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Passing the mantle at the Council of Commonwealth Societies

24 January 2013
Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma yesterday hosted a reception at the Commonwealth headquarters, Marlborough House in London, to thank the outgoing Chair of the Council of Commonwealth Societies, Lord Watson of Richmond, and to welcome the Council’s incoming Chair, Lord Howell of Guildford.

Addressing the gathering of high commissioners from Commonwealth member countries, and representatives of Commonwealth civil society organisations, the Secretary-General observed that the transition was taking place at a propitious time – one at which the Commonwealth star is rising as interest focuses on the promising economic growth rates and trade potential to be found among its member states.

Describing Lord Watson as a true friend and champion of the Commonwealth who had brought a wealth of political and communications acumen to the role, the Secretary-General expressed appreciation for his eight years of dedicated service as Chair of the Council.

Mr Sharma extended a warm welcome to Lord Howell, with whom he said he looked forward to working closely to promote the Commonwealth and its potential. The Secretary-General said that during a ministerial career stretching back over forty years, and particularly as the United Kingdom minister with special responsibility for the Commonwealth until last year, Lord Howell had been a magnificent advocate for both the value and values of the Commonwealth.