Ghana yesterday joined 2.4 million people in 53 countries to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the formation of the Commonwealth Day in Accra.
Marked with a flag raising ceremony, the event was centred on the theme ‘Connected Commonwealth’.
The Commonwealth is a unique association of 54 independent states consulting and co-operating in the common interests of their peoples and in the promotion of international understanding.
It comprises countries from all major continents of the world, rich and poor, small and large.
The day being celebrated annually on the second Monday in March since 1977, the association seeks to offer opportunities for the people, governments and institutions of member nations to connect and cooperate at many levels through far-reaching and deep-rooted networks of friendship and goodwill.
The Foreign Affairs Minister, Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, said, the organisation had provided a platform for a diverse group of countries to work together at many levels through far-reaching and deep-rooted networks.
She stated that the network of intergovernmental, civil society, cultural and professional organisations work together to grow economies and boost trade and investment.
The Minister said through the Commonwealth, member states collaborate to protect natural resources and the environment and work towards inclusive economic empowerment.
She said it was unfortunate that despite the enormous collective resources, a number of Commonwealth member countries were still saddled with poverty and marginalisation.
Ms Botchwey said African countries had not been spared the devastating effects of climate change, environmental degradation, social deprivation, as well as terrorism which continue to present serious challenges to international peace and security.
The sector Minister indicated that some African countries were still struggling in their efforts to reduce poverty and attain the sustainable development objectives.
“This state of affairs presents a sense of hopelessness and despair across societies within the commonwealth and constitutes an effort to our common sense of humanity and increasingly poses a threat to social cohesion and progress,” she added.
Ms Botchwey reaffirmed the commitment of the Government of Ghana to the fundamental political values of the Commonwealth and reiterated Ghana’s desire to support the efforts of the organisation in promoting international rules-based order, economic growth and development.
The Africa head of Royal Commonwealth Society, Mr John Apea in a speech said, he looked to the future with greater confidence and optimism.
BY BENEDICTA GYIMAAH FOLLEY