Aisu Shalom-S2-Submision for the 2022 Common wealth essay competition

Distinguished members of the Royal Family,

Distinguished Heads of State,

Members of civil society,

The entire commonwealth,

I bring you greetings from the people of Seychelles. I would wish to thank President Paul Kagame for hosting all of us here. We are humbled to enjoy the serenity of the land of a thousand hills.

As you may be aware, the world is going through some of the most testing times in a millennium with every nation feeling the weight of the COVID-19 pandemic on the world economy from the strongest economy to the least emerging economy according to figures from the International Monetary fund.

Day by day, the media broadcasted stories of courage ranging from the rapid response teams at the frontline to the sacrifices the people all around the world had to go through to stand the threat.  It will always be remembered that the world had never got such solidarity against an existential threat. I understand that all of us worked tooth and nail to keep the promise in the social contract we made to our people that we would be their shields. You may not have been celebrated as a hero, given the nature of offices we seat in which rarely attract praise, so let me take this singular opportunity to salute you for doing whatever was in your power to protect the people in the Common Wealth.

The world showed how resilient it can be against a catastrophe of a global scale.

I would love us to appreciate the members of the Common wealth like United Kingdom and Canada who spent millions of aid dollars to the developing world during the most trying times. More than ever before, the Common wealth remained a family even humanity’s worst times . I wanted to , on the same occasion, indicate that the Common wealth ought to now use the experience gathered in the last year to collectively fight on the new frontier of war which is the war against the peril of our homeland Earth by the centuries of unsustainable development.

Since 2015, the United Nations set its foot on an ambitious agenda to stop the humanity from being a liability to itself on massively scaling up climate action. We are seeing more island nations like Seychelles facing a threat of annihilation by nature. We are seeing villages in South Africa being swallowed by flash floods. All the more, we are seeing massive heat waves striking new frontiers and making human life less suited to thrive in many parts of Asia.

 Well, I understand that some nations are not facing such extreme weather threats but we’re waves from the same sea. The actions of every person from the north pole to the south people matter.  We can’t fight alone against this existential threat.  Just like COVID-19 , we can only win this war against nature if we fight together as the entire common wealth.

There has been a huge debate between the balance between sustainable development targets and economic development where economic development usually takes the day against sustainable development targets. The earth, the place we are proud to call home, is on a ventilator and the sooner we realise that we are all waves in the same sea, the more we shall rise to the occasion to meet our respective commitments to drastically reducing carbon emissions and scaling up the uptake of green technology.

As The former United Nations Secretary General once indicated in the World Skoll forum, we are at a risk of leaving the most terrible legacy to the next generation. We, in this spirit , owe a lot to the next generation as the Common wealth,  to take leadership on the world’s most salient challenge which is climate change.  All actions will matter from the strongest to the least strong if we are leave a world that is better for our children.

The next steps that we will undertake will be very critical.  My hope is that the conversation at this year’s Common Wealth Heads of Government Meeting shall yield more collective efforts towards engaging the world’s most existential threat which is climate change. We can save our generation from leaving the most terrible legacy of a world that is hurried under the mass of unsustainable human activity.

Ultimately, the Common Wealth would have a lot t regret if nature took away some parts of the Common wealth as a result of inaction . Action is needed from all frontiers to save our reputation and control the temperament of nature from the daring marks of unsustainable human activity on our mother land.

We will always be stronger together! Our capability to lead the frontiers of change is the best inheritance we can hand over to the next generation of the Common Wealth.

God save the Common wealth! Long live the earth!

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