CHOGM: Over half of member states confirm attendance

CHOGM: Over half of member states confirm attendance
CHOGM: Over half of member states confirm attendance

Africa-Press – Rwanda. The Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland QC has said that over half of the association’s 54 member countries have confirmed attendance for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2022 (CHOGM2022), that will be held from June 20 to 25 in Kigali, Rwanda.

“We’ve had a very good response, we are having more responses on a daily basis, and more than half of our countries have already responded to this,” Scotland said during an interview with The New Times on Wednesday, May 04, 2022, in Kigali.

“We have six weeks away, and there has been a lot of excitement and delight. And I know that every country I’ve spoken to wants to be here,” she remarked.

Scotland has been in Rwanda since April 2, attending the 12th Regional Conference of Heads of Anti-corruption agencies in Commonwealth Africa, which is happening in Kigali from May 3-6, and assessing the progress made in preparation for CHOGM 2022.

Rwanda ready to host this major meeting

Scotland said that the meeting to be held in Rwanda next month is an enormous moment for the Commonwealth, indicating that the country was prepared to host it. The previous CHOGM took place in 2018 in London.

She said that they had hoped for Rwanda to host CHOGM in June 2020.

“So, it has been a great disappointment, because of the Coivid-19 pandemic, which has taken almost a million of our citizens across the Commonwealth. We have had to delay CHOGM until June 20th this year. But in those four years, Rwanda has prepared extraordinarily well for CHOGM,” she observed.

“I had the benefit of going to see CHOGM venues, going to see the business centre where the main event is going to happen and they are beautiful. And the preparations that have been made for CHOGM to receive not just all the 54 leaders of the Commonwealth, but also the thousands of people who are going to come for the forums – the people’s forum, the women’s forum, the youth forum and then the business forum,” she remarked.

She said she believes it would be the first in-person event to be taking place on a multilateral basis almost anywhere in the world.

“All the meetings today, it would be either hybrid, or virtual. So this is a special moment for us, and Rwanda looks as expected to be an amazing host,” she said.

On Rwanda’s readiness to host CHOGM in a safe environment, she said “I think Rwanda has taken every step. The first thing to say is that Rwanda has done extraordinarily well in managing the pandemic for her own people, but also the way in which they are testing, the distancing, the measures that have been taken which have kept Rwandese safe, will now keep the international community safe when we come.”

It is to note that Rwanda had vaccinated over 8.4 million of its people (with two doses) against Covid-19 as of May 3, 2022, according to an update from the Ministry of Health.

Such data implies that about 64 percent of the country’s estimated 13 million people are immunised against the pandemic.

The Commonwealth is home to 2.5 billion people, and includes both advanced economies and developing countries.

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