Africa: Commonwealth Heads of Govt Meeting Set for Kigali in June 2021

23 September 2020

President Paul Kagame and the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland, on Wednesday, September 23, announced the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) had been set for next year in June.

A statement indicates that the new date agreed with member countries will be the week of June 21, 2021.

The meeting was to have been held in Kigali in June 2020 but was postponed because of Covid-19 pandemic.

President Kagame said: "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.

"Rwanda looks forward to welcoming all delegates and participants to Kigali next year for a safe and productive meeting."

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.

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.

The Secretary-General 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.

"Our meetings in Rwanda will give us a real opportunity to focus on our post COVID 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.

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