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Scotland welcomed in London as new Commonwealth SG


Patricia Scotland QC has outlined her priorities as Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations – including tackling violence against women.

She highlighted tackling domestic violence as one of her top priorities, a problem, she said, that is “literally stealing our futures”.  According to the Commonwealth Secretariat, she underscored that allowing women to be abused and disregarded would continue to hamper the health and well being of societies.


In her speech, on the first day in office in London on Monday, she described herself as “a classic child of the Commonwealth” – born in the Caribbean and brought up in London.

Patricia Scotland highlighted her journey of “firsts” – from the first black woman to join the Queen’s Counsel in the United Kingdom, the first woman to hold the position of UK Attorney General and the first woman Commonwealth Secretary-General.

The Commonwealth Secretariat described her as having been “rather sad” at being first and looked forward to supporting new generations of female leaders, she said.

She will also emphasize action on climate change, boosting trade and governance, and creating better opportunities for young people.


Born in the small village of St Joseph in Dominica, she said she knew only too well about the threat of climate change. She urged members of the Commonwealth to work together and make good on commitments agreed at the global Paris climate conference last December. “We can show the world about building resilience and finding innovative solutions.”

To the rhythm of a steel band, the sound of a gospel choir, and the flair of Quadrille dancers, hundreds of guests welcomed the new Secretary-General at Commonwealth headquarters in Marlborough House. They included well-known figures from the world of politics, sports and broadcasting. The event was hosted by Garth Crooks, the English former footballer, and included performances by singer Heather Small of M People, tenor Franz Hepburn and actor Hugh Quarshie.


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