- Queen Elizabeth II of United Kingdom on Friday opened the Commonwealth Heads of Government 2007 (CHOGM) in the Ugandan capital Kampala, urging world leaders to strive for universal access to education and good governance.
The Queen said education and good governance form the key ingredients for the positive transformation of Commonwealth countries.
“No single society has achieved perfection, and there is no single recipe for success," she said.
"No one could expect that. But we do know that giving people the greatest possible voice in the way they are governed, and the greatest possible access to education, are two of the most important ingredients."
She also appealed to Commonwealth leaders to respect the human rights of their citizens, allow them to express their opionin and encourage dialogue so as to promote understanding in their communities.
"Treat those around you the way you want them to treat you," the Queen said.
The Queen was delighted about the attention given to the young people who form half of the Commonwealth population, concurring that the outcome of the youth forum demonstrated enthusiasm. She urged leaders to use the "optimism and enthusiasm" of young people to address global challenges.
Elizabeth praised the outgoing Commonwealth Secretary General, Don McKinnon, for his commitment and exemplary work.
She said the Commonwealth has been in good shape, which is why it has continued to attract new members.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said the Commonwealth was capable of transforming member countries' economies and way of life.
Museveni argued that it is impossibe to sustainably protect the environment if the majority of the people encroach on forest reserves because they do not have electricity.
Don McKinnon also recognised the important role of young people who are often made voiceless. "Without them at the core of our planning, our budgeting and our doing, our Commonwealth has no future," McKinnon said.
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