Mr Thomas Mbomba, a Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, has urged Commonwealth Member States to reaffirm their commitment to forging a sustainable and peaceful common future.
“Let us work together, in the spirit of cooperation to build a more resilient world against the future,” Mr Mbomba said on Monday in his address at a flag raising ceremony at the forecourt of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration in Accra to mark this year’s Commonwealth Day Celebration on the theme, “Forging a Sustainable and Peaceful Common Future”.
“Let us also celebrate the rich diversity of our Commonwealth, a community that is united in purpose and bound by shared values,” Mr Mbomba stated.
Commonwealth Day, which is observed annually on the second Monday of March, seeks to unite 2.5 billion Commonwealth citizens in celebration of their shared values and principles, and in pursuit of a common future, centred on sustainability and peace.
This year’s event is the first Commonwealth Day presided over by King Charles III as King and Head of the Commonwealth.
The day also marks the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Commonwealth Charter, which outlines the values and principles that unify the 56 Commonwealth countries, representing one-third of humanity.
Mr Mbomba hoisted the Ghana National Flag whilst Mr Theophile Rurangwa, the Chargé d’affaires and Chair in Office, Rwandan High Commission, hoisted that of the Commonwealth.
The Deputy Minister noted that the theme for this year’s celebration demonstrated the opportunity the Commonwealth Organisation afforded members annually to reflect on their present challenges, consolidate their gains and chart a sustainable and peaceful future for their Commonwealth Family.
He reiterated that Ghana was a committed and active member of the Commonwealth, having joined the Organisation as a young independent nation in 1957.
He said the country’s firm belief in the Organisation’s fundamental principles and shared values such as development, democracy and peace was a pull factor for joining what many at the time considered a club of former British Colonies.
He said Ghana cherished the memory of Queen Elizabeth II, who played an important symbolic and unifying role in reinforcing the links by which the Commonwealth unites people across the globe adding, they ushered in a new dispensation with King Charles III as the new Head of the Commonwealth.
He said the leadership of King Charles would witness renewed solidarity and cooperation that would bring peace, hope, and prosperity for their people amid immense global challenges.
“We live in a modern and expanding Commonwealth, and I would like to extend a sincere and hearty welcome to our friends -Togo and Gabon -to the family,” he said.
“Our continuous expansion is a reflection of the value of Commonwealth membership and the strength of our association.”
Mr Mbomba said at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) held in Kigali in 2022, Ghana together with other member nations, reaffirmed their commitment to the common values and agreed actions and policies of the Commonwealth to improve the lives of all their citizens.
King Charles in a statement read on his behalf by Madam Harriet Thompson, the British High Commissioner to Ghana, said: “The myriad connections between our nations have sustained and enriched us for more than seven decades. Our commitment to peace, progress and opportunity will sustain us for many more.”
“Let ours be a Commonwealth that not only stands together, but strives together, in restless and practical pursuit of the global common good.”
Madam Patricia Scotland, Commonwealth Secretary-General, in speech read on her behalf by Mr John Obeng Apea of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council, said the values and aspirations of Commonwealth Charter, and their application in the Commonwealth and the wider world, were enduring – but they were at their most important during difficult times.
As part of activities marking the day, Mr Ambrose Dery, the Minister for the Interior; Mr Mbomba, Madam Thompson and Mr Rurangwa each planted a tree seedling at the premises of the Foreign Ministry.