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Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Patricia Scotland, giving the King of Eswatini a Commonwealth Charter

Eswatini king: Commonwealth is key development partner

31 January 2020

The King of Eswatini has paid tribute to the Commonwealth for playing a key role in the country’s social, democratic and economic progress.

His Majesty Mswati III told the Secretary-General he considered the Commonwealth one of Eswatini's "key development partners".

The King said the country owed a debt of gratitude to the Commonwealth for assistance which, he says, has been pivotal in recent Eswatini advances. 

He said: "Here in the Kingdom, we are always grateful for all the activities of the Commonwealth.

"Since the establishment of the Commonwealth, it has been playing a very important part in many member countries as well. Here in the Kingdom, you’ve transferred your skills and expertise on numerous occasions - all to better the lives of our people.

“We're glad to hear that during the visit of the Secretary-General, she's been able to meet key Maswati Ministers and exchange ideas.“

His Majesty cited a range of programmes in which the Commonwealth’s expertise has proved invaluable, including:

  • Help with drafting the constitution
  • Work on deepening the country's democracy through the provision of technical assistance to strengthen independent national institutions, as well as the appointment of eminent personalities to encourage inclusive democratic reforms.
  • Appointment of a special envoy to encourage constructive dialogue and advance Commonwealth values
  • Technical assistance for the establishment of a human rights commission

The Secretary-General said: ”I have been so impressed by the commitment that Your Majesty and his government are making, to strive even harder to deliver the best for the people of Eswatini.

"I have been privileged to talk to your ministers about the reforms that they wish to make, the commitments they are making on health, on education, and on delivering a better economy.

“I have been saying we need to put the wealth back into Commonwealth, but also the common into wealth - and that’s exactly what Eswatini  is doing.”

The Secretary-General met with the King during a four-day official visit to the southern African nation.