Baroness Patricia Scotland Commonwealth Secretary General designate says her major objective is to bring the 53-members states closer together during her term. In the process she will be committed to encouraging greater unity with the Caricom member states, she said.
Dominican born Baroness Scotland, who was elected at last month’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta, was in T&T to attend the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Wild Fowl Trust in Pointe-a-Pierre.
She said she decided to contest the post because it was an opportunity “to serve region country, and I hope the Caribbean will come together.”
“We have formidable people in this region. We have people who hail for every corner of the world and if you look at each of us, I don’t know one Caribbean person who is pure anything. We are a little bit of this and a little bit of that and so I think we have a lot to show the world.”
She said the way Caribbean people live in harmony is another positive quality of Caribbean people.
“So I think we have a lot to show the rest of the world, and I hope that we will be able to work together because it is a moment where we can show people from a small islands can do great things,” she said.
Baroness Scotland dismissed claims that she was a nominee of the UK, not the Caribbean, at the recent elections.
“Frankly if I am not Dominican, I don’t know who is,” she said.
She was nominated by Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit and former Antigua/Barbuda PM Baldwin Spencer.
“Those two countries had worked with me closely for years, so they knew how Caribbean I was, and they had proof of the work that I have done,” she said
She also had the support of Barbados PM Freundel Stuart.
“The UK did not nominate me, and at the time when Dominica nominated me, England had its own candidate. It was canvassing and that candidate was not me.
“So I am quintessentially a Caribbean person,” she said, adding that she has: “heard with interest all the comments that were made about wether I was or was not Caribbean. That is someone else’s problem, it is not mine.”
She said her parents: “made sure I never forgot my roots. So If there were contentions for political reasons suggesting that I was some sort of blow in, well I have been coming to Trinidad since 1978.”
Baroness Scotland said throughout the campaign she had “such trenchant support” from people in T&T, Guyana, St Kitts /Nevis, Jamaica and Belize.
In T&T she was a patron of her sister Greta’s charity, Lifeline, worked with jurists in Port-of-Spain, helped design the Family Court and lectured continually. She said she was also “given a doctorate by the UWI for my contribution to Caribbean jurisprudence and I think I may have gotten my degree just a little bit before Sir Ron Saunders.”
“Well I am not casting aspersions on any one. All I can say is that I am glad the whole region now celebrates me as a daughter of the Caribbean now that I have won,” she said.
Sir Ron Sanders was a defeated nominee for the post.
News source: Trinidad, Guardian