A UK government minister is saying that the Commonwealth is an "unparalleled international association" and will survive and thrive for another 60 years. The comments were made by Baroness Glenys Kinnock, the minister with responsibility for the Caribbean and the Commonwealth, who is in Trinidad attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). Kinnock made the comment on the 60th anniversary of the Commonwealth and on the eve of CHOGM as well as in the wake of a report on a global public consultation on the Commonwealth which was conducted by the Royal Commonwealth Society.
The report, Common What–Emerging Findings of the Commonwealth Conversation, stated that the Commonwealth has a "worryingly low profile" among the public. Kinnock said it was correct to debate the future of the body. "At 60 years old, there are some who take the view that it is irrelevant–or worse, drawing its last breath," she said. "I believe that this unparalleled international association will not only survive but has to thrive for the next 60 years and beyond. "That is why the potential of the Commonwealth must be explored and exploited as never before.
"In an era when all major problems are global but attempted solutions are too often instinctively national, it has a unique role to play." She said Commonwealth members have made a commitment to freedom and democracy, to the eradication of poverty and inequality, and to peace, the rule of law and opportunity for all. "This is all the more powerful a commitment given the diversity of our population, which includes 800 million Hindus, 500 million Muslims and 400 million Christians.