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Secretary-General of Commonwealth, Patricia Scotland in Rwanda

Secretary-General “impressed” with Rwanda CHOGM progress

12 March 2021

07/05/2021 Update: His Excellency Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, and Commonwealth Secretary-General, The Rt. Hon. Patricia Scotland QC, have announced the postponement of CHOGM 2021 as a result of the continuing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic: Read the full statement

The Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland has congratulated the Rwandan government on progress in its preparations for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), due to be held in the capital Kigali later this year.

Foreign Minister Honourable Vincent Biruta welcomed Patricia Scotland to Kigali with a lunch in her honour also attended by High Commissioners to Rwanda.

Mr Biruta said: “In less than four months, the Commonwealth will gather in Kigali for our biennial family reunion. Our teams are working round the clock to ensure a safe and memorable event in June 2021.

"Rwanda very much looks forward to hosting the Commonwealth family in their second home and we hope that your delegations will take time to visit our beautiful country and learn more about our people and our culture.”

Thanking him for his hospitality, the Secretary-General said she was impressed by the level of commitment and  preparedness for CHOGM that is already in place, and the milestones which have already been achieved since her last visit to Rwanda.

She said the next CHOGM must be a springboard for concerted action.

"As we seek to overcome the challenges before us, not least the devastating impact of the Coronavirus epidemic across the Commonwealth, CHOGM presents an opportunity to be the launch pad that propels us onward, upward and forward together," she said.

"As we strive to live up to the ideals of the theme 'delivering a common future', building on the aspirations of the 2018 CHOGM, I look forward to working closely with Rwanda when it assumes the mantle of Chair-in-Office, in advancing our shared objectives, whether it be advancing the rights and well-being of women and girls;

Combatting the threat of climate change; promoting trade and good governance; championing the health, wellbeing and human rights of every one of our citizens; or ensuring that all young people have equitable access to the opportunities they need in order to fulfil their potential."

The Secretary-General's visit to Rwanda coincides with celebrations to mark Commonwealth Week.