BRITISH High Commission, with several schools and Government Ministries have recently gathered at Yacht Club for a Commonwealth Big Lunch to celebrate the 2018 Commonwealth Day.
The gathering in Yacht Club is one of many Commonwealth Big Lunches happening across the 53 Commonwealth nations from 12 March – Commonwealth Day – until Sunday 22 April of this year.
The Governor General Sir Frank Kabui, Prime Minister Rick Houenipwela, Speaker Ajilone Nasiu, Diplomatic corps, Government Ministries and students, attended the fabulous lunch event.
The theme of this year’s Commonwealth day is “Towards a Common Future. The event is to come together to celebrate, build connections, discover and share their Commonwealth links, stories and experiences with one another over a shared meal or food.
British High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, David Ward stated in her message to mark the annual event, “We are delighted to hold our own Commonwealth Big Lunch. By stopping to share food and conversation, people in Honiara have had the chance to celebrate and bring our community closer together.
“It’s been a great opportunity to appreciate and strengthen the connections we’ve got to each other and to the wider community across the Commonwealth,” he said.
His Excellency (H.E), David Ward reiterated that this theme is in line with the things that we will look forward to at Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting which is taking place on the 18th, 19th and 20th April in London this year, for the first time in over fifty years.
“The Heads of Government of all our member states will meet together to consider what a Common Future might be, what they can agree to work together towards.
“There, we expect that they will agree that they will work towards a Fairer Future.
“A future in which everyone will have the fair chance; where education will be available to all, including especially girls, who in so many countries are excluded from access to full education.
“A fairer future where everyone will have the chance to take parting government by choosing a government through visual by standing to take part it and where all are free from persecution and oppression of all forms, including especially all forms of discrimination,” His Excellency Ward said.
He said that our leaders would also be looking at how they will achieve a Safer Future, a future where our citizens can be confident that they will live in peace, without threats even from new and growing threats such as cyber-threats.
“They will also look at how they will help work towards a more Prosperous Future for us all where members of the Commonwealth will work together to promote trade and to allow their citizens to harvest their benefits of their work.
“And also they will look at how we together achieve a more Sustainable Future. A future where we will all ensure that we protect the environment- the air we breathe, the water we drink and the land we live off. Everything that makes life possible and without which we cannot live,” Ward told participants.
He said apart of that, that sustainable future theme, we expect the Heads of Government meeting in April will agree a Blue Charter which sets out the values that all our Governments and people agree on about preserving and protecting the marine environment which is the source of so much of our livelihoods and our wellbeing.
“This will include the focus this year on Plastic pollution which is now recognised increasingly as a threat to the health of the oceans.
“A plastic bag is used on average for twelve minutes, but can last for a thousand years. Many end up in the sea where it is expected that by 2025 there will be a ton of plastic pollution for every three tons of fish,” the British High Commissioner to Solomon islands said.