Caribbean News Service (CNS).
ST JOHN’S, Antigua, Mar 31 2016 – As Baroness Patricia Scotland gets ready to take over as Commonwealth Secretary General on April 1, she said her first priority is to promote unity among member states.
“We can join together. We have so much in common. We have the common law, the common language, common institutions, common values both enunciated in the Harare Principles and indeed in the new charter. So if we were to pool our opportunities, pool our intelligence, pool our technical ability, what can we not do if we choose? I think this is a huge opportunity for us all to come together and work together in unison,” she said.
“The most important thing, I think, is to bring the whole Commonwealth together so that we can take advantage of all the skills and the beauty and diversity that comes from our 53 different nation states and of course 31 one of those states are SIDS – small independent developing states and I am so proud as the Dominican candidate I am going to be leading the Commonwealth for the Caribbean and for everybody else too.”
Scotland, 60, becomes the sixth Commonwealth Secretary-General and the first woman to serve in the post.
She was selected at November’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta after a hotly-contested race that, for a while, divided the 15-member CARICOM grouping.
Born in Dominica, Scotland was the 10th of 12 children of an Antiguan mother and a Dominican father. Her family moved to the United Kingdom when she was a toddler. She was raised in the UK, pursued studies in law and was called to the bar 1977.
The Baroness has a long history of breaking barriers. In 1991, she was the first black woman to be made a Queens Counsel. She later became the first black female government minister United Kingdom and the first woman and black person to become Attorney General in that country.