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UK notes concerns on CHOGM

2013 Sep 30

Britain has noted that there are concerns over the decision to hold the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka.

Britain’s Minister of State for the Commonwealth, Hugo Swire MP, said this in a statement on his recent meeting with Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Ministers in New York.

He said that at the meeting held last week foreign ministers were provided with an update by the Commonwealth Secretary-General on his Democracy and Good Offices programme.

They also reviewed the progress of the recommendations for reform, agreed by Commonwealth Heads in Perth and discussed preparations and potential outcomes of the next Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting.

“With the next Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting less than two months away, this was an important opportunity for Ministers across the Commonwealth to appraise the progress that has been made since Perth in 2011, and consider our joint expectations for the Commonwealth,” he said.

He said the foreign minister recognised that there are significant challenges ahead and added that the decision to hold CHOGM in Sri Lanka has caused some to question the Commonwealth’s commitment to its core values and its credibility.

“I firmly believe, and made clear to my Commonwealth counterparts during today’s meeting, that members have a responsibility to uphold the values we agreed to in the Commonwealth Charter. Over the coming months, the Commonwealth has a great opportunity to build on the work we have already begun. We should remain ambitious but focus our attention on the areas in which we can add real value on the global stage,” the UK Minister of State said. (Colombo Gazette)

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