In her message to mark the occasion, Queen Elizabeth said that the baton which began a “long and extraordinary journey” from Buckingham Palace on Monday, will visit people living in the nations and territories of the Commonwealth in every continent and ocean.
“Carried on its way by thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds, by the time it reaches its final destination, The Queen’s Baton will have brought together through its route and symbolism, almost 2.5 billion people who share the special connection of being Commonwealth citizens,” she said.
She said while the message in the baton will be read at the 2018 Commonwealth Games “there is an even more powerful message to be seen and experienced as the baton passes from hand to hand, from seashore to mountaintop, through cities, towns, and villages. It is the message of a peace-building Commonwealth.
“The cornerstones on which peace is founded are, quite simply, respect and understanding for one another. Working together, we build peace by defending the dignity of every individual and community.”
Commonwealth Day is being observed under the theme “A Peace-building Commonwealth” and in her message, Commonwealth Secretary General Baroness Patricia Scotland, said the shared values and language, similar institutions of democratic governance and administration, and the Common Law, “make it easy for us to understand one another, to discuss obstacles and opportunities, and to work together for the common good.
“This results in what we call ‘Commonwealth Advantage’, with the interoperability of our systems facilitating mutual support and cooperation, and boosting levels of trade and commerce among our member states.
“Most importantly, in times of promise and of peril, it raises awareness and appreciation of our interdependence, and the need for exchange and reciprocity,” said the Secretary General, who is ending her first year in office.
- Countries: United_Kingdom