“As we join other fellow member countries in commemorating the Commonwealth and celebrating peace, we salute the shared diversity and uniqueness of our global family” - Minister George W. Vella

Reference Number:  , Press Release Issue Date: Mar 13, 2017

Today marks Commonwealth Day, a date when the countries of the Commonwealth commemorate the foundation of the Commonwealth.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs in conjunction with the resident Commonwealth High Commissions in Malta of the United Kingdom, Australia and Ghana, with the participation of students representing different colleges across Malta and Gozo, this morning took part in a ‘Walk for Peace’ in order to celebrate the theme of Commonwealth Day. The students, accompanied by the Minister for Foreign Affairs George W. Vella, representatives from the Commonwealth High Commissions in Malta as well as college principals, walked from the Parliament building to the Saluting Battery in Upper Barrakka Gardens. There, the schoolchildren received a short explanation on the Saluting Battery, followed by the firing of the salute at noon.

The ceremony continued at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs where the students read out a number of messages for peace, followed by a concluding speech by the Minister for Foreign Affairs. The resident Commonwealth High Commissioners also delivered speeches.

Dr Vella said, “in celebrating the Commonwealth, we are celebrating the shared efforts and endeavours towards promoting peace and harmony within the Commonwealth. Above all, we are voicing our shared commitment towards strengthening our community. As we look towards the future, we seek to achieve greater commitment to harnessing our full potential towards achieving a greater understanding among the Commonwealth community”.

Minister Vella said that today we are also celebrating positivity. The Minister referred to the messages of peace read by the schoolchildren and remarked that these were so carefully and thoughtfully inscribed by our youngsters, our future, and it is quite evident that adults can learn so much from listening to our future generations, who are unbiased and untarnished by the life experiences that adults go through and are affected by. Minister Vella said that, “no wonder the Commonwealth is investing so much in youth. Enough to mention the Youth Networks, the Youth Health network, the Youth Human Rights and Democracy Network, and the Youth Peace Ambassadors’ Network with its ‘No Hate Speech Movement’.”

The Minister’s full speech is attached.