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Queen signs charter for 54 nations

by
15 March 2013

by Roberta Miller

PA

Making a point: the Duke of Edinburgh speaks to choristers outside Westminster Abbey on Monday

Making a point: the Duke of Edinburgh speaks to choristers outside Westminster Abbey on Monday

A COMMONWEALTH charter, which sets out a commitment to equal rights, was signed by the Queen at a reception at the Mansion House in London on Commonwealth Day, Monday.

The charter, which was adopted by all 54 member states in December, includes commitments to democracy, human rights, and freedom of expression. It says that member states are "implacably opposed to all forms of discrimination, whether rooted in gender, race, colour, creed, political belief, or other grounds".

Addressing the High Commissioners and dignitaries before signing the charter, the Queen said: "The charter I will sign today, on behalf of you all, represents a significant milestone as the Commonwealth continues its journey of development and renewal. We now have, for the first time, a single document that captures the core values and aspirations of the Commonwealth and all its members."

 

Earlier on Monday, the Queen had pulled out of the Commonwealth Day Observance at Westminster Abbey, because she was recovering from a bout of gastroenteritis, which had led to her spell in hospital last week. The Observance was attended by the Duke of Edinburgh.

In the bidding, the Dean of Westminster, the Very Revd John Hall, said: "In this 60th anniversary year, we recall in particular Her Majesty The Queen's Coronation in this Abbey Church on 2 June 1953. We give thanks for more than 60 years of Her Majesty's faithful service to this Nation, the Realms and the whole Commonwealth under God."

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