DEPUTY Chief Minister of Gibraltar Joseph Garcia urged young people to play their part in growing links with the Commonwealth.
Garcia gave a speech at Westside School encouraging Year 12 students at secondary schools and college to help promote the Rock among the Commonwealth’s 56 member states.
Gibraltar has so far taken part in the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Commonwealth Local Government Association, the Commonwealth Games and the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council.
Dr Garcia spoke about the historic ties with the group of former British nations.
He also promoted an essay competition on ‘Why the Commonwealth is important to Gibraltar’.
A £150 pound prize is up for grabs for students of all ages up to university level who can give an account of the subject.
Aaron Santos and Adriana Lopez then spoke about their experiences representing Gibraltar the Commonwealth Youth Parliament.
Santos went to India in 2018 and Lopez visited Rwanda in 2022 to attend the CYP meetings held in those countries.
“Since we were elected in 2011, the Government has invested a lot of time in encouraging our young people to get involved in the work of the Commonwealth,” said Garcia.
“This is even more relevant in 2023 which is the Commonwealth Year of Youth.”
The government pointed out that 60% of the 2.6 billion people in the Commonwealth are under the age of 30.
“We have sent our students to Jersey, India, Rwanda, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom over that time, including separately placements at the College of Europe and in Washington,” he continued.
“The Government is immensely proud of our young delegates and will continue to work with them to ensure that our young people have a voice and a clear role in shaping the future of our relationships.”
After Gibraltar left the EU it hoisted the Commonwealth flag in its place, cementing its connection with this ‘British family of nations’.