Seychelles President Danny Faure had the honour to chair the first Commonwealth COVID-19 Virtual Leaders Meeting. Convened by the Commonwealth Secretariat at the request of member states, the virtual meeting of Commonwealth leaders was held to discuss common challenges, exchange ideas and solutions, and develop collaborative strategies in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. The meeting also addressed the fundamental challenges facing the economy, quality of life and sustainability across the Commonwealth.
Discussions centred around four main issues:
- Technology and Experience sharing;
- Trade and Finance;
- Climate Change; and
- The Commonwealth’s role in promoting Tolerance and Social Cohesion.
President Faure expressed his appreciation to all Heads of Governments and Representatives for their commitment and participation in the virtual meeting.
He also expressed his appreciation to the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC, for facilitating the meeting at a critical time.
“Excellencies, there is no greater priority now for any of us than to explore every opportunity to tackle the multifaceted impacts of this virus.”
“Today, we are meeting as a Commonwealth to discuss common challenges, exchange ideas and solutions, and develop collaborative strategies.”
“I would like to thank the UK, our Chair-in-Office, for paving the way for this meeting by sponsoring the Commonwealth Statement on COVID-19. This statement aptly captures our response to the impact of COVID-19 on our fundamental values, on small and vulnerable states, health, our future prosperity, trade and on multilateralism,” said President Faure.
During the virtual meeting, various Commonwealth member states shared their views and experiences on themes in the agenda, reflecting the true spirit of Commonwealth solidarity and commitment set to benefit all member states.
During her closing remarks, Secretary-General Scotland thanked President Faure for his leadership and highlighted the shared vulnerability that has highlighted the need for solidarity and collaboration, saying:
“Our solidarity is vital to defeat this pandemic, regenerate our communities and take on the economic and environmental challenges that this planet faces, and defeat the corrosive stain of racism which would seek to tear us apart.”
The virtual meeting saw the participation of total of 45 member states represented by Heads of State or Government representatives.
Learn More: Office of the President, Republic of Seychelles
Picture Credit: State House, Seychelles