Opposition Leader The Honourable Kamla Persad-Bissessar today issued the following statement relating to the election of a Caribbean woman as the new Commonwealth Secretary General:
I wish to extend my congratulations to Baroness Patricia Scotland of Dominica, who was named today as the new Secretary General of the Commonwealth to succeed Kamlesh Sharma of India, whose term of office ends in April 2016.
Commonwealth Leaders meeting in Malta chose the Baroness in a private vote. She is the first woman to hold the post and the second Secretary General of the Commonwealth from the Caribbean. Sir Shridath “Sonny” Ramphal of Guyana served as the Commonwealth’s second Secretary General from 1975 to 1990.
As the Commonwealth’s first female Chair in Office I am proud to welcome the organization’s first female Secretary General.
I have no doubt that Baroness Patricia Scotland would maintain her pledge to put the women’s agenda firmly on the table and work with leaders, governments, local governments and other partners.
The Commonwealth represents one third of humankind, bringing together former colonies of the British Empire. Its membership comprises English Speaking nations with people of different ethnicities and religions working together respectfully and with unity.
It is most fitting for the Commonwealth to recognise the value of women in leadership roles.
On my own behalf and on behalf of the people of Trinidad and Tobago I extend congratulations to her and best wishes as she begins this challenging task.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP
Leader of the Opposition