Bahamas Commonwealth Day Message 2017
This theme reflects the shared values, visions and focus of the Commonwealth of Nations whose members have a combined population of 2.4 billion people – almost a third of the world’s population; all of whom are connected, committed and are aligned in their efforts to build a peaceful and stable global community. Without peace, there is no development and without development there is no peace.
These challenges have led us, a Commonwealth of Nations, to search for ways to eradicate violence in all forms, including gender based violence, domestic abuse and bullying. The Commonwealth recognises that together we can address these issues through education, sport and the arts by placing greater emphasis on fostering youth development.
This year in July we will have the great opportunity, along with fellow member states and the youth of the Commonwealth, to advance the ideals and shared vision of the Commonwealth of Nations when The Bahamas hosts the Commonwealth Youth Games 2017 which will draw up to 1300 athletes between the ages of 14 – 18 from all the regions of the world to our shores.
It will present a dynamic platform for youth to engage with each other in friendly competition in a country known not only for its hospitality and tranquil beauty but also its outstanding athleticism.
As we reflect on our own challenges in The Bahamas in terms of security and high youth unemployment, let us be reminded that ‘Peace-building’ starts with us as individuals in our homes, communities and throughout the wider society. The Commonwealth has just launched an initiative Peace in the Home – ending domestic violence together which is fitting and in line with its overall theme.
In the words of the Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Rt. Hon. Baroness Scotland, who made history by becoming the first woman to hold the position upon her election in November 2015 - as we share our joy in belonging to this great global family – wherever we are and whatever our position – let us commit ourselves afresh through its opportunities and immense potential, and through our own friendships and networks, to thinking and acting as proud and active members of A Peace-building Commonwealth.
The Bahamas is unwavering in its commitment to A Peace-building Commonwealth.