Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 27, 2015 (SKNIS) —Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, has hailed the recently elected Commonwealth Secretary-General, Her Excellency Baroness Patricia Scotland, as a woman with strong attachments to the Caribbean and as one who has “a broad global view” which is needed to “lead the Commonwealth in a new era when solutions are required to critical problems.”
Her Excellency Baroness Scotland is accustomed to being the first in many high profile posts. Born in the Commonwealth of Dominica, she migrated to the United Kingdom when she was just three years old where she grew up and rose to prominence as the first black woman to be appointed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as Queen’s Counsel in 1991. In 2007, she again made history by becoming the first woman in the United Kingdom to hold the office of attorney general, being appointed by former Prime Minister Gordon Brown. She is now the first woman and first United Kingdom (UK) citizen to ever be elected secretary-general of the Commonwealth by leaders of the 53 nation bloc. Her election came on the first day of the 24th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) being held in Valletta, Malta, from November 27-29, 2015.
Prime Minister of Malta, Honourable Joseph Muscat, speaking at the CHOGM said that after “a thorough discussion” Baroness Scotland enjoyed “unanimous support.”
The only male in the race was Sir Ronald Michael Sanders, who is a Guyanese/Antiguan scholar, journalist and diplomat. He was knocked out after the first round of voting leaving in the race the other woman contender, Mmasekgoa Masire-Mwamba, a national of Botswana who served two terms as Deputy Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Secretariat from 2008-2014. Baroness Scotland won on the third ballot. Both Baroness Scotland and Masire-Mwamba were the first ever women to contest the post for Commonwealth Secretary-General.
“The 53 countries have within them the ability and capacity to create something the world desperately needs,” Her Excellency Baroness Scotland said.
She is expected to take up office on April 1, 2016.