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Commonwealth flag raised over Commonwealth Park, essay winners announced

A new eight-metre mast flying the Commonwealth flag was installed in Commonwealth Park on Monday to mark Commonwealth Day.

The Gibraltar Government also announced the winners of the Commonwealth Essay Competition, which attracted entries from students across four categories who answered the question: ‘Why is the Commonwealth important to Gibraltar?’

The winners were selected by a panel which included representatives of the Royal Commonwealth Society and the Commonwealth Youth Association.

The winning essay in the Lower Primary category was written by Luca Trinidad, while in the Upper Primary category the winner was Gianella Pitto.

In the Secondary category the winner was Haylee Pincho, while Gabriella Chipol wrote the winning essay in the University category.

“For many years now, the Commonwealth has held great significance in Gibraltar, but this is truer in recent times following our departure from the European Union,” said Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia, who has responsibility for relations with the Commonwealth.

“His Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar has invested time and resources into developing business and social relationships with other member states by engaging in various forums and meetings throughout the year.”

“Gibraltar is not a member state of the Commonwealth, we are an Overseas Territory of a member state, but nonetheless there are still many opportunities to engage with other countries in different Commonwealth organisations and frameworks.”

“It is worth reflecting that this is the first Commonwealth Day in which His Majesty the King is the Head of the Commonwealth following the passing of the Late Queen, which means member states will have the chance to come together again this year to celebrate his coronation.”

“His Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar remains committed to developing our social-economic and political ties with the rest of the Commonwealth, and ensuring that Gibraltar continues to have an input when discussing the prevalent matters of climate change, growth, youth affairs, peace and prosperity with the entire Commonwealth Family of Nations.”

Over 2.6 billion people celebrated Commonwealth Day across the Commonwealth Family of Nations. This year’s theme is ‘Forging a Sustainable and Peaceful Common Future’.

Over the past year, the Gibraltar Government has continued its commitment to the Commonwealth by participating in and organising various events.

In October, Justice and Equality Minister Samantha Sacramento, together with the Gibraltar Parliament, hosted The Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians conference, with over 20 delegates from the British Islands and Mediterranean Region.

There was a dedicated outreach session open to the community to promote discussion and encourage more women to stand for election.

Last summer, over 20 Gibraltarian athletes competed at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, representing Gibraltar in seven different sports.

The Commonwealth declared 2023 the ‘Year of the Youth’ following discussions at Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2022, which saw Gibraltar represented at ministerial, business and youth level.

In June, two youth representatives from Gibraltar attended the Commonwealth Youth Forum in Rwanda, and in November 2022, two youth delegates again represented Gibraltar at the Commonwealth Youth parliament in Trinidad and Tobago.
Gibraltar also continues to grow its business ties through the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC), the business arm of the Commonwealth, with a dedicated office set up in Gibraltar since 2019.

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