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14.03.2005 General News

2005 Commonwealth Week Launched

By GNA

Accra, March 14, GNA - Mr Khaikusro K. Framji, Indian High Commissioner in Ghana, on Monday urged Commonwealth countries to work together to make their economies and democratic systems stronger, to improve the quality of life of their citizens.

He said they should also agree among themselves on issues of wider international concerns - be they on education, democracy, human rights, fair trade, or combating terrorism - and help build consensus around the world.

Mr Framji, who was speaking at the launch of this year's Commonwealth Week, said democracy, development and diversity were the three main themes that the Commonwealth believed in and supported. It was under the theme: " Education - Creating Opportunity, Realizing Potential."

The second Monday in March, is set aside to celebrate the Commonwealth Day to promote a better understanding of the work of the Commonwealth and its efforts to improve the lives of the 1.8 billion people that live in its member countries throughout the world. Ghana has set aside one week for the celebration. Activities for the week include symposia and TV and radio programmes.

Mr Framji said education was the most critical component in human resource development and for the empowerment of people to enable them to realize their potential and well informed to participate fully in the democratic life of their country.

"Some 75 million children throughout the Commonwealth, lack access to basic education. The absence of basic education destroys a child's life chances. Therefore, ensuring that children attend, stay in school and have access to good quality education is a challenge for all Commonwealth countries," he said.

President John Agyekum Kufuor in a message read for him, said the launch marked the celebration of shared values, commitment to peace, democracy and human rights and the determination to co-operate with each other in a spirit of solidarity.

He said this year in particular, Ghana also recognized the crucial role education played in building strong communities, generating growth and creating opportunities for all Commonwealth people.

"We, in Ghana, have greatly benefited from being part of the Commonwealth network along the years and we are confident that we will continue to do so in the future."

He urged all members to rededicate themselves to the association and to the values and goals it represented.

Nana Oye Lithur, Coordinator, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, Africa Office, said the commemoration gave member countries an opportunity to reflect and celebrate the values, which the Commonwealth stood for - - democracy, respect for human rights, and the rule of law, peace, justice, co-operation and sustainable development.

High Commissions of Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, Nigeria, India, Malaysia, and South Africa were present. Youth urged to develop their writing skills Accra, March 14, GNA - Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Head of the Commonwealth, on Monday called on the youth to develop their writing skills and reasoning by contributing their ideas and energy towards building a better future.

She also urged them to channel their talent and abilities for the development of mankind.

A statement from the Council of Commonwealth Societies to mark this year's Commonwealth Day said our "shared use of the English language has underpinned a long and rich tradition of educational co-operation.

It said the practice use of similar systems as well as extensive network scholarships had provided opportunities for millions of people around the world.

The statement said new challenges, which confronted the Commonwealth today, were the millions of children, who did not have access to basic education in their various countries.

The statement further said another factor militating against the UN Millennium Development Goal of achieving universal primary education by 2015 was the effects of the HIV/AIDS.

It said another objective to expand distance education in the Commonwealth was to encourage its member countries to pool their expertise when Heads of Government of the organization meet in Malta in November. 14 March 05

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