Young Falkland Islanders attend Commonwealth Day events in London

The CommonwealthYoung Falkland Islands students studying in the United Kingdom, Kalon Jaffray and Jessica McPhee will be attending the Commonwealth Day events in London, which this year emphasize on the youth of the Commonwealth under the title of ”A Young Commonwealth”.

The event includes meetings with His Excellency Norman Hamilton, High Commissioner of Malta and His Excellency Syed Ibne Abbas, High Commissioner of Pakistan to explain what the work of a High Commissioner or UK Representative involves.

They will also meet with Mr. Andrew Percy, MP United Kingdom House of Commons, be given a tour of the Houses of Parliament, and attend the Commonwealth Day Observance at Westminster Abbey.

In the evening the group of young people from the Commonwealth will be split into two groups, one will attend the Commonwealth Secretary-General’s Reception in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, and the other will experience the London Eye.

As part of events in Stanley, students from the Infant and Junior School attended a reading of the Queen’s Commonwealth Day speech by Speaker of the House, Mr. Keith Biles. The speech was given as the Commonwealth flag was raised in tandem with the flag Falkland Islands on Victory Green.

Later this Monday, eight Falkland Islands Community School students will be participating in a Youth Parliament session. The event at the Legislative Assembly Chamber of the Town Hall will be opened by The Honorable Deputy Speaker of the House, Mr Anton Livermore and Chair of the Legislative Assembly, The Honorable Dr Barry Elsby.

The topic for debate by the youth parliament is, Motion Number 1 of 2015: “This house believes that the age of voting should be reduced to 16 years.”

In London Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond’s message on the day emphasized the importance of young people across the Commonwealth.

“Commonwealth Day is an opportunity for the UK to reflect, not only on the shared history and values of the Commonwealth, but on its continuing significance today and into the future. It is that shared and prosperous future that this year’s theme of ‘a young Commonwealth’ proudly underlines.

”This year, we pay tribute to the Commonwealth’s young people. Some 60% of the Commonwealth’s total population are under the age of 30. Their generation will develop economies, promote peace and lead the Commonwealth to thrive into the 21st century. They will build our collective future.

”In 2015, as we look forward to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Malta, we know that shared values and goals are the strongest foundation for each of the Commonwealth’s 53 members. Our young people will play a vital role at the very heart of democracy and it is right that we recognize their contribution, and their potential”.