‘CHOGM’ – like the Commonwealth – is even more than the sum of its parts. And those parts themselves are almost as innumerable as they can sometimes appear indefinable, in an association of governments and peoples that operates on so many different levels.
This makes CHOGM a significant event indeed, and far more than ‘just’ a summit, a communiqué, and a rash of news headlines.
CHOGM is also a chance to review the work that Heads of Government gave us two years ago, and – in the Commonwealth’s 60th anniversary year – to look back over six decades of the Commonwealth of values, the Commonwealth of its times, the Commonwealth which tends to its vulnerable, and the Commonwealth which looks outwards, and works always in partnership.
So CHOGM is more than a Heads of Government Meeting. It is a chance to talk and reflect. It is a chance to take stock – and to look forward. But, as ‘more than the sum of its parts’, it is above all the reality of 53 diverse countries – their governments and their peoples – grappling with the equally diverse challenges of their times.
Many of those are set out in the essays in this book: I warmly commend it to you.
Kamalesh Sharma, Commonwealth Secretary-General