Queen calls for inclusiveness
Queen Elizabeth II has called on the people of the Commonwealth to support those in need and those who feel excluded.
"By doing so, we will continue to build a truly representative Commonwealth community," she said in a message delivered by Governor General Sir Patrick Allen, during Monday's Commonwealth Day celebrations at King's House.
Commonwealth Day was observed under the theme: 'An Inclusive Commonwealth'.
In noting the importance of the theme, the queen, who is head of the Commonwealth, said an essential ingredient of belonging to the group of nations is the willingness to share, to exchange and to act for the common good.
"By including others, drawing on collective insights, knowledge and resources, and thinking and working together, we lay the foundation of a harmonious and progressive society. The greater the diversity of those included in such a shared enterprise, the greater the gains," she added.
She said that despite the various localities of people in the Commonwealth, "we can always benefit from being open to the ideas and encouragement of those around us.
"Each of us can also make a positive difference in the lives of others by being willing to contribute and offer support," she pointed out.
The queen observed out that being inclusive and accepting diversity go far deeper than accepting differences at face value and being tolerant.
"True celebration of the dignity of each person, and the value of their uniqueness and contribution, involves reaching out, recognising and embracing their individual identity," she said.