The Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia has met with the Secretary General of the Commonwealth Baroness Scotland in London.
This is part of the policy of the Government to increase the engagement with the institutions of the Commonwealth following our departure from the European Union. Dr Garcia was able to update the Secretary General on the relevant activities that Gibraltar has developed in this regard. This included the recent essay competition for young people, the hoisting of the Commonwealth flag over Commonwealth Park, the hosting of the global Executive Committee of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and our participation last year in the Commonwealth Games.
Dr Garcia outlined the negotiations so far between the United Kingdom and the European Union to conclude a treaty for Gibraltar. He later went on to meet with the Deputy Director General of the Commonwealth Foundation, which is the agency for civil society, in order to gain a better understanding of how Gibraltar and the Foundation can cooperate going forward. The meeting also included the Manager of the Creative Commonwealth team.
The Deputy Chief Minister also held separate meetings with the High Commissioners of some Commonwealth countries. There has always been considerable interest in Gibraltar and some are grateful for the key role that the port played in the repatriation of their nationals who were stranded aboard cruise ships during the pandemic.
The Deputy Chief Minister, who is the Minister with responsibility for relations with the Commonwealth, said:
“The policy of the Government is to continue to increase our engagement with the institutions, organisations and member states of the Commonwealth. There are some organisations where Gibraltar and the Overseas Territories participate in their own right, and there are others where we do so by virtue of the membership of the United Kingdom. There is certainly scope for a discussion on a number of matters of common interest and I am very grateful to the Secretary General for her time. Gibraltar has long been proud of our relationship with the Commonwealth and we must look to build on this in the months and years to come.”