By Spy Correspondent
Kigali, Rwanda: President Kagame and Commonwealth secretary-general Patricia Scotland have announced the new date for CHOGM which was to have been held in Kigali in June 2020 but was postponed because of the impact of COVID-19.
The new date June 21, 2021, has been agreed with member countries.
CHOGM is customarily held every two years and is the Commonwealth’s highest consultative and policy-making gathering. Commonwealth leaders selected Rwanda as host for their next summit when they met in London in 2018.
President Kagame said Rwanda looked forward to welcoming all delegates and participants to Kigali next year for a safe and productive meeting.
“CHOGM Rwanda 2021 will be an exceptional occasion to deliberate together on the enormous technological, ecological, and economic challenges and opportunities facing the Commonwealth, particularly our young people, and which are all the more pressing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
The intergovernmental meeting is an opportunity for Heads to address shared challenges and set new priorities. Decisions are reached by consensus with statements reflecting the views of all those present.
Responsibility for hosting the meeting is shared by member countries.
Scotland said; “At this historic CHOGM, the first to be held in Africa this millennium, we look forward to Commonwealth leaders coming together to take practical action on the critical issues we all face.”
He added, “Our meetings in Rwanda will give us a real opportunity to focus on our post-COVID-19 recovery, but we also know that the pandemic has not reduced the urgency with which global challenges such as climate change, the global economy, trade and sustainable development need to be dealt with decisively through multilateral cooperation and mutual support.”
The leaders’ summit, which is preceded by meetings for representatives from Commonwealth networks for youth, women, civil society and business, will be held in Kigali.
The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 54 independent and equal countries. Representing a third of the world, it is home to 2.4 billion people and includes both advanced economies and developing countries. 32 members are small states, including many island nations.
It should be remembered that Uganda hosted the twentieth Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting of the Commonwealth of Nations in Kampala between 23 November and 25 November 2007, and was hosted by President Yoweri Museveni.
The meeting was attended by representatives of forty-eight countries out of the Commonwealth’s fifty-three members (suspended members bt then Fiji and Pakistan, and special member Nauru were not invited, whilst Saint Lucia and Vanuatu sent no representatives). Thirty-six were represented by their Head of State or Head of Government.