Incoming Commonwealth Secretary-General, Baroness Patricia Scotland, received a warm welcome yesterday from Barbados??? High Commissioner in London, Guy Hewitt and his CARICOM counterparts as she arrived for her first day in office at Marlborough House, Headquarters of the Commonwealth Secretariat.

The arrival of Baroness Scotland, who made history as the first female Commonwealth Secretary-General, was heralded by steel band music, a gospel choir and Quadrille dancers, as she was escorted into the Commonwealth Headquarters by the Caribbean High Commissioners.

During her first official address, the Baroness, who described herself as ???a classic child of the Commonwealth???, outlined her priorities as Secretary General, which included addressing the issue of violence against women, action on climate change, boosting trade and governance, and creating better opportunities for young people.

She pointed out that if the nations in the Commonwealth worked together, ???working and acting as one people ??? one family ??? we can make a different future???.

???I am determined that we are going to work together on tackling violence against women and girls, deal with the existential threat of climate change, promote trade and good governance, champion the health, well-being and human rights of our citizens, and ensure young people have the opportunities they need for the future,??? the Secretary-General added.

High Commissioner Hewitt affirmed Barbados??? support for the Commonwealth in general and the new chief executive in particular. ??He also welcomed the Director and Head of the Secretary General???s Private Office, Lolita Applewhaite, to the Commonwealth Headquarters. Ms. Applewhaite is the former CARICOM Deputy Secretary General,

Baroness Scotland was born in a small village in St. Joseph, Dominica. She was the first black female Queen???s Counsel in the United Kingdom and the first to hold the position of Attorney General.

Author: Kim Ramsay-Moore/BHC

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