The Lord Mayor of Birmingham will start this year’s Commonwealth Day events in the city next week.
Commonwealth Day, which is on Monday (13 March 2017), is an opportunity for promote understanding on global issues, international co-operation and the work of Commonwealth organisations, which aim to improve people’s lives.
The Lord Mayor, Cllr Carl Rice, will launch proceedings by raising the Commonwealth Flag outside the Council House, in Victoria Square, at 10.20am, in the presence of Dr Aman Puri the newly appointed Consul General for India, and Wade Lyn, the Honorary Consul for Jamaica.
Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Cllr Carl Rice, said: “It will give me great pleasure to officially raise the Commonwealth Flag and mark this year’s Commonwealth Day.
“This year will be particularly relevant as we have announced our intention to bid for the 2026 Commonwealth Games.”
The Lord Mayor will read the following affirmation –
Joining together as members of one worldwide Commonwealth community, and valuing the personal dignity and worth of every citizen, we raise this flag as a symbol of the ties of kinship and affinity that we cherish.
We draw inspiration from our diversity, and the opportunities for working together, as a rich source of wisdom and a powerful influence for good in the world. We affirm our commitment to upholding the values set out in the Commonwealth Charter, to serving one another in a spirit of respect and understanding, and to advancing development, democracy and cooperation locally, nationally and internationally.
The Right Honourable Patricia Scotland QC Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations has said: “Fly a Flag for the Commonwealth provides a splendid opportunity every year for people from all walks of life to join with others in their local community to celebrate Commonwealth Day in association with fellow citizens throughout our worldwide family.
“People from nations and territories in every continent and ocean cherish the rich diversity of our membership, the deep sense of affinity and kinship we share, and the Commonwealth values and principles that unite us. Together we number almost 2.5 billion people, a third of the world’s population. Each one of us has something very special to offer, and as Commonwealth citizens we gain and draw benefit from vast interconnected networks of mutual support.”
On Monday, the Lord Mayor’s Deputy, Cllr Shafique Shah, will join the Chairman of the Birmingham Commonwealth Association at a special citizenship ceremony at Birmingham Register Office, in Holliday Street, at 11am.
During the ceremony the Lord Mayor’s Deputy will present citizenship certificates to 25 of the city’s newest British Citizens, who will also receive certificates from the Birmingham Commonwealth Association.
The Birmingham Commonwealth Association will also be hosting a networking dinner at University College Birmingham to celebrate Birmingham and West Midlands engagement with the Commonwealth. This provides an opportunity for representatives of the private, public, cultural and academic sectors to share their experiences with what are often the countries of heritage of many Birmingham citizens.
Notes to editors –
The Commonwealth is made up of fifty-three sovereign states working together in mutual support towards shared goals of democracy, development, and respect for diversity. It includes some of the world’s largest, smallest, richest and poorest countries, with two billion citizens drawn from all faiths and ethnicities, half of them under 25 years old.
Beyond the ties of history, language and institutions, members are united by values set out in the Charter of the Commonwealth including tolerance, freedom of expression, respect for human rights, the rule of law, protecting the environment, access to health, education, food and shelter, and gender equality.
Commonwealth countries come together voluntarily in a spirit of co-operation, partnership and understanding, and are located in six regions:
the Americas (3)
the Caribbean (10)
and the South Pacific (11)