The message continued that our recognition of this value, and the wisdom of mutual respect for each other, is set out in the Commonwealth Charter. Its opening words, “We the people of the Commonwealth” convey the conviction that individuals, as well as governments, build and shape our success.
Being inclusive and accepting diversity, the Queen notes goes far deeper than accepting differences at face value and being tolerant. True celebration of the dignity of each person, and the value of their uniqueness and contribution, involves reaching out, recognizing and embracing their individual identity.
At the recent Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, there were forums for women, youth, business and civil society. These forums were a place for reflection on how to contribute collectively to achieving positive global change, for which the Commonwealth is widely respected.
Queen Elizabeth II said today, and in the year ahead, the theme 'An Inclusive Commonwealth' is an inspiration for us all. Let us give it practical effect by supporting those in need and those who feel excluded in all walks of life. By doing so, we will continue to build a truly representative Commonwealth community.
Commonwealth Day 2016 in Antigua and Barbuda is one of the main highlights in March which is being celebrated as Commonwealth Month.