Commonwealth officially welcomes 55th member nation in flag-raising ceremony

The flag-raising ceremony formally welcomed the Commonwealth’s newest member

Commonwealth officially welcomes Gabon during a flag-raising ceremony at the Commonwealth Headquarters, Marlborough House on October 17, 2022

The flag of Gabon was on Monday raised at the Commonwealth Headquarters, Marlborough House, for the first time in a special ceremony marking the country’s entry into the Commonwealth.

Gabon became the 55th member of the Commonwealth on June 25, 2022 following approval from Commonwealth leaders during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) hosted in Kigali, Rwanda.

The Commonwealth Secretary-General, The Rt. Hon Patricia Scotland KC, and the President of Gabon, H.E. Ali Bongo Ondimba, led the flag-raising ceremony formally welcoming the Commonwealth’s newest member.

The flag of Gabon was then ceremoniously hoisted on the roof of Marlborough House to the tune of Gabon’s national anthem with guests, including high commissioners, senior government officials, and the media, looking on.

"Gabon’s entry [into the Commonwealth] has been an incredible journey. We have walked it together, all of us, and that journey to entry is at an end. So today, we stand at a new beginning: a new chapter for Gabon and for the Commonwealth.

“Together, we breathe new life into our commitment to democracy, the rule of law, freedom, and peace. Strengthened by the spirit of the Gabonese and their thirst for a better world, commitment to partnership and determination to join the Commonwealth’s drive to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris agenda," the Commonwealth Secretary-General said in her opening remarks.

By joining the Commonwealth, Gabon’s Embassy in London now officially becomes a High Commission, with H.E. Aicha Sanni serving as High Commissioner.

“It is a real pleasure to welcome you all on this important day for my country, the Gabonese Republic, as we symbolically raise the 'Vert – Jaune – Bleu', the Green – Yellow and Blue colours of the Gabonese Nation here at the Commonwealth Secretariat for the first time.

“In a world full of uncertainties, mostly created by humanity’s excesses and greed, we believe strongly that the Commonwealth family of nations is a unique and varied community of countries that share common values and whose diversity represents a formidable melting pot of ideas and solutions," President Ali stated.

Gabon will also now have the opportunity to be part of big discussions and a mutually supportive community of 56 independent and sovereign states, aided by more than 80 accredited organisations and more than 50 strategic partnerships with organisations such as the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, and the World Health Organization.

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