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Commonwealth gives Botswana wider platform

16 Mar 2023

Commonwealth membership affords Botswana a wider platform to promote national interests and a voice on important global issues, Ministry of Foreign Affairs permanent secretary Ambassador Dr Gladys Mokhawa has said. 

Explaining to BOPA the relevance and significance of the organisation in an interview on Wednesday, Dr Mokhawa noted that the Commonwealth played a critical role in the development of member states as well as shaping the global agenda. 

The permanent secretary said Botswana, which joined the now 56-member organisation soon after independence in 1966, had derived many benefits from its membership including financial and technical assistance as well as expertise in different areas such as trade negotiations, infrastructure development, youth and sports programmes, public service reforms, anti-corruption initiatives, mining and management of parliamentary affairs.

Dr Mokhawa explained that the Commonwealth was a voluntary association of countries that shared common values of development, democracy, good governance, justice, human rights, and respect for the rule of law, peace and security. 

“Commonwealth promotes these values at national and international levels. Member states have no legal obligation to one another but are connected through the use of the English language and in a majority of cases, historical ties,” she said. 

Botswana this week joined other member states in hoisting the Commonwealth flag for peace as part of efforts to promote 2023 as the Commonwealth Year of Peace. 

Raised at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs grounds since Monday, the flag features a white dove on the right hand corner and symbolises the organisation’s shared values and principles including cooperation on economic and social development, diversity, respect, friendship and promotion of peace around the world. 

The event coincides with the organisation’s celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Commonwealth Charter and buttresses collective commitment to peace as a central tenet of the charter. The organisation dates back to the 20th century when most former British colonies gained independence and is made up of the United Kingdom, its former colonies as well as previously non-British territories. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Bonang Masolotate

Location : GABORONE

Event : Interview

Date : 16 Mar 2023