Patricia Scotland Baroness Scotland of Asthal
On May 15th, 2015, exactly 96 years after the birth of Dominica’s own iconic Iron Lady and first female Prime Minister, Dame Eugenia Charles, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit traveled to London, the seat of all Commonwealth representation and of the Commonwealth Secretariat, to present to the world another formidable Dominican woman, the Rt. Hon. Patricia Scotland, whom he described as the “Platinum Candidate” on offer for the post of Commonwealth Secretary General.
At a reception hosted in the candidate’s honour, Prime Minister Skerrit gave a thought provoking address to the audience of Commonwealth dignitaries and prominent figures from the Diaspora and the Media to explain why Dominica was convinced that Patricia Scotland was: “the right choice at the right time.”
Introduced by Dominican Foreign Minister Francine Baron, the Prime Minister spoke candidly about the crisis of identity and purpose facing the Commonwealth and the need for transformational leadership to ensure its future. Patricia Scotland’s combination of intellect, talents, experience and strength of character were, he said, the ideal combination for the job. The duality of her background and career was also a unique asset in the task of fostering trust and finding common ground.
Prime Minister Skerrit urged Commonwealth leaders to make their choice strictly on the basis of merit and to do careful due diligence on all candidates, stressing in that regard that there was no part of Patricia Scotland’s record that she was running from and every part that she was running on. It was, he stressed, Dominica’s decision alone to present her name for consideration. Dominica was nobody’s proxy and Patricia Scotland was nobody’s puppet. She was independent, yet fair-minded, fearless, and yet levelheaded. He urged all present to join him in embracing and celebrating her accomplishments.
In her response the candidate expressed her deep gratitude and humility for the honour to have been nominated by the country of her birth. The historical links and roots of Caribbean people, she said, were found in all other regions of the world, making her a proud daughter of Dominica but also a proud child of the Commonwealth. The Caribbean, with its diversity, its dynamism and its unashamed joy for life was the starting point for how she thought about the world: “that we are better, stronger, richer for our diversity and if we put our minds to something, we can do it”.
In analysing the forces of change shaping the future Patricia Scotland stressed her conviction that the Commonwealth could play a Tran formative role for its members if all of their talents, resources, skills and experiences were brought to the table. Its strength had always been in its extraordinary ability to forge consensus and cooperation among countries large and small as a compelling force for good.
If she were fortunate enough, with the countries’ support, to become their next Secretary General, her aim would be to forge that consensus to build a revitalized Commonwealth that focused on the tangible delivery of its twin goals of democracy and development. In this sense it was important that development went beyond theory to be deeply rooted in the delivery of cost-effective, beneficial impact on the lives of Commonwealth people; and in building an approach of respectful and practical partnership that identified common goals and diverse resources, brought together to deliver Tran formative change.
Reminding her audience that the Commonwealth Charter commits us to shared values she emphasized that: “those values have to be evidenced by action so that the peoples of the Commonwealth can touch and taste them. So that our values are woven into the fabric of our lives and deliver real opportunity and change.”
Over the next few weeks it is expected that Patricia Scotland will have the opportunity to meet with representatives of all Commonwealth countries to share more details of her vision for the Organization’s future. She has indicated her commitment to use these encounters above all to listen to the perspectives and needs of the member countries and to seek their views on how the Commonwealth can best benefit all of its members.
Elections for the post of Commonwealth Secretary General will take place at the next Heads of Government Conference, scheduled for Malta in November this year.
Story source: http://go-jamaica.com
Patricia Scotland Baroness Scotland of Asthal
Baroness Scotland of Asthal is a life peer in the House of Lords. … Full title. The Rt Hon. the Baroness Scotland of Asthal QC. Name. Patricia Scotland …