(THE NEW TIMES)-Rwanda is prepared to deliver an impactful and safe 2021 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, (CHOGM), come June, according to Dr Vincent Biruta, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
The Minister stressed Monday, March 8, in a message to celebrate Commonwealth Day, which this year, coincided with International Women’s Day.
Biruta noted that CHOGM 2021 – scheduled during the week of June 21 – will be an opportunity for the leaders and the people of the Commonwealth to come together and with the rest of the world to discuss key issues such as global health security, climate change and gender equality, which require concerted efforts and solidarity.
“The commonwealth will once again demonstrate that it has the capacity to lead in matters of global interest,” he noted.
“Rwanda is prepared to deliver an impactful and safe meeting, in respect of all WHO guidelines and looks forward to welcoming members of the Commonwealth family as we continue to work hand in hand to deliver on our common goals.”
Leaders of the Commonwealth countries meet every two years at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.
The theme for CHOGM 2021 is ‘Delivering a Common Future: Connecting, Innovating, Transforming.’
While in Kigali, leaders will discuss how to deliver the things discussed at CHOGM 2018 in London, which was on the theme ‘Towards a Common Future’.
Queen Elizabeth II became Head of the Commonwealth – which represents a global network of 54 countries – on her accession in 1952.
In her Commonwealth Day message, she noted that while experiences of the last year have been different across the Commonwealth, stirring examples of courage, commitment and selfless dedication to duty have been demonstrated in every Commonwealth nation and territory, notably by those working on the front line who have been delivering health care and other public services in their communities.
“We have also taken encouragement from remarkable advances in developing new vaccines and treatments,” the Queen said.
“The testing times experienced by so many have led to a deeper appreciation of the mutual support and spiritual sustenance we enjoy by being connected to others.”
The Queen noted that the need to maintain greater physical distance, or to live and work largely in isolation, has, for many people across the Commonwealth, been an unusual experience.
“In our everyday lives, we have had to become more accustomed to connecting and communicating via innovative technology – which has been new to some of us – with conversations and communal gatherings, including Commonwealth meetings, conducted online, enabling people to stay in touch with friends, family, colleagues, and counterparts who they have not been able to meet in person.”
“Increasingly, we have found ourselves able to enjoy such communication, as it offers an immediacy that transcends boundaries or division, helping any sense of distance to disappear.”
Looking forward, the Queen said, relationships with others across the Commonwealth will remain important “as we strive to deliver a common future that is sustainable and more secure, so that the nations and neighbourhoods in which we live, wherever they are located, become healthier and happier places for us all.”
Rwanda joined the organization in 2009 and is one of the few member states without any direct British colonial connection or constitutional link.