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Spokesperson’s Statement on Canada’s attendance of the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting

8 October 2013
Statement by: Richard Uku, Commonwealth Spokesperson
The Commonwealth Secretariat has been notified of the Canadian Prime Minister’s decision not to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka next month.

The Commonwealth is a family of 53 sovereign, independent states, which work by consultation and consensus. It is up to each member country to determine its level of representation at CHOGM. Canada has made that determination and we respect its decision.

Canada is a valued member of the Commonwealth family, and its contribution to the association is appreciated by other member countries and the Commonwealth Secretariat. Like other members, it too is able to avail itself of the advantages of Commonwealth membership.

It is important to highlight that Commonwealth Heads of Government collectively decided in Port of Spain in 2009 that Sri Lanka would host the 2013 CHOGM. The leaders confirmed their decision when they met again in Perth in 2011.

We expect broad-based participation by Commonwealth leaders in Colombo and a successful meeting next month – one that focuses on issues of collective interest to the Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth Secretary-General looks forward to the participation of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and for International Human Rights, who will represent Canada at the meeting in Colombo.

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