High Commissioner's vote of thanks at Commonwealth fund raising gala dinner

This speech was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

High Commissioner Marianne Young delivered a speech on the occasion of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Fundraising Gala Dinner and celebration of Commonwealth Day 2013 in Namibia.

  • Director of Ceremonies Hon Chief Whip Peter Katjavivi
  • Honourable Speaker Dr Theo-Ben Gurirab
  • Honourable Foreign Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah
  • Honourable Ministers and Members of Parliament
  • Invited dignitaries and officials
  • Fellow High Commissioners, and Members of the Diplomatic Corps
  • Other distinguished guests
  • Members of the media
  • Ladies and gentlemen - Friends

I am delighted to join you this evening on this special occasion, the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Fundraising Gala Dinner and celebration of Commonwealth Day 2013 in Namibia.

Before I attend to my duties of giving thanks – I have been asked to add a few words about the new Commonwealth Charter.

As you have heard, for the first time in its 64 years, the Commonwealth has a single document which sets out 16 basic values that the people of the Commonwealth believe in and which they expect their governments to support and protect. This marks an important milestone in the Commonwealth modernisation process and the future of the organisation. We want to ensure the organisation strengthens its impact and relevance in today’s world. The Charter will become a means to protect and promote the Commonwealth’s core democratic values for years to come, and should be accessible to all Commonwealth citizens.

I have used the opportunity tonight to personally present copies of the Charter to the Foreign Minister on behalf of the Namibian Government, and to my fellow Commonwealth Heads of Missions. I trust this useful document will become the established statement of what the Commonwealth stands for.

It is important to stress the value the Commonwealth adds to international diplomacy - as well as giving practical advice on governance, economic growth and sustainable development - the organisation works to integrate the youth of the Commonwealth into political and development processes and strengthens the resilience of small and vulnerable states.

Now it also is my great pleasure to give the vote of thanks for this ground-breaking fundraising event to support the Diamond Jubilee Trust and honour Queen Elizabeth II’s long reign of service, dedicated to the needs of the public, both in the United Kingdom and the entire Commonwealth.

It is my particular honour to thank the Speaker, Hon. Dr Theo-Ben Gurirab, for honouring us with his presence as Guest of Honour tonight – and SWAPO Chief Whip, and great friend of the commonwealth, Professor Peter Katjavivi - and staff of the National Assembly, on behalf of the Namibian Government for making this fundraising gala dinner possible.

I would like to extend thanks to the Dean of Commonwealth Missions for his statement - and to all present for their contributions to The Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Trust. Thank you all.

Britain is proud of the close bond we have with the Commonwealth. The UK government is determined to help strengthen and reinvigorate it to make it relevant for today. Therefore, I would like to end my vote of thanks by paying special thanks to the tireless work of Her Majesty the Queen in her service as the Head of the Commonwealth and to also thank Namibia’s Head of State President Hifikipunye Pohamba for his support.

To Her Majesty The Queen and the President of the Republic.