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The Fullerton Lecture - 4 Nov 2016

The Value of the Commonwealth

The Rt Hon  Patricia Scotland, QC

Secretary General,

The Commonwealth of Nations


4th Floor, Fullerton Hotel, Singapore 

The Secretary-General of The Commonwealth of Nations, Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC, delivered an address at the 26th IISS Fullerton Lecture on Friday 4th November 2016, highlighting the Singapore’s significant role in the development of the Commonwealth.


She reflected that the strength of the Commonwealth was reflected by the depth and nature of its composition, with the Commonwealth representing approximately one-third of the world population and included all the cultures of the world across its 52 member states. She also likened the Commonwealth to a ‘family of nations’, further describing that the Commonwealth resembled a ‘network of networks’ in connecting organisations, civil-society movements, professional groups and individuals in the common pursuit of peace and stability.


Regarding the 2016 Commonwealth theme of “An inclusive Commonwealth”, she remarked that “the sense of affinity kinship such as that engendered organically through the many levels of Commonwealth connections should be nourished, cherished and valued”. Sec-Gen Scotland also shared her view that the value of the Commonwealth is that it is a platform that allows to make common the wealth, and at the same time,  to celebrate the wealth of commonality across member nations and their people.

Dr Anthony Yee, Chairman of Royal Commonwealth Society-Singapore’s board of directors, also invited Sec-Gen Scotland to consider tapping on the potential of the youth and their influence on the future. Sec Gen Scotland replied that she has interacted with highly inspirational young people, and the Commonwealth offered a platform where the youth of diverse backgrounds could interact to imagine a more creative future.


Report kindly provided by Gullnaz Baig, Gerald Segal Research Programme scholar, IISS-Asia;

Photographs kindly provided by IISS-Asia

Courtesy of IISS-ASIA
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