Guest speaker Richard Uku, Director of Communications and Public Affairs, Commonwealth Secretariat, led a conversation on the policy outcomes of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) that took place from 15-17th November in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
The roundtable event had 15 countries present from both the Commonwealth and non Commonwealth. It highlighted that the CHOGM had a number of successful and concrete results, including three stand-alone Statements on Sustainable and Inclusive Development, Trade and Investment and a Commitment to Youth. Heads have also agreed to strengthen mechanisms for dialogue with the the G20, set up a Ministerial Action Group on priority issues for Small Island States and a Commonwealth Media Development Fund, and renewed CMAG (Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group) membership.A range of policy priorities for the Commonwealth were highlighted, including around climate change, young people, and the ending of sexual violence in conflict affected states. The discussions talked extensively about the Commonwealth values and the next two years of action for the inter-governmental and non-governmental Commonwealth 'family' until the next CHOGM, to be held in Malta in 2015.
The Royal Commonwealth Society will be releasing more information soon on how we will take these issues and ambitions forwards, working with both Commonwealth and non Commonwealth countries and partners.