The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2022 held in Kigali, Rwanda, ended on Saturday, 25 June 2022, with various heads of state and government expressing their commitment to an aligned vision for the future of The Commonwealth.

Following its postponement as a result of Covid-19, the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2022 bore witness to a series of high-level discussions around the future of the world.

The event was attended by several global representatives from the Commonwealth’s 54 member states, in addition to dignitaries from Gabon on Togo, which joined as the 55th and 56th members. Speaking during the opening of the event, His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, representing Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as Head of the Commonwealth, emphasised the value of the Commonwealth.

“As we build back from the pandemic that has devastated so many lives, as we respond to climate change and biodiversity loss that threatens our very existence, as we see lives destroyed by the unattenuated aggression from violent forces, such friendships are more important than ever.

“Our Commonwealth family is and will always remain a free association of independent self-governing nations. We meet and talk as equals, sharing our knowledge and experiences for the betterment of all citizens of the Commonwealth, and indeed the wider world,” noted Prince Charles.

Kigali Convention Centre

Historic call to action

Commonwealth leaders have developed and officially adopted what they call the Living Lands Charter: A Commonwealth Call to Action on Living Lands, or CALL. CALL is a commitment by all member states to protect the Earth’s land resources while coordinating climate change action.

The non-binding agreement was developed over two years after consultation with member states, experts and other stakeholders, and announced during the conclusion of CHOGM together with the final communiqué.

“The Living Lands Charter is a testament to our commitment to the people of the Commonwealth, and to the Commonwealth principles of transparency, consensus, and common action.

“It helps to encapsulate our combined effort to hold the global average temperature increase to 1.5°C. It seeks to catalyse the global political momentum for enhancing climate action, building resilience, reducing biodiversity loss, and arresting land degradation.

“Our Call to Action on Living Lands seeks to propel sustainable land management by supporting the 54 Commonwealth member countries to prevent biodiversity loss and desertification while reducing emissions, enhancing resilience and promoting sustainable development,” commented the Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC.

In conclusion

At the conclusion of CHOGM 2022, heads of state emphasised the importance of creating a connected Commonwealth area, highlighting the role innovation can play in order to fully recover from the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, “and to respond to conflicts and crises in ways that increase resilience and progress in delivering a common future, underpinned by sustainability, peace and prosperity, to improve the lives of all the people of the Commonwealth.”

For more information on the discussions from CHOGM 2022, click here.

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