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November 18, 2018

Baroness Patricia Scotland elected new Commonwealth Secretary General

Baroness Patricia Scotland. Photo/Courtesy
Baroness Patricia Scotland. Photo/Courtesy

British politician, Baroness Patricia Scotland has been elected the sixth Commonwealth Secretary General.

She replaces outgoing Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma whose mandate expires in March 2016 after two terms.

The Post of Secretary General had attracted three candidates, Sir Ronald Sanders of Antigua and Barbuda, Mmasekgoa Masire-Mwamba of Botswana and Baroness Patricia Scotland.

Kenya had endorsed the candidature of Mmasekgoa Masire-Mwamba in the initial stages but stood by Baroness Patricia Scotland in the final election.

Scotland, born in the Caribbean nation of Dominica and a member of the British House of Lords, now becomes the first woman Commonwealth Secretary General after the Commonwealth Heads of Government endorsed her election.

Meanwhile, Commonwealth leaders have reaffirmed their commitment to the eradication of Polio from the face of the earth.

The leaders, including President Uhuru Kenyatta who are in Malta for 25th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), met during a high-level sideline event hosted by Malta Prime Minister Joseph Muscat today.

Uhuru earlier joined other Commonwealth leaders for an interactive forum with new Commonwealth Youth leaders.

The new Youth leaders included Chairperson Kishva Ambigapathy from Malaysia, Vice-Chairpersons, Policy, Advocacy and Projects – Nikoli Jean-Paul Edwards from Trinidad and Tobago, Partnerships and Resources – Faith Manthi from Kenya and Inclusion and Engagement – Angelique Pouponneau from Seychelles, among others.

The Commonwealth Youth Council is a coalition of national youth councils and other youth-led bodies and the recognised voice of the more than 1.2 billion young people aged 29 or under in Commonwealth member countries.

The nine-person executive committee, elected on the eve of the CHOGM Summit for a two-year mandate running until 2017, is responsible for encouraging youth-led action on development challenges throughout the Commonwealth.

This year's summit, which ends on Sunday, also included talks on combating climate change, violent extremism and radicalisation of youth.

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