Seychelles celebrates the diversity of Commonwealth





Commemorating Commonwealth Day yesterday, British High Commissioner Caron Röhsler said that the Commonwealth differs from other international organisations because it’s not just government-to-government, it’s also about people-to-people links.

“There are Commonwealth Associations for things as diverse as: broadcasting, forestry, engineering, pharmacy, museums, parliaments, tourism... the list goes on. But by far the largest group the Commonwealth actively represents is the young people represented by the Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC),” Ms Röhsler said.

The CYC is the official voice of the 1.2 billion youth of the Commonwealth and is the largest and most diverse youth-led organisation in the world.

“CYC plays a vital role in the youth development agenda and co-ordinates the youth activities and policies of the Commonwealth,” Ms Röhsler said, noting that Seychelloise Angelique Pouponneau is just coming to the end of a very productive two-year term on the Council.

High Commissioner Röhsler said the Commonwealth has significantly increased its youth engagement and representation, recognising that young people are the majority of the Commonwealth’s population and its future.

“This is a message we want all generations in Seychelles to hear, and I hope today’s event will help to spread that message,” she said.

This year the British high commission teamed up with the Meraki Foundation to help mark Commonwealth Day with a word up style of event where individuals shared their story about their involvement with Commonwealth.

A flag raising ceremony of the Union Jack officially launched the event at the British high commissioner’s residence in Bel Air.

The eldest scout leader, Charles Zialor, raised the Commonwealth flag while the Mayor of Victoria David Andre had the honour of reading the message from the Commonwealth secretary-general (SG).

Harry Anacoura, B.E.M (British Empire Medallist), read the affirmation from the Commonwealth.

High Commissioner Röhsler also noted that another important body that supports democracy in the Commonwealth is the Parliamentary Association.

In January this year, Seychelles hosted a conference of all the Speakers of the Parliaments and National Assemblies of the Commonwealth member-states.

Hon. Gervais Henrie and Hon. Sebastien Pillay represented Seychelles at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Forum in London recently.

Present at yesterday’s ceremony were Vice-President Vincent Meriton, members of the Seychelles Scouts and Seychelles’ Ex-servicemen associations, Seychellois athletes who have participated in Olympic and Commonwealth games, awardees of the Duke of Edinburgh International Gold scheme, among other guests.

There was also a ceremonial cake cutting by VP Meriton and HC Röhsler.

Meanwhile in his message for the occasion, President Danny Faure said this year’s theme ‘Towards a common future’ aims to address global challenges and build a better future for all citizens through fairness, prosperity, sustainability, and security.

“Here in Seychelles, this year’s theme is significant as we forge a unified future together. We encourage active citizenship, and urge all our citizens to commit themselves to securing a better future for Seychelles,” President Faure said.

Noting that the Commonwealth family is steadily growing stronger, President Faure said Seychelles is proud of its membership of the organisation.

“As members we are bound together by our history, language, and institutions; but also united through our shared values of freedom, peace, rule of law and opportunities for all. The vision that is the hallmark of the Commonwealth, the consensus, and the scope of our association, remains relevant more than ever before, especially with emerging global challenges,” said President Faure.





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