Tonga joins the rest of the 56-member Commonwealth countries in commemorating Commonwealth Day today.
This year’s theme was ‘Forging a Sustainable and Peaceful Common Future.”
The Commonwealth Day aims to unite 2.5 billion Commonwealth citizens including Tongans in celebration of their shared values and principles, and in pursuit of a common future, centred on sustainability and peace.
It is the first Commonwealth Day presided over by His Majesty King Charles III as King and Head of the Commonwealth.
In his Commonwealth Day message, King Charles III said the event is an occasion of particular pride for his beloved mother, the late Queen – a treasured opportunity to celebrate our Commonwealth family to which service she dedicated her long and remarkable life.
He adds that upon succeeding her Majesty as Head of the Commonwealth, he drew great strength from her example, together with all that he had learnt from the extraordinary people he has met throughout the Commonwealth, over so many years.
King Charles III says this week also marks the tenth anniversary of the Charter of the Commonwealth, which gives expression to our defining values – peace and justice; tolerance, respect and solidarity; care four our environment, and for the most vulnerable among us.
“The Commonwealth has been a constant in my own life, and yet its diversity continues to amaze and inspire me. Its near-boundless potential as a force for good in the world demands our highest ambition; its sheer challenges us to unite and be bold,” said the King
He said these are not simply ideals but in each lies an imperative to act and to make a practical difference in the lives of the 2.6 billion people who call the Commonwealth home.
“Whether on climate change and biodiversity loss, youth opportunity and education, global health, or economic co-operation, the Commonwealth can play an indispensable role in the most pressing issues of our time. Ours in an association not just of shared values, but of common purpose and joint action,” said King Charles III
He added that our shared humanity contains such precious diversity of thought, culture, tradition and experience. And by listening to each other, we will find so many off the solutions that we seek.
“This extraordinary potential, which we hold in common, is more than equal to the challenges we face. It offers us unparalleled strength not merely to face the future, but to build it.
Here the Commonwealth has an incredible opportunity and responsibility to create a genuinely durable future – one that offers the kind of prosperity that is in harmony with nature and that will also secure our unique and only planet for generations to come,” said King Charles III
He concluded his Commonwealth Day message that the myriad connections between our nations have sustained and enriched us for more than seven decades. Our commitment to peace, progress and opportunity will sustain us for many more. Let ours be a Commonwealth that only stands together, but strives together, in restless and practical pursuit of the global common good.
On this tenth anniversary of the signing of our Commonwealth Charter, there is call for the Commonwealth countries including Tonga to pledge ourselves afresh to uphold and serve the values and fellowship of the Commonwealth.
The affirmation is that every person possesses unique worth and dignity. We affirm our desire for peace among all peoples and nations, and our belief in justice for everyone, everywhere.
There’s also affirmation for our respect for the natural world, and that we will be stewards of the earth by caring for every part of it, and working together for a sustainable future.
Another affirmation is our support for all young people, in very part of our Commonwealth, and our belief that the future successes of the Commonwealth rests with them.
Joining together in kinship and affinity, in diversity and unity, as members of a worldwide family of nations, we build on shared inheritances. Therefore, there is another affirmation that we cooperate with mutual respect and goodwill to deliver our common goals, for the common good.
Through our Commonwealth connection, we see each other, hear each other, learn from one another, and innovative to transform our communities and our nations, towards a more peaceful and sustainable common future for all.
In response, we affirm our belief in the Commonwealth as a powerful influence for good of the world, and pledge ourselves to its service, now and for the future.
The Commonwealth of Nations, also known as the Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of 53 member states in which Tonga is a member.