Commonwealth announces dates for Heads of Government meeting

Colombo, 7 December 2012
 – President Mahinda Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka and Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma today announced that the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) will be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, from 15 to 17 November 2013.

CHOGM is held every two years and is the Commonwealth’s highest consultative and policy-making body. Commonwealth leaders agreed on Sri Lanka as the 2013 host for the meeting when they met in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, in 2009. They reaffirmed this decision at the 2011 CHOGM in Perth, Australia.

The President said: “As a committed member of the Commonwealth family, Sri Lanka is pleased to be hosting CHOGM. The Commonwealth shares a strong commitment to the twin pillars of democracy and development. We look forward to welcoming all Commonwealth leaders and delegates to our country for what I am confident will be a successful and mutually beneficial summit in true Commonwealth spirit.”

He added: “As the host country, we look forward to sharing experiences in areas of collective interest, including rural development, youth empowerment and people-centred socio-economic growth within our Commonwealth family, and engaging with all members to achieve a significant outcome."

The Secretary-General said that CHOGM brings together leaders representing around a quarter of the world’s countries, and a third of the world’s population.

 “CHOGM is an opportunity for Commonwealth leaders to work on common approaches to the national and global challenges of our times, to find paths to peace and prosperity for all, and to deliberate on how this exceptional organisation can continue to serve the world better,” the Secretary-General said.

He added: “The Commonwealth unites governments and people around practical action on shared values and principles, mutually supporting one another in a spirit of goodwill and cooperation. The Commonwealth community looks forward to the warmth and hospitality of the Sri Lankan people".

CHOGM brings together political leaders and also associated gatherings of civil society, young people, the business community and others who share the vision of this global summit. The Commonwealth is a global good and a driver of positive change in the world today.

The summit, including the Leaders’ Retreat, will be held in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo.


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