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Commonwealth leaders hold virtual meeting on the COVID-19 crisis

24 June 2020

Leaders and representatives from across the Commonwealth have today held a virtual meeting to share solutions and ways of working that can help to combat the impacts of COVID-19.

Unprecedented challenges

Many member countries are facing unprecedented challenges due to the global health emergency and its economic and social ramifications.

These issues combined with the long-term threat of climate change and the ongoing cyclone, and impending hurricane season, means that COVID-19 is seen as a substantial “tipping point” threat that has the potential to push member states into a period of significant crisis if swift and coordinated action is not taken.

The meeting was held after the Commonwealth Secretariat received significant support for such a meeting from a majority of Commonwealth member states.

Exploring and exchanging solutions

Held at 11 am today (BST), the meeting saw participants from across the Commonwealth explore and exchange solutions on issues as diverse as:

  • Technological tools that have helped in combating COVID-19 and the role of good governance in supporting the fight against the disease.
  • Accelerating cooperation on trade and finance so as to mitigate against the economic impact of COVID-19.
  • Urgent action to tackle the acute and long-term impacts of Climate change.
  • And for the Commonwealth to take the lead in building a “vision for a freer more equal kinder and collaborative world.”
  • The meeting also observed that when the Commonwealth family acts together that “our joint action changes the lives our people for ever”.

Multilateral approaches

The meeting noted that multilateral approaches are required to address all of these challenges and especially to support more vulnerable members such as the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, in light of the specific challenges they face.

More information

The Commonwealth has developed a COVID-19 Tracker that shows daily cases in member countries. The tool is designed to monitor and understand how the virus is impairing Commonwealth countries and which countries will need the most help. The tracker identifies risks, gaps, and key areas where the Commonwealth can add value in supporting the fight against COVID-19.

Health ministers from across the Commonwealth virtually met on 14 May 2020 for their annual summit and agreed to coordinate their response in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic in their statement.