United Kingdom (Commonwealth Union)_ The Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC, paid a visit to Australia, where she met with government officials and representatives of civil society to discuss a variety of issues, from climate action to youth empowerment. The Secretary-General’s visit to Australia also highlights the Commonwealth’s dedication to deepening its cooperation with member states and promoting global sustainable development and prosperity. The Secretary-General also held discussions with Australian Prime Minister Hon. Anthony Albanese about climate action in the Pacific.
During her visit to Canberra, Secretary-General Scotland highlighted the importance of climate action. She stated, “Climate change is one of the most significant global challenges of our time, and small island developing states, including those in the Pacific, are particularly vulnerable to its effects. Pacific island countries are already facing the effects of climate change, including rising sea levels, extreme weather conditions, and ocean acidification. These countries urgently need support to build resilience and adapt to these changes, including assistance with disaster preparedness and response, debt sustainability, and access to finance for climate resilience. I was delighted to meet with Prime Minister Albanese and discuss ways in which the Commonwealth can support Australia and its Pacific neighbors in tackling some of these challenges.”
The Secretary-General also met with the Honorable Dr. Anne Aly MP, Minister for Early Childhood Education and Minister for Youth, to discuss youth empowerment opportunities. She highlighted the significance of investing in the education, training, and employment of youth as a major driver of sustainable development and economic growth. Further, the Secretary-General addressed events at the Australian Institute of International Affairs and the Royal Commonwealth Society and delivered her keynote address, where she emphasized the Commonwealth’s pivotal role in promoting global peace, democracy, and human rights.
The Secretary-General also had discussions with the Governor-General, the Honorable David Hurley AC DSC, over Commonwealth priorities and Australia’s important place within the Commonwealth family. She lauded Australia’s contribution to the Commonwealth’s efforts on climate action, human rights, and gender equality. During her visit, Secretary-General Scotland also took part in an ANZAC Day Dawn Service in Canberra in recognition of the long-lasting bonds of friendship and solidarity between Australia, New Zealand, and the Commonwealth.