Scotland at a press conference after the election

Scotland at a press conference after the election

Dominica’s candidate for Secretary General, Baroness Patricia Scotland, has been elected to the top post.

The election took place in Malta on Friday where the 53 Heads of state of the union have gathered for a summit.

“I am incredibly proud to be the first woman to hold the post of Secretary General,” she said at a press conference after the election.

She said she will be placing the “women’s agenda very strongly on the table.”

“Domestic violence affects one in three women globally,” she said. “It is the greatest cause for morbidity in women and girls and it is a disgrace that this so.”

The Secretary General designate made a call to every citizen of the Commonwealth to partner in reducing domestic violence.

“That’s an aspiration that I want for every single country in the Commonwealth and then I think we may have a chance of peace,” she noted. “So I am inviting every single citizen of the Commonwealth to join with us to make that dream not just an aspiration, but a reality.”

Baroness Scotland of Asthal is a British barrister, and served in many ministerial positions within the UK Government, most notably as the Attorney-G for England and Wales and Advocate-General for Northern Ireland. She made history in 1991 when she became the first black women to be appointed a Queen’s Counsel.

She was born in Dominica in 1955.

Her election was a major victory for Dominica who stuck by her candidacy despite regional and local opposition. Many Caribbean leaders made it clear that they were supporting Sir Ronald Sanders, the other Caribbean candidate for the post nominated by Antigua and Barbuda. The matter was discussed at a recent OECS Heads meeting in Dominica and the island made it clear that it was sticking with Scotland.

Recently the United Workers Party said the way must be cleared for a single nominee from the region for the post.

The Antigua Observer has reported that the island withdrew its candidacy of Sanders after the first round of voting and threw it support behind Scotland as the compromise candidate.

The Commonwealth Secretary-General is elected to a maximum of two four-year terms.

Mmasekgoa Masire-Mwamba of Botswana was the other candidate.

The Secretary-General is responsible for representing the Commonwealth publicly, and is the Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth Secretariat which supports dialogue and collaboration between member governments at the intergovernmental level, according to the Commonwealth’s website.

Past Secretary Generals are:
Arnold Smith
Sir Shridath Ramphal
Chief Emeka Anyaoku
Sir Don McKinnon
Kamalesh Sharma