CYBERJAYA: Malaysia has been a “valued and stalwart partner” that has made significant contributions since it became a member of the Commonwealth in 1957, says the Commonwealth secretary-general, Patricia Scotland.
She said Malaysia was where the Langkawi Declaration on Climate Change was first made in 1989, before the world started discussing the pressing issue.
“That was the most important declaration of its generation. That contribution was the beginning of the Commonwealth’s mission on climate change.
“We now see the consequences of climate change all over our world. It is a crisis, and Malaysia has been with us all the way through, ” Scotland said.
Describing Malaysia as “magnificent”, she also credited the country with having “brought all sorts of cultures together”.
Noting that the Commonwealth was committed to improving education across nations, she emphasised the need to invest in youths.
“Young people, those who are below the age of 30, make up 60% of the Commonwealth, which is home to 2.4 billion people and includes both advanced economies and developing countries.
“They are the future leaders, and it is absolutely critical to help that demographic take advantage of all their talent, ” she said after launching the inaugural King Henry VIII College Commonwealth Scholarship Award at the school’s auditorium here on Monday (Feb 11).
Education, said Scotland, was the most wonderful opportunity for children to come together to learn about humanity.
“We are living in a very competitive, inter-operational and interconnected world.
“It is critically important for our children to know each other, different cultures, religions and languages. It is essential for us to look at our humanity, on what joins us (people) as opposed to what divides us, ” she said.
She added that the Commonwealth had an innovation hub and various education programmes aimed at boosting talent and innovation among youths.
Scotland is on a seven-day working visit to Malaysia, which started on Sunday (Feb 9).
Her working visit this time is on the invitation of the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Council (MAIWP) which proposed to extend the understanding of the ‘Rahmatan Lil Alamin’ (Mercy To All Creations) concept to the world, especially to all the 54 Commonwealth countries.
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