Speaker of the National Assembly, Professor Peter Katjivi emphasized the importance of the Commonwealth Charter, which fosters cooperation for the good of the Commonwealth family, as he addressed Commonwealth and other ambassadors and international representatives in the country on Commonwealth Day yesterday.
The Commonwealth is historically connected to the British Empire and the countries that resorted under the British during the colonial period, but any independent nation can apply to become a member. Namibia is a member of the Commonwealth countries.
Commonwealth Day was celebrated in Parliament Gardens on Monday in Windhoek.
“We wholeheartedly welcome and echo the theme for 2022 which speaks of Delivering a Common Future: Connecting, Innovating, and Transforming,” Ktjavivi said while addressing the event yesterday.
Katjavivi presented the message from Her Majesty the Queen marking the 70-year milestone of her rule: ”It has given her pleasure to renew the promise she made in 1947, that her life will always be devoted in service.
“Today, it is rewarding to observe a modern, vibrant and connected Commonwealth that combines a wealth of history and tradition with the great social, cultural and technological advances of our time” the message read.
It went on to point out that the Commonwealth stands ever taller which is credit to all who have been involved.
“We are nourished and sustained by our Relationships and, throughout my life, I have enjoyed the privilege of hearing what the Relationships built across the great reach and diversity of the Commonwealth have meant to people and communities.”
Her majesty continued saying that the ”family of nations continues to be a point of connection, cooperation and friendship. It is a place to come together to pursue common goals and the common good, providing everyone with the opportunity to serve and benefit.”
Quoting the Queen, Katjavivi said that it is her ”hope that you can draw strength and inspiration from what we share, as we work together towards a healthy, sustainable and prosperous future for all”.
The Commonwealth was formed to ensure that there would never be another occasion where any country, by virtue of its wealth, size, population or military might would colonize or enslave another. These were the sentiments of Hishamundi Ibrahim, High Commissioner of Malaysia and the Dean of the Commonwealth Heads of Mission group I Namibia.
Ibrahim echoed that the organization was created with sixteen core values and principles to include democracy, human rights, peace and security, tolerance, freedom of expression, good governance, gender equality and sustainable development.
He pointed out that the Commonwealth Principles were established to recognize the sovereignty of each member nation and to enable each to have a full vote regardless of their size or economic status.
Ibrahim further stated that the theme for this year was chosen as a reflection that all governments and people of our diverse family of 54 Commonwealth countries connect at many levels through extensive and deep-rooted networks of friendship and goodwill.
“Together, we work to build peace and harmony through social development, in the spirit of inclusivity, we encourage all-embracing economic empowerment and fair trade so that all people, particularly women, young people and those in marginalized communities can share the fruits of progress and prosperity and delivering a common future by connecting, innovating and transforming societies,” Ibrahim emphasised.
On each Commonwealth Day, member countries renew their commitment by acknowledging publicly and collectively the continuing aspirations of the Commonwealth to build on common traditions and uphold shared values of democracy, inclusive development and respect for diversity.
“It is my fervent hope that through our small gathering today we are able to convey greater understanding and appreciation of the values and principles of the Commonwealth Charter to the people surrounding us,” he concluded.
Nomsa Uushona from the Ministry of International Relation and Cooperation, called on Commonwealth nations to continue to focus on issues of shared interest within the grouping.
Uushona concurred the focus of this shared interest should be vaccine equity, climate change, poverty eradication and sustainable development, ”hence a Commonwealth that shows prosperity for all its members is a Commonwealth that will be happy and can push in the same direction of a sustainable path.