UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is backing Jamaican Kamina Johnson Smith as Commonwealth Secretary General.

In a tweet on Thursday, May 19, Johnson said: “A month away from the Commonwealth meeting in Rwanda, delighted to confirm that the UK will support @kaminajsmith’s campaign to be the next Secretary General.”

“She has the vast experience and support to unite our unique family of nations and seize the opportunities ahead.”

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss also expressed support. In another tweet, Truss added: “UK will support @kaminajsmith’s campaign to be the next Commonwealth Secretary General.”

“She is ideal to lead this great organization committed to democracy, prosperity and peace.”

The two leaders join Singapore and the Maldives in endorsing Johnson Smith to succeed incumbent Baroness Scotland.

On May 8, Johnson Smith, who is also Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, began a tour of eight African Commonwealth member states to discuss the future of the Commonwealth. She met with various government officials from Lesotho, Botswana, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria and Ghana to discuss her vision for the Commonwealth and the critical importance of the Africa-Caribbean cohort in the family of nations.

An earlier statement said his transformative vision for the Commonwealth included a renewed commitment to food security, achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, championing small states, empowering women and youth, good governance and cooperation. technique. Minister Johnson Smith is committed to advancing collaboration, building consensus and promoting peace and prosperity within the Commonwealth.

The Jamaican minister announced her candidacy for the post of Secretary General of the Commonwealth of Nations in April.

She intends to succeed Patrici, of Dominican origin, the current Secretary General of the Commonwealth, a position she has held since April 1, 2016.

Next June, Commonwealth member states will choose their next Secretary General when they gather in Rwanda for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) from June 20-25.

Jamaica’s first female Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Johnson Smith, is also Chief of Government Affairs in the Jamaican Senate.

She is Chair of the Cabinet’s International Relations Sub-Committee, a member of the Economic Growth and Job Creation Sub-Committee and is also a member of the Jamaica National Security Council.

The Secretary General is appointed by the leaders of the Commonwealth and can serve a maximum of two terms of four years each.

The Secretary General of the Commonwealth is responsible for: the promotion and protection of Commonwealth values, the public representation of the Commonwealth and the management of the Commonwealth Secretariat.

Former Commonwealth Secretary Kamalesh Sharma of India (2008-2016); Don McKinnon of New Zealand (2000-2008); Chief Emeka Anyao of Nigeria (1990-2000); Sir Shridath ‘Ramphal of Guyana (1975-1990); and Arnold Smith of Canada (1965-1975).

jkaruhanga@newtimesrwanda.com

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