Monday, March 12, 2012

Happy Commonwealth Day!!!

I hope one day the Commonwealth will be one huge free trade zone. I urge HM Governments IN the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand to conclude free trade agreements and to drop all trade barriers against all the poorest Commonwealth nations. let us start negotiations for a huge friendly free trade zone.

Greetings from Our Sovereign Lady One of the great benefits of today’s technology-based world is the range of opportunities it offers to understand and appreciate how others live: we can see, hear and enter into the experience of people in communities and circumstances far removed from our own. A remarkable insight we gain from such windows on the world is that, however different outward appearances may be, we share a great deal in common. Our circumstances and surroundings may vary enormously, for example in the food we eat and the clothes we wear, but we share one humanity, and this draws us all together. The joys of celebration and sympathy of sadness may be expressed differently but they are felt in the same way the world over. How we express our identities reveals both a rich diversity and many common threads. Through the creative genius of artists - whether they be writers, actors, film-makers, dancers or musicians - we can see both the range of our cultures and the elements of our shared humanity. “Connecting Cultures”, our Commonwealth theme this year, encourages us to consider the special opportunities we have, as members of this unique gathering of nations, to celebrate an extraordinary cultural tapestry that reflects our many individual and collective identities. The Commonwealth treasures and respects this wealth of diversity. Connecting cultures is more, however, than observing others and the ways in which they express themselves. This year, our Commonwealth focus seeks to explore how we can share and strengthen the bond of Commonwealth citizenship we already enjoy by using our cultural connections to help bring us even closer together, as family and friends across the globe. To support this theme, a special song has been composed for the Commonwealth, ‘Stronger as One’. There are any number of ways in which that single piece of music alone can be played or sung anywhere in the Commonwealth. And by sharing the same music with our own personal interpretations and contributions, the wonderful human attribute of imagination is nourished, and we gain insights of understanding and appreciation of others. The Commonwealth offers a pathway for this greater understanding and the opportunity to expand upon our shared experiences in a wider world. A world in which paths to mutual respect and common cause may also be explored and which can draw us together, stronger and better than before. From HM Canadian Governor General Commonwealth Day March 12, 2012 Message from His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, on the Occasion of Commonwealth Day OTTAWA— The roots of Commonwealth Day are firmly planted in Canadian soil: in 1894, the Royal Colonial Society suggested ‘Empire Day’ be celebrated across the country. This national occasion was so well-received, other countries took up the banner. In 1975, it was again Canada that proposed a “simultaneously observed Commonwealth Day”—a proposal enthusiastically embraced by all Commonwealth countries. Fifty-four member nations throughout the world now observe Commonwealth Day. The theme for 2012, Connecting Cultures, is about sharing our traditions and customs with one another. In a world where our means of communication have become lightning-fast, humanity must learn to see beyond borders and beneath the veneer of appearance to discover how much we truly have in common. In keeping with this theme, it is fitting that 2012 also marks the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the Throne. As the head of the Commonwealth, she has served its member nations with dignity and grace for 60 years. It gives me great pleasure to join with all Canadians in celebrating this Commonwealth Day; I wish all of you good health, prosperity and peace. David Johnston -30- Commonwealth Day is celebrated on March 12, 2012. Media information: Marie-Ève Létourneau Rideau Hall Press Office 613-998-0287 From the HM Canadian Prime Minister's Web Site ( Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada on Commonwealth Day March 12, 2012 Ottawa, Ontario Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued the following statement today marking Commonwealth Day: “This day provides us with the opportunity to celebrate the strong bonds of cooperation and friendship that exist among the 54 countries that form the Commonwealth. “This year is of particular significance for Commonwealth members as together we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the accession to the throne of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Canadians will celebrate Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee this year with several special initiatives, including a Diamond Jubilee Medal, designed to honour The Queen’s reign, her service and her dedication to our country. “Canada’s close Commonwealth ties will also be evident during the upcoming tour of Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall in May of this year. “Finally, on this day, it is also fitting to celebrate the Commonwealth’s collective success in promoting democracy and development around the world, in addition to reiterating Canada’s commitment to keeping the institution responsive to members’ needs and capable of tackling the significant global challenges of the 21st century. “We will continue to advocate for and support initiatives that help ensure the Commonwealth remains modern. The recent appointment of Senator Hugh Segal as Canada’s special envoy for Commonwealth renewal is a testament to our commitment to the success of this vital institution.”

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