UK Minister for the Commonwealth, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, has outlined the priorities delegates will debate at the Commonwealth leaders’ Summit, also known as CHOGM, due to take place in April, 2018
UK Minister for the Commonwealth, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, has outlined the priorities delegates will debate at the Commonwealth leaders’ Summit, also known as CHOGM, due to take place in April, 2018.
The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting provides a bi-annual opportunity for leaders of Commonwealth nations to set agendas and adopt policies to tackle current challenges facing the international community.
Lord Ahmad outlined the goals during the two-day conference organised by The Round Table: the Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, together with the Royal Over-Seas League, the Commonwealth Association, and the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.
The Round Table is a peer-reviewed scholarly journal and forum for Commonwealth debate and advocacy, whilst the Royal Over-Seas League supports the arts and humanitarian efforts internationally.
The Commonwealth Association provides networking opportunities for staff alumni of various Commonwealth associations, and the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association advocates the relevance of Commonwealth parliaments in advancing democracy and assists with policy reform.
Lord Ahmad acknowledged the major challenges of climate change, security, economic pressures, and threats to shared values, among others, that faced all Commonwealth members.
In response, he encouraged summit delegates to prioritise boosting inter-state trade and investment and capitalising on lower bilateral costs for trading partners in Commonwealth countries, dubbed the `Commonwealth Advantage’.
Additionally, he advised increasing security cooperation to tackle organised crime, cyber-attacks and global terrorism and emphasised helping small and vulnerable states to manage global crises, including the effects of climate change.
The fourth priority will be to promote democracy, good governance and fundamental freedoms, values set out in the Commonwealth Charter.
In addition, he emphasised the place of the Commonwealth youth in these efforts, commending various mentoring and entrepreneurial projects, including the work of the Queen’s Young Leaders and the Commonwealth International Youth Taskforce on women’s mentoring and support of social enterprises.
Closing his speech, Lord Ahmad said: “We want the summit to be a milestone event in Commonwealth history – the moment it steps forward to take its rightful place among the world’s greatest and most influential institutions.
“Now is our chance to revitalise the Commonwealth, to realise its potential and to drive forward a comprehensive and inclusive policy agenda, and to deliver for our young people.”