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The Commonwealth Small States Office in Geneva hosted a reception, on the evening of Friday 8 April, 2016, for Commonwealth country representatives to welcome the new Secretary General of the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Rt. Hon. Patricia Scotland, QC. The new Secretary General expressed her appreciation at meeting the Commonwealth Ambassadors during her first few days in office and reiterated her commitment to working together with them on issues of critical importance to the members of the Commonwealth.

The new Secretary General, in outlining her priorities which include violence against women and girls, combating climate change, trade and governance and youth, emphasized that 60% of those who make up the Commonwealth are under 30 and therefore, opportunities in education and employment should be created to equip them for the future.

Secretary General Scotland, born in Dominica and raised in London touted herself as a “classic child of the Commonwealth.” She became the first woman to hold the post when appointed by the Commonwealth Heads of Governments at their meeting in Malta last November.

The Secretary General was in Geneva to participate in the UN Secretary-General’s Geneva Conference on Preventing Violent Extremism, held 7 and 8 April and co-chaired by UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon and Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter, Head of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. This represents the first UN meeting attended by Secretary-General Scotland in her new role.

(L-R) Secretary General of the Commonwealth, the Rt. Hon. Patricia Scotland, QC and H.E. Rhoda M. Jackson, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of The Bahamas to the United Nations Office in Geneva.  


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CHICAGO, Illinois — Bahamas Honorary Consul to Chicago, Hon. Michael C. Fountain, attended the Eleventh Annual DePaul University Consular Corps of Chicago Luncheon at DePaul’s Cortelyou Commons on 12 April, 2016. Honorary Consul Fountain met with university faculty and staff as well as diplomatic contemporaries. President and CEO of World Business Chicago, Jeff Malehorn, and the Hon. Patricia Maza-Pittsford, Dean of the Chicago Consular Corps, addressed the gathering. By enrollment, DePaul University is the largest Catholic University and the 13th largest private university in the United States. The student body represents a wide array of religious, ethnic and geographic backgrounds, including over 60 foreign countries. Honorary Consul Fountain is the Rev. Dennis Holtschneider, President of DePaul University. (Photo by Jada Russell)