Good morning and welcome to Windsor Castle; as we’ve seen, a magnificent setting for us to meet, in the best Commonwealth tradition, in the intimacy and privacy of our Retreat.
First let me thank Her Majesty The Queen for her generous invitation into her home, the first time a Heads of Government meeting has been held here in a remarkable history.
I am also struck by the number of Heads of Government we have assembled here today – a powerful demonstration of our commitment to revitalise the Commonwealth, and to tap into its vast potential.
And that vast potential has been clear at the forums this week. Our Commonwealth family has spent the last four days sharing perspectives, and finding ways to make a real difference to people’s lives. I think I speak for everyone around the room when I say that we have all been inspired by what we’ve seen and heard, particularly from our young people.
Yesterday we spoke about our shared challenges as we strive to build a more sustainable, more prosperous, more secure and fairer Commonwealth. Today is a chance to build on that, and for the Commonwealth Heads of Government to talk frankly and openly within the tradition of the Retreat.
Of course a conversation about these challenges cannot ignore the fact that at the very moment international co-operation is so important, some nations are choosing instead to shun the rules-based system that underpins global security and prosperity.
So I look forward to discussing how the Commonwealth can play its part to support this rules-based order, and the very concept of international co-operation.
Today, we also have a number of specific decisions to take, together with a broader conversation about the common future for the Commonwealth that we all want to see.
So I am sure today will be a memorable occasion for all of us, by the end of which I am sure we will all leave even closer friends, and with a unique understanding of each other in ways which cannot be matched by other summits.