(CU)_Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which triggered border closures and travel restrictions across the globe, the Commonwealth Secretariat, together with the government of Rwanda, decided to postpone the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) scheduled to be held in June, in Kigali. In a joint statement issued at the time, Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said: “The overall risk of transmission and further spread of COVID-19 was also rated high, which implies not only a threat to travellers but to the people of Rwanda itself should imported variants spread within the country.”
Accordingly, President Kagame and the Commonwealth Secretary-General has now announced the new date agreed with the member countries for the CHOGM. A statement published by the Commonwealth Secretariat revealed that the Heads of Government Meeting is scheduled to be held during the week of 20 June 2022, in the capital city of Rwanda. CHOGM, the Commonwealth’s highest policy-making and consultative gathering, is customarily held every two years, and during the summit in London 2018, the Commonwealth leaders selected Rwanda as host for the next meeting.
Announcing the new date, President Kagame said: “Rwanda is pleased to welcome all delegates and participants to Kigali for a safe and productive CHOGM Rwanda 2022. The last two years have made it clear to us that we are more connected than ever before and we must work together to achieve the tangible and sustainable results we want.” He added that the long awaited meeting will be critical in coming together to address the challenges caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, as well as to build on innovative technological and economic opportunities to solve other key challenges faced by the people of the Commonwealth.
“I am delighted that the Commonwealth family can finally be reunited, four years on from our last CHOGM in London,” Secretary-General Scotland noted. “Our meetings in Rwanda will give us a real opportunity to reaffirm the values that bind the Commonwealth together and focus on vital issues, including the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, tackling climate change and poverty, boosting trade and promoting sustainable development – all issues that can only be dealt with decisively through multilateral cooperation and mutual support.”