Baroness Scotland was selected Commonwealth Secretary-General this afternoon at the Commonwealth summit in Malta.
The selection of the new Secretary-General took place in a closed session during the 24th biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). The process was overseen by the CHOGM Chair and the Prime Minister of Malta Joseph Muscat.
Born in Dominica in 1955, Baroness Patricia Scotland then moved with her family to Britain. She obtained her LLB in 1976, was called to the Bar in 1977 and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1991. She received a life peerage and was created Baroness Scotland of Asthal in 1997. Baroness Scotland has held the position of Attorney General (2007 to 2010), Minister of State (Home Office) (Crime Reduction) (2007 to 2007), Minister of State (Home Office) (Criminal Justice and Offender Management) (2003 to 2007), and Parliamentary Secretary (Lord Chancellor’s Department) (2001 to 2003) in government.
Baroness Scotland said: “The Commonwealth shares a great deal. It has 33 per cent of the world’s population. It has the capacity to bring together people of all religions; concentrate on what joins us. It’s a real opportunity to invest and work together. If you work together with people respectfully, you can bring about change. Human rights and development go hand-in-hand.”
Patricia Scotland will be the sixth Commonwealth Secretary-General and the first woman to take up this post.