WINDHOEK – Fifty-three Commonwealth member states yesterday celebrated Commonwealth Day held worldwide under the theme “A Young Commonwealth”.
President Hifikepunye Pohamba used the occasion to recognize the role played by young people when it comes to nation building.
During a meeting with several diplomats from Commonwealth countries representing their countries in Namibia led by Dean of the Commonwealth Heads of Mission Group in Namibia, High Commissioner of the Republic of South Africa, Yvette Myakayaka-Manzini, visited Pohamba to present a message from Queen Elizabeth II.
Pohamba said the theme supports youth participation at all levels of society in order to build democracy and skills in a culturally diverse environment.
“This theme is in harmony with Namibia’s National Development Plan 4, which is aimed at employment creation, increased income equality and higher and sustained economic growth, all of which recognize the capacity, contribution and potential of young people and the vital role they play in nation building,” he said.
The President singled-out gender equality and the empowerment of young people as some of the common goals Commonwealth states share.
In her message, Queen Elizabeth II outlined that the Commonwealth can only flourish if its ideas and ideals continue to be young and fresh and relevant to all generations.
“It is a globally diverse and inclusive community that opens up new possibilities for development through trust and encouragement,” she said.
She warned that if common goals fall apart, so does the exchange of ideas.
“In the Commonwealth, we are a group of 53 nations of dramatically different sizes and climates. But over the years, but over the years, drawing on our shared history, we have acted upon the huge advantages of mutual co-operation and understanding, for the benefit of our countries and the people who live in them,” stated Queen Elizabeth in her message.
Commonwealth Day is the annual celebration of the Commonwealth nations held on the second Monday in March, and marked by a multi-faith service in Westminster Abbey normally attended by Queen Elizabeth II, as head of the Commonwealth with the Commonwealth Secretary-General and Commonwealth high commissioners in London.
The Queen delivers an address to the Commonwealth, broadcast throughout the world.
Heads of mission from resident Commonwealth states such as South Africa, Nigeria, Zambia, Kenya, Botswana and Malaysia attended the meeting at State House yesterday.