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Garcia highlights importance of Commonwealth to secondary school students – 86/2023

By February 16, 2023 No Comments
86.1 2023

The Deputy Chief Minister, the Hon Dr Joseph Garcia, as Minister with responsibility for relations with the Commonwealth held a presentation at Westside School earlier today for all Year 12 students of our secondary schools and the College.

Dr Garcia spoke about the importance of the Commonwealth to Gibraltar and, in particular, the work being done to encourage young people to get involved in HMGoG’s work to promote Gibraltar in the organisation. He outlined the important historical ties between Gibraltar, the Commonwealth institutions and its member states. The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Commonwealth Local Government Association, the Commonwealth Games and the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council were some of the areas where Gibraltar continues to be involved.

The presentation followed the Government’s announcement of an essay competition for students of all ages, up to and including university level. A £150 pound prize will be given to the winner of each category after submission of an essay on “Why the Commonwealth is important to Gibraltar”. The deadline for submission is Friday 3rd March 2023 and submissions can be made to commonwealth@gibraltar.gov.gi

This was emphasised further by Aaron Santos and Adriana Lopez, on behalf of the Commonwealth Youth Association, who outlined their experience representing Gibraltar at the Commonwealth Youth Parliament in India in 2018 and in Rwanda in 2022. It is important to point out that 60% of the 2.6 billion people in the Commonwealth are under the age of 30.

The Deputy Chief Minister, the Hon Dr Joseph Garcia CMG MP, said:

“I was delighted to have spoken to our sixth formers this morning about the importance of the Commonwealth to Gibraltar. Since we were elected in 2011, the Government has invested a lot of time in encouraging our young people to get involved in the work of the Commonwealth. This is even more relevant in 2023 which is the Commonwealth Year of Youth. We have sent our students to Jersey, India, Rwanda, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom over that time, including separately placements at the College of Europe and in Washington. The Government is immensely proud of our young delegates and will continue to work with them to ensure that our young people have a voice and a clear role in shaping the future of our relationships.

I would like to thank the students and teachers for their time this morning and look forward to meeting with the winners of our essay competition in due course.”