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Commonwealth SG Predicts More Deaths From Covid-19 In Poorer Countries




Poorer countries will most likely ‘bear the brunt of hundreds of thousands of needles deaths’ from inequality in access to COVID-19 vaccines, Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland warned.

This dire warning was given in a video address to the High Level Segment at the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on 23 February.

Scotland said COVID-19 has shone a harsh light on health inequalities within and between countries and nowhere is this more evident that in access t vaccines.

“Although vaccines are a vital lifeline, they remain out of the grasp of far too many and crucially this means that citizens of the poorest nations may bear the brunt of hundreds of thousands of needles deaths, therefore we must not allow this and leaders of our world must come together to ensure that this does not happen,” she added.

She warned inequitable vaccine access could derail the global economic recovery and make wealthier nations lose money and we have learned that in order for us to be safe, we must work together.

She stated that the past year has enhanced lingering existential threats, including the climate emergency and reaffirmed that the Commonwealth’s resolve to support small states and other vulnerable countries to protect the environment and tackle climate change.

She called for inclusive development and multilateral co-operation, stressing that re-commitment to human rights must be central to Covid-19 recovery efforts.

“Human rights are not the panacea to all challenges brought about by the pandemic, by climate change or by the never ending list of conflicts across the world, but the last 12 months have taught a painful less to humanity therefore we must learn from experience,” she emphasised.

“We have to make human rights central to building back better, without human rights, humanity is not a sustainable project and we cannot afford to fail,” she concluded.

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Commonwealth SG “Impressed” With Rwanda CHOGM Preparations



The Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland, has congratulated the Rwandan government on progress in its preparations for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), due to be held in the capital Kigali later this year.

Foreign Minister, Vincent Biruta, welcomed Patricia Scotland to Kigali with a lunch in her honour also attended by High Commissioners to Rwanda.B

Biruta said: “In less than four months, the Commonwealth will gather in Kigali for our biennial family reunion. Our teams are working round the clock to ensure a safe and memorable event in June 2021.”

He added that, “Rwanda very much looks forward to hosting the Commonwealth family in their second home and we hope that your delegations will take time to visit our beautiful country and learn more about our people and our culture.”

Thanking him for his hospitality, the Secretary-General said she was impressed by the level of commitment and  preparedness for CHOGM that is already in place, and the milestones which have already been achieved since her last visit to Rwanda.

She said the next CHOGM must be a springboard for concerted action.

“As we seek to overcome the challenges before us, not least the devastating impact of the Coronavirus epidemic across the Commonwealth, CHOGM presents an opportunity to be the launch pad that propels us onward, upward and forward together,” she said.

“As we strive to live up to the ideals of the theme ‘delivering a common future’, building on the aspirations of the 2018 CHOGM, I look forward to working closely with Rwanda when it assumes the mantle of Chair-in-Office, in advancing our shared objectives, whether it be advancing the rights and well-being of women and girls;

Combatting the threat of climate change; promoting trade and good governance; championing the health, wellbeing and human rights of every one of our citizens; or ensuring that all young people have equitable access to the opportunities they need in order to fulfil their potential.”

The Secretary-General’s visit to Rwanda coincides with celebrations to mark Commonwealth Week.



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Prince Harry and Duchess of Sussex Expecting Second Child



Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are “overjoyed,”for expecting their second child.

Harry and Meghan’s first child, a son named Archie, who will turn 2 in May, is seventh in line to the throne. Their charitable foundation, Archewell, is named after their son.

Meghan revealed that she had suffered a miscarriage in July, “Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by few,” she said in a November press article.

The couple have made numerous moves to protect their privacy since the birth of their son, including stepping back from their duties as members of the royal family and moving out of England.

In early 2020, Meghan and Harry announced they were quitting royal duties and moving to North America, citing what they said were the unbearable intrusions and racist attitudes of the British media. They recently bought a house in Santa Barbara, California.

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Queen Elizabeth II Rule Over Britain Scrutinised



A British commentator has claimed calls for republicanism are on the rise and suggested the monarchy should end when the Queen, 94, dies.

Polly Toynbee, a Guardian columnist, made the remarks after claims the monarch vetted more than 1,000 laws through a parliamentary procedure called Queen’s consent.

Earlier this week, it was claimed the Queen and Prince Charles have vetted at least 1,062 parliamentary bills through Queen’s consent, which has led to the royals privately lobbying for changes in law, according to the Guardian.

Toynbee said the claims could topple the monarchy altogether and has urged the country to consider whether the Royal Family should be part of the country’s future.

She said: “When she dies, likely within this decade, before they dash to seal our constitutional fate with an instant vivat rex for the unpopular Prince Charles, let there be time for us to question whether she should be laid to rest as Elizabeth the Last.”

Tonybee’s negative view of the monarchy was evident throughout her column, where she said: “But none of that reflects the real damage the monarchy inflicts on us.

“It’s not their money nor their abuse of power, but their very existence that ambushes and infantilises the public imagination, making us their subjects in mind and spirit.”

The commentator went on to state the Queen’s 68-year reign has seen the end of the British Empire, the country’s GDP fall, before she warned, “by the end of her reign there may be no union, with Scotland and Northern Ireland on their way out”.

There have been 61 monarchs of England and Britain for a period of approximately 1,200 years.

When the Queen dies, Prince Charles is due to ascend the throne.

In response to the Guardian’s claims, a spokesperson for the Queen said: “Whether Queen’s consent is required is decided by parliament, independently from the royal household, in matters that would affect crown interests, including personal property and personal interests of the monarch.

“If consent is required, draft legislation is, by convention, put to the sovereign to grant solely on advice of ministers and as a matter of public record.”

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