Message delivered by Deputy Minister Sue van der Merwe on the Commonwealth Day.

This year we celebrate at once Commonwealth Day as well as the 60th anniversary of the birth of the Commonwealth of Nations.

Throughout these sixty years the Commonwealth has provided platforms and fora to affirm our common values and goals which include promoting democracy, human rights, good governance, multilateralism and world peace.

Although many of these goals have been achieved with various degrees of success, much more still needs to be done to improve the conditions of many people within the framework of the Singapore Declaration.

At the moment many countries face a debilitating financial crisis that threatens not only to undo whatever economic progress has been achieved thus far but further to sink the developing world into conditions of poverty, hunger, diseases ignorance and homelessness.

Based on the chosen theme for this year, “the commonwealth@60 – serving a new generation.” we are confident that as the Commonwealth of Nations, we will do all we can, not only to mitigate the effects of this global crisis but turn it into a stable and prosperous future.

Our common humanity places on us the imperative to work in unity with the single purpose of saving posterity from the clutches of poverty and under-development.

As a member state of this glorious organisation, South Africa is convinced that our collective efforts in this regard will not fail and will therefore do everything possible to contribute towards the achievement of our goals as an organisation.

Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152
Pretoria, 0001

09 March 2009.



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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa