In case you missed it:
The 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) concluded today.
Heads underscored the importance of connecting, innovating, and transforming in order to facilitate a full recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, achieve the 2030 Agenda, and respond to conflicts and crises in ways that increase resilience and progress in delivering a common future, underpinned by sustainability, peace and prosperity, to improve the lives of all the people of the Commonwealth.
New members join the Commonwealth family
One of the major announcements out of today’s meeting was the admission of Gabon and Togo as the Commonwealth’s 55th and 56th members, respectively. Neither country has a historic association with the Commonwealth, with both gaining independence from France in the 1960s.
Welcoming the announcement, the Commonwealth Secretary-General, The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC, said: “I am thrilled to see these vibrant countries join the Commonwealth family and dedicate themselves to the values and aspirations of our Charter.”
Also today, Commonwealth leaders officially adopted the Living Lands Charter: A Commonwealth Call to action on Living Lands (CALL), which commits all member countries to safeguard global land resources while taking coordinated action on climate change, biodiversity loss and sustainable land management. The Declaration on Sustainable Urbanisation and the Kigali Declaration on Child Care and Protection Reform were also adopted.
Elsewhere, the Commonwealth Blue Charter Project Incubator was launched today on the margins of CHOGM. This new initiative will support Commonwealth ocean states in cultivating and scaling-up projects that protect the marine environment while also tackling climate change.
And the Governments of Kenya and Eswatini were named as the new Champion Countries to lead Commonwealth action on geothermal energy and energy literacy, as part of the Commonwealth Sustainable Energy Transition (CSET) Agenda. In their new roles, they will take the lead in forming voluntary coalitions made up of member countries willing to work together to develop shared strategies and align action on each issue.
In other news, members of the newly installed Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC) met face-to-face with heads of government on the margins of CHOGM.
The historic intergenerational dialogue saw young leaders sitting in a circle with prime ministers, presidents, ministers, and heads of delegation from 15 countries, including Rwanda, Canada, Seychelles, and Samoa, for crucial conversations on youth-led sustainable development.
This was followed by the signing of a historic agreement between the Commonwealth Secretariat and some of the world’s largest youth organisations to form the Commonwealth Alliance for Quality Youth Leadership. This partnership will see more than 250 million young people benefit from leadership and life skills.
Next stop, Samoa!
Today marks the end of a week-long programme of high-level events and activities, ministerial meetings and four forums - the Commonwealth Youth Forum; the Commonwealth Women’s Forum; the Commonwealth Business Forum; and the Commonwealth People’s Forum – in the lead-up to CHOGM. To catch up on all the recordings, please visit our CHOGM events page.
The Secretariat would like to thank the people and Government of Rwanda for the warm hospitality extended to all delegations.
Samoa will be the host of the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 2024.
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2022 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting
CHOGM 2022 Playlist – a collection of video highlights and vox pops from CHOGM 2022
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