From this year onwards, Commonwealth Day will be observed in all 36 British Commonwealth member countries on the same date, the second Monday in March.
MV Commonwealth Secretary-General Shridath Ramphal seated at desk and interviewed by Visnews reporter Bill Kuo
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 1: KUO: "March the 14th will be Commonwealth Day and it will be first time that this day is marked throughout all of the separate nations making up the Commonwealth. Do you still think that the Queen has a part to play in this modern world?" RAMPHAL: "Well, the concept of the Queen as the Head of the Commonwealth is part of the evolution of the Commonwealth. It was a movement away from the old links of sovereignty and in that respect it was a progressive development. It remains one of the symbols of the Commonwealth association but the Commonwealth is about a good deal more than symbols."
KUO: "What about the Rhodesian situation? Do you think the Commonwealth has an active role to play, when the OAU and the United Nations seem to be taking the lead?"
RAMPHAL: "I think it would be absurd to suggest that we could do a better job. I think we can do a helpful job and what's more important I think is that both the United Nations itself and the OAU see us as being able to play a role that complements their efforts and helps their objectives.
And this is what we have been trying to do, particularly in southern Africa. A good example is our work in Mozambique where really it was a Commonwealth programme, a Commonwealth effort that acted as a catalyst for the entire international community." KUO: "So you think, Sir, that the Commonwealth will progress from strength to strength into what one might say would be a very bright future?"
RAMPHAL: "I think it would be good for the world if it does." KUO: "And in the coming Heads of Commonwealth -- Heads of Government -- conference in London presumably you hope to enlarge on that theme?" RAMPHAL: "Yes. That's what the Commonwealth Prime Ministers constantly do. If you look at the record of Commonwealth meetings over the years, you will see how the concerns of Commonwealth Prime Ministers and Presidents have evolved from narrow concerns to global ones and today the things that the Commonwealth Prime Ministers and Presidents will be talking about in London will be essentially those matters that concern all of the international community."
REPORTER: BILL KUO
NOTE TO EDITORS: WE RECOMMEND THAT THIS FILM BE HELD FOR USE ON 14 MARCH, COMMONWEALTH DAY. THIS IS NOT AN EMBARGO.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: From this year onwards, Commonwealth Day will be observed in all 36 British Commonwealth member countries on the same date, the second Monday in March. On the first occasion of simultaneous observance, Commonwealth Secretary-General Shridath Ramphal spoke about it to Visnews reporter Bill Kuo.