Public gatherings to raise the Commonwealth flag on Commonwealth Day have swiftly become well established as an imaginative annual demonstration of Commonwealth connection. They provide a splendid opportunity every year for people from all walks of life to join with others in their local community to celebrate Commonwealth Day in association with fellow citizens throughout our worldwide family.
Together we number over 2.4 billion people, a third of the world’s population. Each and every one of us has something very special to offer, and as Commonwealth citizens we gain and draw benefit from vast interconnected networks of mutual support and collaboration.
Commonwealth connection, and the values and principles we share, offer opportunities for valuable international cooperation and for increased individual fulfilment. People from nations and territories in every continent and ocean cherish the rich diversity of our membership and the deep sense of affinity and kinship we share.
By working together in practical ways in our local communities, and by interacting and cooperating across national boundaries, we build and sustain a more strongly connected Commonwealth that is mutually respectful, resilient, peaceful and prosperous and that cherishes equality of opportunity and inclusiveness.
Our theme this year is: 'Delivering A Common Future: Connecting, Innovating, Transforming'.
On Commonwealth Day we come together to acknowledge publicly and collectively the continuing aspiration of the Commonwealth to build on common traditions and uphold our shared values of democracy, inclusive development and respect for diversity.
Local and national flag raising ceremonies in school yards, on village greens, in town squares, and on mountaintops and beaches, bring greater understanding and appreciation of the values and principles of the Commonwealth Charter - to which the governments of all Commonwealth countries subscribe, and to which each of us individually as Commonwealth citizens can recommit ourselves on Commonwealth Day.
I send my best wishes to all involved, saluting you and wishing you well as you raise both the Commonwealth flag and awareness of all that we achieve together through Commonwealth connection, friendship and cooperation.