Today, Monday 13th March, over 2.6 million people celebrate Commonwealth Day across the Commonwealth Family of Nations. This year’s theme is ‘Forging a Sustainable and Peaceful Common Future’.
The day has been marked in Gibraltar with the addition of an 8m flag mast at Commonwealth Park, which has been proudly flying the Commonwealth flag since the since the early hours of this morning.
HMGoG has also announced the winners of the Commonwealth Essay Competition which saw entries from several students across four different categories answering the question ‘Why the Commonwealth is important to Gibraltar?”
The winning essays in each category were:
Lower Primary – Luca Trinidad
Upper Primary – Gianella Pitto
Secondary – Haylee Pincho
University – Gabriella Chipol
The essays winners were selected by a panel which included representatives of the Royal Commonwealth Society and the Commonwealth Youth Association.
Over the last year, HMGoG has continued its commitment to the Commonwealth by participating in and organising various events.
In October, Minister Sacramento, together with the Gibraltar Parliament, hosted The Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians conference with over 20 delegates from the British Islands and Mediterranean Region. There was a dedicated outreach session open to the community with the aim off promoting discussion to encourage more women to stand for election.
Last summer, over 20 Gibraltarian athletes competed at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. This was a great opportunity and a chance to gain invaluable experience for all 23 representatives in seven different sports for Team Gibraltar.
The Commonwealth declared 2023 the ‘Year of the Youth’ following discussions at Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2022, which saw Gibraltar represented at ministerial, business and youth level.
HMGoG’s commitment to the role of young people in the Commonwealth remained evident throughout last year. In June, two representatives attended the Commonwealth Youth Forum in Rwanda, and in November 2022, two youth delegates again represented Gibraltar at the Commonwealth Youth parliament in Trinidad and Tobago.
Gibraltar also continues to grow its business ties through the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC), the business arm of the Commonwealth, with a dedicated office set up in Gibraltar since 2019.
The Deputy Chief Minister, who has responsibility for relations with the Commonwealth, the Hon Dr Joseph Garcia CMG MP, said:
“For many years now, the Commonwealth has held great significance in Gibraltar, but this is truer in recent times following our departure from the European Union. HMGoG has invested time and resources into developing business and social relationships with other member states by engaging in various forums and meetings throughout the year. Gibraltar is not a member state of the Commonwealth, we are an Overseas Territory of a member state, but nonetheless there are still many opportunities to engage with other countries in different Commonwealth organisations and frameworks.
“It is worth reflecting that this is the first Commonwealth Day in which His Majesty The King is the Head of the Commonwealth following the passing of The Late Queen, which means member states will have the chance to come together again this year to celebrate his coronation.
“HMGoG remains committed to developing our social-economic and political ties with the rest of the Commonwealth, and ensuring that Gibraltar continues to have an input when discussing the prevalent matters of climate change, growth, youth affairs, peace and prosperity with the entire Commonwealth Family of Nations”.