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The Commonwealth can be a ‘pathfinder for the rest of the world’

16 August 2016

Governments should adopt new and creative ways of governing in order to overcome concerns such as climate change and slow economic growth, Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland has said.

Speaking on the opening day of the International Conference on Blue Ocean Strategy in Malaysia, the Secretary-General heralded the Commonwealth, which brings together 53 nations from across the globe, as a potential “pathfinder for the rest of the world”.

“We are now facing common challenges for which we need common solutions,” Secretary-General Scotland told delegates, highlighting the “existential threat’ of rising sea levels to many island nations.

The three-day conference between 18 and 20 August 2016 is hosted by the Government of Malaysia to promote the concept of the ‘blue ocean strategy’, which stresses that success in policy-making comes from collaboration rather than competition.

More than 3,000 delegates from around the world are attending including Heads of Government from Commonwealth and ASEAN member countries, and members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

Outlining her priorities which include promoting trade and good governance, tackling violence against women, and empowering young people, as well as dealing with climate change, the Secretary-General said it was vital to embrace “creativity and unique perspectives”.

“As Malaysia looks to unlock productivity and transform innovation to wealth, I hope to do the same for the Commonwealth,” she said. “There is an opportunity to use the platform created by the Commonwealth to be a hothouse - an innovation hub - where we collate the best practice from our 53 countries.

“We will work out not only what works but also what does not work, through sharing and collaborating, and create this win-win through which we can deliver real change.

The International Conference on Blue Ocean Strategy is held in parallel with the Biennial Commonwealth Ministers for Public Service Forum, which begins on 17 August. The ministerial forum brings together representatives from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Caribbean, Americas and the Pacific.

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