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Coronation and Commonwealth

by Sara Moni
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Sara Moni

A historic ceremony is set to take place on Sunday in Britain. His Majesty King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla will be crowned in the ancient ceremony to be held at Westminster Abbey. In this ceremony, which is expected to mark a new historic chapter, two thousand distinguished guests will participate when King Charles assumes the throne of the United Kingdom, which includes Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

As this ceremony is expected to create a new historic moment, it will also present a snapshot of our present times – a diverse and united kingdom adorned with various cultures. In accordance with the King’s interests, the ceremony will have significant representation from the Commonwealth. Many members of the Commonwealth delegation, including Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Shahbaz Sharif, will participate in the ceremony.

King Charles, under a mutual agreement with Commonwealth leaders for the succession of Queen Elizabeth II in 2018, has already assumed the responsibility of leading the Commonwealth after the Queen’s demise in September 2022. This coronation is of symbolic importance for the organization comprising 56 nations. Like his respected mother, King Charles is a staunch advocate of the Commonwealth and its destiny.

At this time, the world’s attention is focused on the coronation of King Charles. This moment, at the center stage with the Commonwealth, is an opportunity to revisit how this benevolent organization proves to be beneficial for the 1.5 billion people who call it their home, and particularly what it offers to a country like Pakistan, which is close to the heart of the monarch.

As King Charles himself says, “The fundamental benefit that the Commonwealth offers to its members is its perfect volume: ‘We represent a population of one and a half billion people, including over one and a half billion people under the age of thirty, who have been endowed with understanding, insight, and imagination. Our common humanity, thought, culture, tradition, and experience are an inexhaustible treasure trove. We will seek many solutions ourselves by exploring each other’s experiences.’ This is the ‘volume’ that gives the Commonwealth the courage to face the world’s most important challenges, which require international cooperation. It is this that enables Commonwealth countries to benefit from vast global economic opportunities. For this reason, Commonwealth leaders are once again determined to expand investment and increase trade between Commonwealth countries, with the goal of increasing trade to $2 trillion by 2030. Britain remains a steadfast advocate for Commonwealth trade initiatives. We want to further expand partnership in investment between Commonwealth countries, remove unnecessary barriers to trade, and achieve ‘commonwealth advantage’. All of this is beneficial for Pakistan’s long-term economic development.”

Another important benefit of membership in the Commonwealth is access to international opportunities, especially in fields such as skill development and education for young people. Global demographic changes are a critical issue for many developing countries. Pakistan is the world’s fifth-largest “youth country,” with 63% of its population consisting of individuals aged 15 to 33. Our goal is to make our youth competent according to our changing economies, which is a global objective. Preparing our youth for the desired skills to provide demographic dividends, stability, and sustainable economic development is a shared issue for Pakistan and other developing Commonwealth countries.

The Commonwealth is providing solutions to these shared challenges. Next year has been declared the “Year of the Youth.” This initiative has been set up to ensure sustainable and inclusive development under the leadership of young people. This initiative will strengthen school curricula and provide technical assistance for teacher training. Encouraging young people is also an objective, providing them with access to global networks and development opportunities through the Commonwealth’s youth program, including a wide range of scholarships. The Commonwealth’s educational cooperation with Pakistan has already had a significant impact, and 1,341 Pakistanis have been awarded Commonwealth scholarships. This year alone, 114 students from Pakistan are studying in the UK for employment, and this offer includes the Queen’s Commonwealth Scholarship.

An example of the benefits of a commonwealth is like an iceberg floating in the ocean, of which only ten percent is visible to us. From stability to trade, the development of young people, and the creation of a new commonwealth, it is for the betterment of the future of our countries. If you have chosen to watch the coronation this week, you will not only see the commonwealth prominently displayed but also the beginning of a new era of strong relationships within the Commonwealth.

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