Commonwealth - Motion to Take Note

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:02 pm on 16th March 2017.

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Photo of Baroness Mobarik Baroness Mobarik Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip) 6:02 pm, 16th March 2017

It is the Commonwealth Secretary-General who leads on these issues and I am unable to give the noble Lord an answer today. I know that he is very committed to that cause and feels passionately and deeply about it but I am afraid that that is the only answer I can offer him today.

In response to the noble Lord, Lord Collins, we are continuing our transparency and anti-corruption work both with Commonwealth countries and with those that are not members. An update on the anti-corruption summit is a matter for another day and a broader debate.

In conclusion, this Government strongly support efforts to strengthen the ties between the UK and the Commonwealth ahead of the Commonwealth Summit in 2018. We are working hard to support development and boost prosperity across the Commonwealth, through well-targeted aid and encouraging more trade. We are also supporting the reform of the Commonwealth Secretariat. Successful reform will ensure that the organisation not only delivers for its people but exerts greater influence on the world stage, drawing on its wide experience to help address the world’s greatest challenges.

We are delighted to be hosting the next Commonwealth Summit. Together, we will celebrate the achievements of this extraordinary family of nations, and make plans to take it forward into the 21st century as a truly relevant international organisation and a global force for good. Once again, I thank all noble Lords for their contributions, which have been extensive, both in their scope and depth, and visionary for the Commonwealth as a vehicle for peace and prosperity.