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British High Commissioner at Commonwealth Day event in Bangladesh

To celebrate the Commonwealth Day, British High Commissioner will speak at Commonwealth Society seminar today (March 10)

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To celebrate the Commonwealth Day, British High Commissioner His Excellency Robert W Gibson, CMG will speak at a seminar organised by Commonwealth Society of Bangladesh, today at 4pm at the BRAC Centre. Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed MP will be the chief guest at the event. Professor Selina Mohsin will present the keynote paper ‘Team Commonwealth’.

The British High Commissioner will call on Bangladesh to reflect the values enshrined in the Commonwealth Charter which Commonwealth members (including Bangladesh) signed at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka, November 2013.

The British High Commissioner will reiterate that the Charter commits Commonwealth members to

“equality and respect for the protection and promotion of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development, for all without discrimination on any grounds.”

His Excellency Robert W Gibson CMG will call for a greater respect for minority communities, in particular Bangladesh’s gay and lesbian community and the need to decriminalise same sex relations. Amongst other issues the British High Commissioner will call for a full and transparent investigation into and the reduction of Extra Judicial Killings.

In the Commonwealth Day speech the High Commissioner will encourage Bangladesh, just like the UK, to indulge in some honest self-reflection and how as nations, where can both countries fulfil the aspirations set out in the Commonwealth Charter, and where we can do better.

The full text of his speech will be available after the event on our website:

Notes to Editors

  1. The Commonwealth of Nations came into being in 1949.
  2. Fifty-three countries are members of The Commonwealth. Our countries span Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and the Pacific and are diverse – they are amongst the world’s largest, smallest, richest and poorest countries. Thirty-one of our members are classified as small states – countries with a population size of 1.5million people or less and larger member states that share similar characteristics with them.
  3. Bangladesh joined the Commonwealth in 1972
  4. All members subscribe to The Commonwealth’s values and principles outlined in The Commonwealth Charter. All members have an equal say – regardless of size or economic stature. This ensures even the smallest member countries have a voice in shaping The Commonwealth.
  5. Leaders of member countries shape Commonwealth policies and priorities. CHOGM – Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting takes place every two years discuss issues affecting the Commonwealth and the wider world
  6. Commonwealth Day is the annual celebration of the Commonwealth of Nations held on the second Monday in March. Commonwealth Day is an opportunity to promote understanding on global issues, international co-operation and the work of the Commonwealth’s organisations, which aim to improve the lives of its citizens. The aim of Commonwealth Day is to celebrate the unity, diversity and linkages of the modern Commonwealth and foster greater understanding of the Commonwealth’s achievements and role.
  7. 2014 Commonwealth Theme is Team Commonwealth. The theme is intended to stress the importance of teamwork and collaboration both within and between Commonwealth countries. It also sets the tone for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow later in the year. This theme will be reflected in the Observance and the throughout Commonwealth Week.
  8. The Commonwealth Games which takes place every four years will this year be held in Glasgow, UK. Bangladesh will be sending a team to the Games.
  9. British High Commission is managed by The High Commissioner who is the UK government’s representative in a Commonwealth nation. They are responsible for the direction and work of the High Commission and its Deputy High Commissions and/or Consulates, including political work, trade and investment, press and cultural relations, and visa and consular services.
  10. His Excellency Mr Robert W Gibson CMG, has been British High Commissioner to Dhaka, since September 2011. He was appointed CMG by Her Majesty in the 2011 New Year’s Honours List
Published 10 March 2014