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Ms. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey
, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration of the Republic of Ghana, who is contesting as the candidate for the position of Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, expressed her vision for transforming the Commonwealth.

"I envision raising living standards across all member countries through a comprehensive Commonwealth plan," said Botchwey in a video shown at an intimate dinner reception.

The event was hosted by the High Commissioner of the Republic of Ghana to Malaysia, Mrs. Florence Buerki Akonor, in honor of her visit to Malaysia and was held at the Intercontinental Hotel in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Also present was the Ambassador of Mauritius to Malaysia and Dean of the Africa Heads of Mission in Malaysia, Jagdishwar Goburdhun, along with other distinguished guests, including the Chairperson of the Commonwealth Foundation in Malaysia, Dato' Sudha Devi K.R. Vasudevan, and the High Commissioner of South Africa to Malaysia, David Evan Malcomson.

Sharing her thoughts further, the Minister informed that she was inspired by the vibrant, handwoven Kente fabric, an emblem of Ghanaian heritage.

"Its array of threads weaves a tapestry that expresses unity and beauty in diversity. Each strand counts and affirms and strengthens the other, bringing the whole to life. This is how I perceive the Commonwealth," added Botchwey.

In her welcoming speech, Botchwey expressed her appreciation for the generous welcome and hospitality extended to her and her delegation by the Government of Malaysia.

"Ghana and Malaysia have maintained very fruitful relations since 1957, when our two countries gained independence on March 6 and August 31, 1957, respectively. Further to that, Ghana established its diplomatic representation in Malaysia in 1995," said Botchwey

BOTCHWEY with Hj Mohammad Hasan.

She added that her visit with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia, Dato' Seri Utama Haji Mohammad Bin Haji Hasan, was fruitful, discussing matters of mutual interest for both Malaysia and Ghana, as well as for the world community.

She added, "Today, our countries, whether industrialized or developing, are faced with the urgent need to build resilience to withstand the increasingly disastrous effects of exogenous shocks.

"This is deepening a long cycle of inadequate growth, stalling social mobility, and fraying social protection systems. Inequality continues to grow, threatening our ability to create opportunities for sustainable development for all. At the same time, technologies and digital platforms are being exploited to weaken support for democracies," said Botchwey

She emphasized the importance of working together as an international community to re-fashion a new development framework.

The election for the Secretary Generalship position will take place in October 2024 at the  Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting (CHOGM) in Samoa.

"I want to work with member states to build resilience in the face of stagnating economies, ever-increasing inequality, high youth unemployment, climate disasters, and threats to democracy and human rights.

"We must work together to create resilience across borders, building on our common traditions and our respective strengths and comparative advantages. We, the people of the Commonwealth, come from diverse nations and cultures but share a common wealth of values," Botchwey conveyed her vision and mission for a better Commonwealth.

Notably, Botchwey was nominated for the position as Ghana’s candidate by President Nana Akufo-Addo, following a Commonwealth agreement that the next Secretary-General should be from Africa.

The appointment will replace Baroness Patricia Scotland, a dual Dominican-British citizen, whose second and final term concludes at the end of 2024.

Additionally, the event was enlivened by traditional dance performances by a group of girls from Pentas Tari as well as singing and music by Santai Music, with personality Zamil Idris acting as the host.

#SecretaryGeneralCommonwealth #CHOGM #GhanaMalaysia #Samoa #Africa 

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