Dominican-born Commonwealth SG takes up post

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Dominican-born Baroness Patricia Scotland yesterday began her job as Commonwealth Secretary-General, pledging to focus on several issues of concern to the Caribbean, including dealing with violence against women and the effects of climate change.

Dominican-born Baroness Patricia Scotland
Dominican-born Baroness Patricia Scotland

The first woman to hold the post was welcomed by hundreds of guests – including well-known figures from the world of politics, sports and broadcasting – at Commonwealth headquarters in Marlborough House.

She said tackling domestic violence would be one of her priorities, noting that the problem is “literally stealing our futures”.

The Commonwealth Secretary-General warned that allowing women to be abused and disregarded would continue to hamper the health and well-being of societies.

“I am determined that we are going to work together on tackling violence against women and girls, deal with the existential threat of climate change, promote trade and good governance, champion the health, well-being and human rights of our citizens, and ensure young people have the opportunities they need for the future,” she said in her first official address.

Born in the small village of St Joseph in Dominica, she said she knew only too well about the threat of climate change, and she urged members of the Commonwealth to work together and make good on commitments agreed at the global Paris Climate Conference last December.

“We can show the world about building resilience and finding innovative solutions,” Baroness Scotland said.

She added that boosting Commonwealth trade and creating better opportunities for young people, who make up 60 per cent of the Commonwealth population, would also be at the top of her agenda.

“I am confident that we can change things for the better. I want the Commonwealth to be a voice for everyone who shares our common values and hopes,” she concluded.

During her address, the Dominican described herself as “a classic child of the Commonwealth” – born in the Caribbean and brought up in London.

She also highlighted her journey of “firsts” – from the first black woman to join the Queen’s Counsel in the United Kingdom, the first woman to hold the position of UK Attorney General and the first woman Commonwealth Secretary-General – and said she looked forward to supporting new generations of female leaders.

yesterday began her job as Commonwealth Secretary-General, pledging to focus on several issues of concern to the Caribbean, including dealing with violence against women and the effects of climate change.

The first woman to hold the post was welcomed by hundreds of guests – including well-known figures from the world of politics, sports and broadcasting – at Commonwealth headquarters in Marlborough House.

She said tackling domestic violence would be one of her priorities, noting that the problem is “literally stealing our futures”.

The Commonwealth Secretary-General warned that allowing women to be abused and disregarded would continue to hamper the health and well-being of societies.

“I am determined that we are going to work together on tackling violence against women and girls, deal with the existential threat of climate change, promote trade and good governance, champion the health, well-being and human rights of our citizens, and ensure young people have the opportunities they need for the future,” she said in her first official address.

Born in the small village of St Joseph in Dominica, she said she knew only too well about the threat of climate change, and she urged members of the Commonwealth to work together and make good on commitments agreed at the global Paris Climate Conference last December.

“We can show the world about building resilience and finding innovative solutions,” Baroness Scotland said.

She added that boosting Commonwealth trade and creating better opportunities for young people, who make up 60 per cent of the Commonwealth population, would also be at the top of her agenda.

“I am confident that we can change things for the better. I want the Commonwealth to be a voice for everyone who shares our common values and hopes,” she concluded.

During her address, the Dominican described herself as “a classic child of the Commonwealth” – born in the Caribbean and brought up in London.

She also highlighted her journey of “firsts” – from the first black woman to join the Queen’s Counsel in the United Kingdom, the first woman to hold the position of UK Attorney General and the first woman Commonwealth Secretary-General – and said she looked forward to supporting new generations of female leaders. (Caribbean360.com)

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