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Secretary-General to visit Brussels and Geneva

22 October 2018

Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland is travelling to Brussels and Geneva to participate in high-level meetings on trade, youth and women’s economic empowerment.

In Brussels, the Secretary-General will meet her counterpart for the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States, Patrick Gomes, to discuss possible areas for future of collaboration including a successor Hub and Spokes programme.. She will also brief the ACP Trade Ministers Meeting on the Commonwealth Trade Agenda and initiatives adopted by government leaders in April to promote intra-Commonwealth trade and investment.

“The Commonwealth and ACP share many priorities and concerns, and indeed 40 ACP members are also members of the Commonwealth family of nations,” said the Secretary-General ahead of her travel. “We have enjoyed a close partnership with the ACP spanning several decades, working on socio-economic issues and implementing joint programmes designed to accelerate sustainable economic development in our member countries.”

During her time in Geneva, Secretary-General Scotland will launch a policy toolkit on Youth Entrepreneurship for the Green and Blue Economy at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD) Youth Forum. She will also address the World Investment Forum 2018 on fostering women’s economic empowerment for sustainable development.

She said, “Achieving gender equality and youth empowerment are integral to each of the 17 sustainable development goals. Only by ensuring the rights of women and young people across all the goals, and by sustaining our shared environment now and for future generations, will we get we get the economics that work for all.”

“I am thankful to UNCTAD for their continued partnership with the Commonwealth, not only in delivery this policy toolkit but also supporting trade, investment and development in our member countries,” she added.

This visit will also provide an opportunity to engage with other partners and senior officials from across Africa, the Caribbean, the Pacific and Europe to explore new forms of cooperation.