Speech by Queen Elizabeth at the Opening Ceremony of CHOGM 2009

Queen Elizabeth II delivers Opening Statement
Queen Elizabeth II delivers Opening Statement

Remarks by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at the Opening Ceremony of the CHOGM 2009 at the National Academy Performing Arts. November 27, 2009

Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2009President Richards,
Prime Minister Manning,
President Museveni,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

This diamond anniversary year is an important time for the Commonwealth to look back – and, more importantly, look forward. In doing so, I believe we can be pleased with how far the Commonwealth has come in its 60years, and yet how true it has remained to its origins. But this does not mean we should become complacent or rest on past successes. Like any good organization we must continue to pay close attention to the things that give it distinctive character.

In my view one of the core strengths of the Commonwealth lies in the commitment to common goals and values. Our shared pledge to “the pursuit of peace, liberty and progress” that my father helped to enshrine in the London Declaration in 1949 means as much today as it did then. We cherish freedom, democracy and development as dearly as ever.

But the Commonwealth’s strength lies as much in people as it does in values.

Few other global organizations can boast the same rich diversity of humankind and yet also such a commonality of spirit.

The Commonwealth can be proud of the fact that in each of its six decades, it has shaped the international response to emerging global challenges.

And on this, the eve of the UN Copenhagen Summit on Climate Change, the Commonwealth has an opportunity to lead once more. The threat to our environment is not a new concern. But it is now a global challenge which will continue to affect the security and stability of millions for years to come. Many of those affected are among the most vulnerable, and many of the people least well able to withstand the adverse effects of Climate Change live in the Commonwealth.

A second area of opportunity for the Commonwealth is nurturing its young people. As with environmental challenges, this area is not new; but while the Commonwealth may rightly celebrate reaching its 60th anniversary, the future of this association lies with the one billion who are under 25 years of age. The Commonwealth must show that it is relevant to and supportive of our young people who need to be convinced that the Commonwealth can help them to realize their ambitions.

Mr. President, Mr. Prime Minister, it is a pleasure for me to be back in Trinidad and Tobago, and in the Caribbean. This region is dear to the Commonwealth. For small island states, the buffeting of the economic storms of the last twelve months has provided a stern test; and great resourcefulness has been shown in order to meet the challenge. As an organization the Commonwealth must remain dedicated to building resilience among its smaller members.

But it is not enough to look within the boundaries of the Commonwealth. In a world where political, economic and environmental problems and opportunities cross continents, the Commonwealth will also need to prove its relevance beyond its own borders and develop a truly global perspective.

The motto of Trinidad and Tobago says: ‘Together we aspire, together we achieve’. There could be no better description of the Commonwealth’s ethos and no better guideline for achieving this CHOGM’s stated goal of a more equitable and sustainable future.

I hope the leaders here present – informed by the Commonwealth Youth Forum, the People’s Forum and the Business Forum held earlier this week – can map out the route for another sixty years of success.

And with these challenges in mind I am delighted to declare open this twentieth meeting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government.

8 thoughts on “Speech by Queen Elizabeth at the Opening Ceremony of CHOGM 2009”

  1. Great speech. Her majesty has quietly shown world leaders how important it is to look at the global problems holistically.
    She has set the stage and it is now the leaders to make responsible decision in Copenhagm

  2. Taking a page out of Roman history to the letter by completing and presenting a performing art’s center to appease the citizens just like the gladiator stadiums of Neru’s time, whilst projects like the University of TT is still on the drawing board. The spectacle of parading the nations children to worship a demagogue murderer Queen Elizabeth, who has the blood of the ancestors of every single ethnic group in T&T on her hands and the gold of Africa and South America in those smelted cups that the common wealth leadership drank out of. For playing host to two summits back to back that has cost the taxpayers of T&T billions of dollars ensuring that nation use up it’s “rainy day” oil money to ensure debt with whilst spearheading under the guise of emission reduction a worldwide carbon tax on it’s citizenry, this as the new budget calls for an increase in property tax to ensure the dispossession of the nations poor because when the inevitable financial crisis slams T&T it will cause them to loose, by default, land that was handed down for centuries from generation to generation. For all these things and the rest which is to come. I give the current administration and those sitting in the wings awaiting to continue the plunder of the peoples wealth as if it was their own! 10 STARS for being the most deceptive group of puppets to grace the shores of T&T since it’s inception. I am sure your masters the USA and England are very proud of you!!

  3. Hey Queen! If you care about the world, return the money that you owe us stolen from our people and our lands by your family. That would be a start.

  4. Did the queen not read the e-mails from university of East Anglia?If you dont know about it ,research it. The worst scientific fraud ever.

  5. Arnold. What is the time limit that you have conjured up that prevents justice for your family members? If I assault you tomorrow, how long do I have before I cannot be prosecuted or legally pursued by you? Why is this any different? I will not let it go. There was a crime committed and you target the representatives of the victims rather than the representative of the perpetrators. I suppose you believe Mugabe was wrong for throwing the European invaders out of the country? He was ridiculed for trying to right a wrong by self proclaimed progressives. It’s only progressive when it is they that reap the rewards for criminal behavior.
    I’ll let you go ahead in the house now and make Massa feel just fine Mandingo wannabe. The night is still young. There is a lot of time left to sing and dance for Massa. I’m sure that I don’t have to tell you to show all of your teeth.

  6. It was a long time ago. How old is she? She has had a long time living in plain site never fearing any international pressure to at least give back what her family has stolen in material possessions. In her lifetime, she has never made an attempt to fiscally ease the pain of family members who suffered losses at the risk of her family. To think that anyone would seriously advocate on the side of the aggressor rather than the victim is atrocious.

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