Rwanda pledges: Safe environment for CHOGM Summit

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Commonwealth Heads of State Summit in 2018

Originally scheduled for April 2018, the Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) meeting was rescheduled to mid-2020 after the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic began in 2019, and now it is once again rescheduled for June of this year.

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  1. With improving global health on the horizon, the CHOGM Summit is set to be held this summer.
  2. Rwanda Minister of Foreign Affairs committed to hosting the event in Kigali from June 25-26.
  3. A safe environment for members and participants is assured by the Ministry.

Rwanda is set to host the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) Summit under a safe environment in the middle of this year after the global health situation improves within the next coming months.

Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Vincent Biruta, said earlier this month that his country will be hosting the Summit in its capital city of Kigali from June 25 to 26 of this year based on the improvement of the health situation around the world.

He assured the Commonwealth members, participants, and other partners of Rwanda’s readiness to host the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of State Summit within a safe environment.

The meeting was rescheduled from mid-2020 after the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic began.

In his press message to the latest edition of Commonwealth Voices Magazine which was published this month, Biruta said that as the world looks ahead with optimism over the improvement of the global health situation over the next few months, Rwanda is looking forward to welcoming fellow member states to the CHOGM Summit

He highlighted Rwanda’s national COVID-19 response saying it has been focused on multi-sectoral collaboration and built upon regional and international responses.

“As we continue to strengthen our capabilities, be reassured that we will host you in a safe environment in respect of all World Health Organization recommendations,” he said.

He praised “the accelerated international response to the current public health emergency,” referring to it as an illustration that “when we combine our efforts, we have the capacity to prepare for future threats but also to act on pre-existing ones.”

About the COVID-19 vaccine, Biruta said the Commonwealth could play a key role in ensuring equitable access to and distribution of fairly-priced vaccines, using its experience as a leader on environment and climate change that continue to affect communities around the globe.

The upcoming CHOGM meeting in Rwanda will be under the theme “Delivering a common future: Connecting, Innovating, Transforming” and will look at an opportunity for Commonwealth leaders to reflect on new forms of global governance while also raising ambitions on key decisions taken during CHOGM 2018 held in London.

It will also be the occasion to build unified positions ahead of key upcoming events, including the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) scheduled for early November 2021 in Glasgow in the United Kingdom.

“It is indeed time to put our words into action by making our governance models more inclusive, making our health systems more resilient, and ensuring our economies and trade attain sustainable growth,” Bitura said.

Other issues to be addressed during the CHOGM Summit are the strengthening of social protection systems, taking bold action on climate, and by unlocking the advantages of technology for development, Biruta added.

The CHOGM Summit is a biennial meeting of the leaders from all Commonwealth nations, the former British colonies, and new members out of the British Empire.

Rwanda is the youngest member of the Commonwealth, having joined the club in 2009 while standing as one of a few member states without any direct British colonial connection or constitutional link.

The Commonwealth of Nations, generally known simply as the Commonwealth, is a political association of member states, many of which are territories of the British Empire. After decades of its life, the Commonwealth of Nations opened its doors for new nations out of the former British Empire to join.

The fifty-three member countries of the Commonwealth held their last CHOGM Summit at Windsor Castle in London from April 16-20, 2018, at the generous invitation of Her Majesty the Queen of England.

The theme of the London CHOGM Summit was “Towards our Common Future” which was also linked to the 2018 theme to mark Commonwealth Day.

Rwanda is now a fast-growing African tourist destination, targeting global and international conferences and conventions. With a capacity to host 5,500 people, the Kigali Convention Centre is among the largest conference facilities in East Africa.

With this facility supported by other international standard hotels, Rwanda is capable of hosting 3,000 guests for the CHOGM 2021, reports from Kigali said.

Rwanda is standing a leading and attractive tourist destination, competing with African destinations with rising tourism.

Gorilla trekking safaris, rich cultures of the Rwandese people, scenery, and a friendly tourist investment environment have all attracted tourists and tourist investment companies from across the world to visit and invest in this rising African safari destination.


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