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International Games
Thursday, March 09, 2017
Commonwealth Day Theme announced

"A Peace-building Commonwealth" has been announced as the theme for Commonwealth Day 2017, when the Gold Coast 2018 Queen’s Baton Relay will be launched.

Schools and communities in 70 nations and territories are set to mark the day - a global citizen-led celebration of democracy and human rights - on March 13.

The Head of the Commonwealth, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, will lead the festivities with a special message issued to the two-and-a-half billion people who live in Commonwealth countries.

The 2018 Queen’s Baton Relay, described as the longest in history and the most accessible ever, will start its journey from Buckingham Palace in London, connecting communities throughout Africa, the Americas, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe and finally Oceania on its way to Australia for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

The Commonwealth Service, the UK's largest inter-faith celebration at Westminster Abbey in London, will be attended by The Queen.

She will be accompanied by Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, Charles and Camilla, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry, Prince Andrew, The Duke of York and Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex.

Broadcast live around the world by the BBC, the service will feature musical performances, testimonies and readings, including an affirmation led by Commonwealth secretary-general Patricia Scotland.

Commenting on the theme for 2017, Scotland said: "The Commonwealth builds peace by bringing people together, and by mobilising mutual support among our member states to strengthen democracy and development.

"With respect and understanding we celebrate our rich diversity, and work alongside one another in practical ways to champion the needs of the marginalised and most vulnerable.

"Our theme this year reflects the shared determination of the whole Commonwealth family to deliver enduring peace for all."
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