Prime Minister statement on Commonwealth DayMonday, March 10, 2014 by: SooToday.com Staff
Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement to mark Commonwealth Day:
Today is an opportunity to celebrate the strong bonds, shared values, and principles which have united the 53 countries of the Commonwealth.
As a proud Commonwealth nation, Canada continues to play an active role in promoting good governance, democracy, human rights and peace and stability around the world.
Along with our Commonwealth partners, we have made progress in promoting dialogue and cooperation on important global issues, including the need to end child, early and forced marriage.
Canada’s historic links and close Commonwealth ties will be apparent during the upcoming visit in May by Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales, the future head of the Commonwealth, and The Duchess of Cornwall, as well as during the XX Commonwealth Games that will be held in Glasgow, Scotland, from July 23 to August 3, 2014.
Today, we strongly urge all members of the Commonwealth to reaffirm the values and principles captured in the Charter of the Commonwealth, including respect for human rights, the protection and promotion of religious freedom, and the need to oppose discrimination on any grounds.
This is critical in order for the Commonwealth to remain relevant and credible as a values-based organization in the 21st century.
In particular, I would also like to reiterate my concerns about the situation in Sri Lanka.
As the current chair of the Commonwealth, the Sri Lankan government has failed to uphold the Commonwealth’s core values and we continue to urge them to respect human rights and the rule of law.
The Commonwealth has traditionally been a beacon of democratic values for people around the world.
Canada will continue to promote and support initiatives to ensure that this legacy is upheld as the organization moves forward into the future.