Media Statement

09 March 2015

South African Government’s Commonwealth Day Message

Today, Monday, 09 March 2015, the fifty-three members of the Commonwealth across six continents, celebrate Commonwealth Day.

Numerous events and activities will take place in Commonwealth member countries during the course of the year to commemorate Commonwealth day.

On Commonwealth Day, HM Queen Elizabeth II, as Head of the Commonwealth, will deliver her Commonwealth Day message and lead a multi-faith observance at Westminster Abbey in London.

The theme for 2015 is “A Young Commonwealth”. The theme places young people in the centre of empowerment within the Commonwealth member countries. This is very appropriate as people aged 35 or under, account for the majority of the Commonwealth’s population and play a vital role in shaping society. The theme further recognises the capacity, contribution and potential of young people, particularly in 2015 when the world will define a global development framework to build on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

As part of Commonwealth youth work week held from 3 to 9 November 2014, one of South Africa’s youth workers was honoured as the 2014 Commonwealth Youth Worker Award for the Africa region and also as an overall winner for the Pan-Commonwealth Youth Worker Award. We applaud the Commonwealth Youth Affairs Division for recognising the contribution made by youth workers in the youth development space. 

This year, our national Under-20 Soccer team – Amajita, won the Commonwealth cup after a great impressive performance in their final against Finland where they scored 2-1.

South Africa continues to support the activities of the Commonwealth Youth Programme (CYP). In this regard, the Deputy Minister in The Presidency, Hon. Buti Manamela, recently led a delegation to the first Africa Region Commonwealth Ministers of Youth Meeting held in Yaounde, Cameroon from 8-10 February 2015.   Having been tasked to be in charge of youth affairs in the country, Deputy Minister Manamela continue to accelerate youth development at international and national levels. He is presently in the forefront of reviewing the National Youth Policy under the theme - “Youth Moving South Africa Forward.”

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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