The Lord Mayor of Birmingham will be starting this year’s Commonwealth Day events in the city next week.
Commonwealth Day, which is on Monday (9 March 2015), 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 Shafique Shah, will launch proceedings by raising the Commonwealth Flag outside the Council House, in Victoria Square, at 9.30am. He will then welcome the Chairman of the Birmingham Commonwealth Association ahead of a special citizenship ceremony at Birmingham Register Office, in Holliday Street, at 10.30am.
During the ceremony the Lord Mayor will present citizenship certificates to 30 of the city’s newest British Citizens, who will also receive certificates from the Birmingham Commonwealth Association.
Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Cllr Shafique Shah, said: “It will give me great pleasure to officially raise the Commonwealth Flag and meet some of Birmingham’s newest British Citizens who have come from a number of different Commonwealth countries to live here.
“As the first citizen of Birmingham, which is a cosmopolitan city with residents from many Commonwealth countries, I am looking forward to marking this important occasion.”
This year’s theme, A Young Commonwealth, recognises the contribution and potential of young people as the majority of its population are aged under 30.
This also something Birmingham recognises as it too is a young city with more than 45 per cent of its residents aged 29 or under ‘compared to the national average of 36.8 per cent for England.’
Later that evening the Leader of Birmingham City Council, Sir Albert Bore, and the Lord Lieutenant for the West Midlands, Paul Sabapathy, will attend a dinner organised by the Birmingham Commonwealth Association at University College Birmingham, where the city’s relationship with its Commonwealth partners will be celebrated.
Sir Albert Bore said: “Birmingham is a truly international city with 187 nationalities represented within its population, so it is appropriate it should celebrate our citizens achievements and heritage on Commonwealth Day.
“Like its growing population of students and young professionals, Birmingham has ambitions and it seeks to achieve those by working with its many international partners, including many members of the Commonwealth.”
Keith Stokes-Smith, Chairman of the Birmingham Commonwealth Association, said: “I am so pleased that we have been able to hold this, our first Commonwealth Association Dinner, some 12 months on from our founding. The event provides an opportunity for our three focus groups – being Trade and Business, Communities and Education – to come together on a special day in the year common to all.
“The Association is all about outcomes resulting from engagement, partnership and collaboration with our Commonwealth colleagues and Greater Birmingham to the benefit of them all. The Commonwealth is a family of nations with great potential to further build upon its common history and values.”
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Notes to editors:
The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 53 independent and equal sovereign states. It is home to 2.2 billion citizens, of which more than 60 per cent are aged under 30.
It includes some of the world’s largest, smallest, richest and poorest countries, spanning five regions: 31 of its members are small states, many of which are island nations.
For more information visit: http://thecommonwealth.org/about-us#sthash.32Z13SEQ.dpuf
Birmingham Commonwealth Association
These events are being organised by the Birmingham Commonwealth Association, which is chaired by Keith Stokes Smith, a magistrate and Consul for Lithuania in the West Midlands.
For more information visit: