Ottawa, Ontario — Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement on Commonwealth Day:
“Canada has been a proud member of the Commonwealth since the organization’s creation in 1949.
“Commonwealth Day is an opportune moment to celebrate the strong bonds that bring the 53 member countries of the Commonwealth together in the spirit of cooperation and friendship. The Commonwealth promotes democracy, sustainable economic development, human rights and the rule of law, in accordance with its Charter’s principles. As a member of the Commonwealth family, headed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Canada remains committed to protecting and promoting these principles.
“The organization’s theme for 2015 is ‘A Young Commonwealth,’ recognizing the capacity and contribution of young people to make the world a better place, particularly this year when a new global development framework will be adopted. Canada has worked diligently to ensure that our top development priority – maternal, newborn and child health – remains at the forefront of international cooperation worldwide. Canada has also prioritized efforts to end child, early and forced marriage.
“We look forward to participating in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta next November, where I anticipate constructive and purposeful dialogue about the way forward for the organization with respect to its core values and principles.
“I am pleased to join Canadians from coast to coast to coast and the more than two billion people that share our common heritage to mark this important day, as we strive to improve the lives of all Commonwealth citizens.”