Celebrating an Inclusive Commonwealth
Today is Commonwealth Day, the annual celebration of the Commonwealth of Nations. All 53 members states will come together to celebrate the values which unite them, and the work of Commonwealth organisations.
This year’s theme is “An Inclusive Commonwealth” to celebrate the diversity of its 2.2 billion citizens. Inclusivity is something the Trust values highly through its avoidable blindness and youth leadership programmes.
Long-term partner of the Trust, The Royal Commonwealth Society, has arranged the annual Commonwealth Service, which will be held today in Westminster Abbey in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen, as Head of the Commonwealth, accompanied by Their Royal Highnesses The Duke of Edinburgh, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and The Duke of York.
This year’s speakers include Mr Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, and Dr Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister of Malta and the new Chair-in-Office of the Commonwealth.
Four of the Trust’s Queen’s Young Leaders of 2016 will be in attendance at the service – Ella McKenzie and Adam Bradford from the UK, Firhaana Bulbulia from Barbados, and Sara Ezabe Malliue from Malta.
Sara will be addressing the congregation on her work to promote a more inclusive and diverse society. As a young Muslim woman who has faced discrimination, she has launched a social media campaign to help change perceptions and create better understanding in place of fear or hatred.
The service will be broadcast live for the first time on BBC One from 14.45 – 16.15 GMT.
Baroness Scotland, the Commonwealth Secretary-General Designate and Trustee of the Trust, will be in attendance along with the current Secretary-General Mr Kamalesh Sharma.