Statement by Minister of Foreign Affairs on Commonwealth Day 15 March

Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement:

“As a proud member of the Commonwealth, Canada works with 53 countries around the world to advance and uphold democracy, human rights and the rule of law, as enshrined in the Commonwealth Charter.

“The Commonwealth Charter reminds us of the importance of these values to the development, stability and prosperity of its member states and the well-being of its 2.5 billion people, more than 60% of whom are under 30 years of age.

“Canada will continue to work with the Commonwealth to advocate for greater respect for the human rights of all people. Current threats to the rules-based international order make that work ever more urgent. In particular, we applaud the strong condemnation of Vladimir Putin’s unjustifiable invasion of Ukraine by the Commonwealth’s Secretary-General Patricia Scotland.

“Through its work and advocacy, the Commonwealth will continue to promote the empowerment of women and girls. Increasing their presence in political, economic and social structures has proven to be the most effective way to reduce poverty and to build a more inclusive and prosperous world. We welcome the strong work of the Commonwealth of Learning, based in British Columbia, for its role in educating women and girls throughout the Commonwealth.

“Within the Commonwealth, Canada will continue to speak with a strong voice on pressing global issues, including building a more peaceful and secure world, climate change and ocean protection, inclusive economic growth and the empowerment of youth.

“On this day, in the year of The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, we celebrate the diverse cultures, faiths, languages, backgrounds and beliefs of all people in the Commonwealth. Canada pledges to keep working alongside our Commonwealth partners in the common pursuit of our shared values and a more just and prosperous future for all.

“Canada looks forward to taking part in the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, where we will further advance priorities that can benefit the diverse countries and peoples that make up the Commonwealth.”

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