Joint ministerial statement on Commonwealth Day


March 11, 2024 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of International Development, today issued the following statement to mark Commonwealth Day:

“The modern Commonwealth is committed to democracy, human rights, sustainable development and international cooperation. As we look toward the 75th anniversary of its founding in April, we have an opportunity to reflect on the strength that our diversity represents for Commonwealth member states and for the association itself.

“A key strength of the Commonwealth is the support it provides to its small states, including greater access to education, financing to build resilience, and a forum for collaboration to advance mutual priorities on the global stage. This year’s theme—One Resilient Common Future: Transforming Our Common Wealth—is also the theme for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, to be held in October in Samoa. We look forward to the opportunity to underscore Canada’s commitment to the Commonwealth and to the region, including through the Indo-Pacific Strategy and our feminist foreign policy.

“Canada is the second-largest funder of the Commonwealth, with more than $14 million in contributions in fiscal year 2023 to 2024. We also serve as a member of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group, a core group of Commonwealth foreign ministers, which is focused on addressing situations in Commonwealth countries and to upholding Commonwealth Charter values, including democracy and human rights.

“Canada proudly hosts the Commonwealth of Learning, located in British Columbia. In June 2023, Canada announced a new grant arrangement with the organization to implement a $6-million project to provide education and skills development support to 75,000 women and girls from diverse communities in Bangladesh, Malawi, Mozambique, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

“On this Commonwealth Day, we focus on building a resilient future that leaves no one behind. The Commonwealth has long been a unique, values-based forum, and we will continue to promote discussion and interaction among both developed and developing countries to broaden shared understandings, build consensus and drive action.”

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