King Charles eulogises Queen Elizabeth on Commonwealth Day
King Charles III has, in his maiden speech as King and Head of the Commonwealth, eulogized his late Mother, Queen Elizabeth II.
The King, in a statement read on his behalf by Madam Harriet Thompson, the British High Commissioner to Ghana at flag-raising ceremony to mark this year’s Commonwealth Day in Accra, said: “Commonwealth Day was an occasion of particular pride for my beloved Mother- The late Queen – a treasured opportunity to celebrate our Commonwealth family, to whose service she dedicated her long and remarkable life.”
“In succeeding Her Majesty as Head of the Commonwealth, I draw great strength from her example, together with all that I have learnt from the extraordinary people I have met, throughout the Commonwealth, over so many years.”
The King noted that the Commonwealth had been a constant in his own life, and yet its diversity continued to amaze and inspire him.
He said the Commonwealth near-boundless potential as a force for good in the world demanded their highest ambition to unite and be bold.
He said the week marked the 10th anniversary of the Charter of the Commonwealth, which gave expression to the defining values – peace and justice, tolerance, respect and solidarity, care for the environment, and for the most vulnerable, among them.
He said these were not simply ideals; adding that ‘in each lies an imperative to act, and to make a practical difference in the lives of the 2.6 billion people who call the Commonwealth home.’
He said whether on climate change and biodiversity loss, youth opportunity and education, global health, or economic co-operation, the Commonwealth could play an indispensable role in the most pressing issues of the time.
“Ours is an association not just of shared values, but of common purpose and joint action,” he said.
King Charles said the Commonwealth was blessed with the ingenuity and imagination of a third of the world’s population, including one and a half billion people under the age of 30.
“Our shared humanity contains an immensely precious diversity of thought, culture, tradition and experience. By listening to each other, we will find so many of the solutions that we seek.”
The King said the extraordinary potential was more than equal to the challenges.
He said the Commonwealth offered them unparalleled strength not merely to face the future, but to build it.
He said the Commonwealth had an incredible opportunity, and responsibility, to create a genuinely durable future – one that offered the kind of prosperity that was in harmony with Nature and that would also secure the unique and only planet for generations to come.
“The myriad connections between our nations have sustained and enriched us for more than seven decades. Our commitment to peace, progress and opportunity will sustain us for many more,” he said.
“Let ours be a Commonwealth that not only stands together, but strives together, in restless and practical pursuit of the global common good.”
Mr Thomas Mbomba, a Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, urged Commonwealth Member States to reaffirm their commitment to forging a sustainable and peaceful common future.
“Let us work together, in the spirit of cooperation to build a more resilient world against the future.”
Madam Patricia Scotland, Commonwealth Secretary-General, in speech read on her behalf by Mr John Obeng Apea of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council, said, “We stand together now to face the challenges of the moment and seize the opportunities of tomorrow. Where there is violence and conflict, we work for peace. Where there is insecurity, we protect the culture, process and institutions of democracy. Where there is poverty, we tackle it. Where there is injustice, we challenge it.”