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Prime Minister, Hon. Rick Hou (Center), Speaker of National Parliament, Hon. Ajilon Jasper Nasiu and Bristish High Commissioner, His Excellency, Mr David Ward, students, teachers and staff of the National Parliament of Solomon Islands poses for a photo infront of the Paul Tovua Complex, National Parliament House.

The National Parliament Office in collaboration with the British High Commission Office has successfully commemorate the Commonwealth day at the Paul Tovua complex, Parliament House on Monday 12th March 2018.

As co-host of this event for the 2nd time, the National Parliament Office through the Civic Education unit invited students from four schools in Honiara to participate in the celebration program.

Hon. Prime Minister Rick Hounipwela was the guest at this event.

Participating schools were, Burns Creek School; Bishop Epalle School; King George VI School and St Nicholas College.

Chief Civic Education Officer Marisa Pepa described this year’s event as even more special since it’s the second time for National Parliament and the British High Commission office to have collaborated in co-hosting the Commonwealth day. The first one was hosted in 2016.

Student representatives of the participating four schools have presented their speeches based on the topic “How can the Government encourage equal participation to ensure sustainable development”.

Hon. Speaker of the National Parliament Ajilon Nasiu told the guests and students that commonwealth days helps to promote, recognize and share commonwealth values, democracy and equality since Solomon Island is amongst other 52 Commonwealth Countries that celebrated the event.

“The occasion gives us a time to reflect on the common bonds and heritage we have with the Commonwealth”

Mr Nasiu said giving voice to the youth is very important in such event like this.

He further added that student participation in speeches will develop and boost their knowledge and understanding about the commonwealth”, Mr Nasiu said.

Speaker continued by saying that the National Parliament has also recognized the role youths play and will continue to engage young people in its programs.
He then announced Parliament’s strategic focus in hosting two important events for the young people in the country later on this year, the Melanesian Youth Parliament which is scheduled for July and the National Youth Parliament which will be held around September.

Meanwhile, keynote Speaker at the event, the British High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, His Excellency Mr David Ward, explained briefly to the students the role of the commonwealth and why we celebrated commonwealth day.

He said the theme “Towards a common future” will mean the following;

- A Fairer Future: a future in which everyone will have a fair chance; where education will be available to all, including especially girls, who in many countries are excluded from access to full education; where all are free from persecution and oppression of all forms, including especially all forms of discrimination;

- A Safer Future: a future where our citizens can be confident that they will live in peace, even from new and growing threats such as cyber-threats;

- A more Prosperous Future: where members of the Commonwealth will work together to allow their citizens to harvest the benefits of their work;

- A more Sustainable Future: a future where we will all ensure that we protect the environment – the air we breathe, the water we drink, the land we live off. Everything that makes life possible, and without which we cannot live.

The British High Commissioner also welcomed the participation of young people especially the participating schools for their speeches on the subject “How can the government encourage equal participation to ensure sustainable development?”

He told participating students that the inspiring ideas shared in their speeches on how best we can ensure everyone has a stake in their society and how to ensure that society can be sustained is already an example of the shared Commonwealth values we have of participation, debate, and discussion.
“I hope you will continue to keep up this participation in your society throughout your lives”

Mr Ward further explained that Commonwealth day is design for every member state to celebrate, understand the Commonwealth values and make recommendation for future function of the organization.

He then wished everyone a happy commonwealth day 2018 as well as congratulating the participating schools.

Commonwealth Day is held on the second Monday in March every year. It is an opportunity for individuals, communities and organizations to promote shared Commonwealth values of peace, democracy and equality, and to celebrate the association’s rich diversity.
Theme of this year’s Commonwealth Day is “Towards a common future”


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