Baroness Patricia Scotland elected Commonwealth secretary-general

Baroness Patricia Scotland has become the first woman, in the Commonwealth's 66-year history to be elected to the position of secretary-general of the Commonwealth. She defeated Antigua's ambassador to the US Sir Ronald Sanders and Botswana's Mmasekgoa Masire-Mwamba, the current deputy secretary-general.

Prime minister of Malta, Joseph Muscat announced the appointment via his Twitter account yesterday: "@PScotlandQC is the new Secretary General of the #Commonwealth - JM".
Scotland takes over from Kamalesh Sharma from India, whose term of office ends 31 March, next year.

The former British labour attorney-general was nominated by Dominica. Scotland holds dual citizenship of Dominica and England.

With CHOGM kicking off today, it was expected to address issues such as climate change, migration, violent extremism. Other issues the meet is expected to address are building resilience in small states, sustainable development, empowerment of youth, gender equality and human rights.

The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 53 independent countries and home to 2.2 billion citizens.