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Secretary-General joins a universal call on behalf of humanity in Montreal

14 June 2017

The Commonwealth’s Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland, has joined the leaders of the Francophonie, the Ibero-American General Secretariat and the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries to make a universal call on behalf of humanity at the International Economic Forum of the Americas in Montreal.

The call to action proposes a form of globalization that overcomes economic inequality through quality education and training along with an approach to development that addresses environmental sustainability.

Aware that global challenges cannot be tackled individually, the leaders have called for more joint action on shared values, dialogue and consensus-building, multilateralism and diplomacy, cooperation, peace and justice.

“Respect for the dignity of every community and of every person, is fundamental to the values and principles of our Commonwealth Charter,” said Secretary-General Scotland.  “It lies at the heart of our efforts to address the breadth of challenges facing our world today.

“Building sustainability and resilience, socially and economically, to address extreme weather, financial strain, and violent extremism, requires respect and understanding for the needs of all individuals, communities and nations, and the contributions they can make,” she continued.  “Inclusive and sustainable progress, with no one left behind, is vital if we are to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.”

With the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development as a frame of reference, the leaders of the four organizations are advocating for globalization that is committed to the reduction of poverty and inequality while promoting gender equity and environmental balance, including regenerative approaches to climate change.

Together, the Ibero-American Community, led by Rebeca Grynspan, the Commonwealth, led by Patricia Scotland, the International Organization of La Francophonie, led by Michaelle Jean, and the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries, led by Maria do Carmo Silveira, represent 137 countries, states and territories on five continents. There are more than 3.9 billion people in these organisations, representing 53% of the world's population.  Its members include indigenous peoples, 30 of the 39 small island developing states, 37 of the 48 least developed countries on the planet, several emerging countries, three G7 countries and 10 G20 member countries.  All four organisations are currently headed by women.