Side events are taking place before and during the week of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2022 in Kigali, Rwanda.
Organised by the Commonwealth Secretariat, the host country Rwanda, and other external organisations, these events supplement and bolster the CHOGM programme and reflect member countries’ shared ambitions.
All side events are listed below, including contacts for event organisers and details on how to register. Please note, some events are invite only.
Blue Charter Action Groups Tackling Ocean and Climate Change
- Tuesday 21 June, 7.30am - 9.30
- Lemigo Hotel, Kigali
The Climate crisis is also an ocean crisis. Action Groups under the Commonwealth’s flagship ocean programme, the Blue Charter, are responding to climate change under their respective themes. This event will showcase a sampling of Action Groups’ efforts to date and will encourage discussion on future ocean-climate strategies and initiatives.
Access to Justice and Technology, and the Inaugural Commonwealth Legal Debate
- Tuesday 21 June, 9am – 10.30am and 11am – 12.30pm
- Mkombozi Hall, Park Inn Kigali
The Commonwealth Lawyers Association, with the support of the Secretariat’s Office of Civil and Criminal Justice Reform, is hosting a panel discussion on the use of technology as a means of improving access to justice, how to build an enabling environment for people-centred justice, and ethical considerations around law and technology. The session will also showcase some innovative technology solutions that vastly improve access to justice.
The Inaugural Commonwealth Legal Debate will be held immediately after the Access to Justice and Technology Innovation event. During this parliamentary-style debate, four student teams discuss a challenging debate question framed in the context of a changing and rapidly modernising legal world, while exploring the framework provided by Commonwealth values and principles.
- Due to meeting room capacity, attendance confirmation will be done on a first come, first served basis. Please submit your RSVP by emailing Francisca Pretorius, Commonwealth Secretariat.
Side Event Programme Focused on the Call to Action on Sustainable Urbanisation Across the Commonwealth
- 21 – 22 June
- Tuesday 21 June, 9am – 5.45pm followed by a cocktail reception
- Wednesday 22 June, 4pm – 5.30pm
- Ubumwe Grande
The side event will directly contribute to the overarching CHOGM theme of ‘Delivering a Common Future: Connecting, Innovating, Transforming’ and will complement the work being undertaken in other forums. It will focus on approaches to ensure citizens are at the heart of making cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
Member states, both large and small, are already facing the impacts of climate change and rapid urbanisation, while the COVID-19 pandemic has compounded these impacts, resulting in one of the worst global health and economic shocks of recent times.
Responding to these challenges, Commonwealth partners including the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the Commonwealth Association of Architects, the Commonwealth Association of Planners and the Commonwealth Local Government Forum, in collaboration with the Government of Rwanda and The Prince’s Foundation, have come together to issue a Call to Action on Sustainable Urbanisation across the Commonwealth, to advance sustainable urbanisation in the Commonwealth through the Commonwealth Sustainable Cities Initiative.
- Invitations: Day 1 is Technical level and Day 2 is ministerial level. For day 2, wider members of the delegation and High Commission are also invited to attend. RSVP by e-mailing Victoria Hobday, Commonwealth Sustainable Cities Initiative.
CHOGM Breakfast Meeting - Climate Change and the Commonwealth: Accelerating Action
- Wednesday 22 June, 8.30am – 10.30am
- Kigali Conference Centre
This event will showcase the steps that climate-vulnerable member states are taking in response to climate change, land degradation and biodiversity loss, and brief CHOGM members and related stakeholders on key priorities. This includes joint action among the three Rio Conventions for enhanced climate action through the Living Lands Charter - A Commonwealth Call to Action on Living Lands (CALL) - and highlighting the progress and steps being undertaken through Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub (CCFAH) for enhancing climate action, especially access to global climate finance for member countries.
- Heads of Government, Foreign Ministers, Environment Ministers, Senior Environment Officials, Climate Change Focal Points and Executive Secretaries of the three UN Rio Conventions and partner organisations are invited to attend. Open to media. Contact e-mail: Unnikrishnan Nair and the Climate Change team, Commonwealth Secretariat. Media contact
Countering Violent Extremism event
- Wednesday 22 June, 8.30am – 10am
- Hôtel Des Mille Collines
The Commonwealth Secretariat Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Unit will convene Commonwealth policymakers and senior officials with responsibility for national security policy, counterterrorism, or peace and security policy to discuss challenges, and share best practices on approaches to managing terrorism and preventive steps to address the underlying conditions that drive individuals to radicalise and join violent extremist groups. The event includes a special update from the Commonwealth Cadre of CVE Experts, a network of advisers that was welcomed by CHOGM in 2018.
UN-Commonwealth Advocacy Strategy Reception
- Wednesday 22 June, 5.30pm – 7pm
- Kigali Conference Centre
This high-level side-event in the form of an informal reception will provide a platform for strategy champions as well as ministers to interact informally about the advocacy strategy.
The Commonwealth Secretary-General, co-joined with the acting UN Under Secretary-General and High Representative of the Office, UN-OHRLLS, will provide opening remarks.
- Foreign Ministers are invited to attend. Contact e-mail: Motselisi Matsela, Commonwealth Secretariat.
Rethinking Mental Health: A Commonwealth Call to EMPOWER, Care and Transform
- Wednesday 22 June, 7.30pm – 9pm
- Kigali Conference Centre
This event in partnership with the Government of Rwanda, the British Asian Trust, and Shuchona Foundation and Bangladesh with the support of the Commonwealth Secretariat, echoes the Commonwealth’s principle of promoting access to affordable health care and removing wide disparities and unequal living standards.
- Ministers of Foreign Affairs, international organisations, Senior Officials, Members of the delegation and High Commissioners are invited to attend. Please RSVP by e-mailing: Mahfuza Sultana, Government of Bangladesh and Janneth Mghamba, Commonwealth Secretariat. Media contact
Antimicrobial Resistance Event
- Thursday 23 June, 8am – 9am
- Four Points Sheraton
High-level event convened by Global Leaders Group on antimicrobial resistance (AMR), chaired by Her Excellency Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley of Barbados and moderated by Deputy Prime Minister Christopher Fearne of Malta in a panel discussion of leaders on political actions needed to address the global AMR crisis.
The Global Leaders Group on Antimicrobial Resistance is comprised of world leaders and experts from across sectors working together to accelerate political action on AMR based on the One Health approach. Its mission is to collaborate globally with governments, agencies, civil society and the private sector to advise on and advocate for political action for the mitigation of drug-resistant infections through responsible and sustainable access to and use of antimicrobials.
Action on AMR is essential now as part the global health, development, climate, and the pandemic response agenda and under the priorities set out for the 2022 CHOGM theme, delivering a common future: connecting, innovating, transforming.
- Ministers of Health and Heads of Governments are invited to attend. Contact e-mails: Karen Vincenti, Government of Malta, Mahfuza Sultana, Government of Bangladesh and Janneth Mghamba, Commonwealth Secretariat. Media contact
Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases Summit
- Thursday 23 June, 9am – 5.30pm
- Intare Conference Arena
The summit, hosted by the Government of the Republic of Rwanda, will reaffirm commitment to end malaria and neglected tropical diseases. In doing so, it will recognise the critical importance of investing in the fight against these diseases, developing more resilient health systems, improving the response to future pandemics and supporting healthier populations.
In recent years, the Commonwealth has committed to act against these preventable and treatable diseases. In 2018 leaders committed to ‘halve malaria across the Commonwealth by 2023’, eliminate ‘blinding trachoma by 2020’, and to combat ‘other mosquito-borne diseases.’ The 2022 summit will enable the Commonwealth to review the progress made since the 2018 commitment.
- Heads of Government and Ministers, Members of the delegation and High Commissions are invited to attend and can register here. An RSVP is not required. Contact e-mail: Layne Robinson, and Janneth Mghamba, Commonwealth Secretariat. Media contact
Keeping 1.5 Alive - The Glasgow Climate Pact and Building Momentum towards COP27: Co-hosted by the Governments of Rwanda and the United Kingdom
- Thursday 23 June, 9.30am – 11.30am
- Kigali Conference Centre
To support discussions during the 2022 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and bring momentum to agreed climate commitments, a high-level side event on climate change will be held. It will take stock of COP26 outcomes, especially progress on the Glasgow Climate Pact, discuss innovative ways to access climate finance, including an introduction to the Kigali Principles on Carbon Finance, and aims to generate momentum for COP27 which will take place in Egypt in November 2022.
The side event will be co-hosted by the Government of Rwanda and the Government of the United Kingdom, together with the COP26 Presidency. The event will bring together a range of leaders from across the Commonwealth, United Nations organisations, civil society, private sector, young people and women to discuss progress on the Glasgow Climate Pact, accessing climate finance, the desired outcomes of COP27 in Egypt and how Commonwealth Member States can work together to achieve them.
- Contact e-mail: Juliet Kabera and Faustin Muyazikwiye, Rwanda Environment Management Authority, and Alain Michel, Government of Rwanda.
High-Level Side Event on Violence Against Women and Girls
- Thursday 23 June, 1pm – 2.30pm
- Kigali Conference Centre
Globally, one in three women and one in six women have experienced a form of sexual violence in their lifetime. Moreover, domestic violence escalated and intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic, with high incidence calls to domestic violence helplines increased up to 500% across Commonwealth countries. As a response, Commonwealth Secretariat partnered with the NO MORE Foundation to create and build effective and collaborative pathways to address violence and is convening this event on eliminating Violence Against Women and Girls and the Commonwealth Says NO MORE campaign on the margins of CHOGM.
This high-level meeting will be held at the Kigali Conference Centre and distinguished speakers from the UN and across the Commonwealth will be presenting. The novel guidelines on the Whole System Approach in addressing violence against women and girls, as part of the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 5, will be launched at the event, with opening remarks by a VVIP.
- Heads of Government and ministers, National Women's Machineries and other change-makers, civil society, business, NGOs, donors, press and celebrities are invited to attend. Due to meeting room capacity, attendance confirmation will be done on a first come, first served basis. Please submit your RSVP by e-mailing: Karen Williams and Natasha Muhoza, Commonwealth Secretariat.
High-level Roundtable: The Commonwealth Blue Charter, and the Commonwealth Sustainable Energy Transition Agenda: Taking action to deliver our common future
- Saturday 25 June, 2.45pm – 4.45pm
- Kigali Conference Centre
Both the Commonwealth Blue Charter and the Commonwealth Sustainable Energy Transition (CSET) emerged from CHOGM 2018 as a collective response to the 2018 CHOGM theme, Towards a Common Future. Globally unique, the Blue Charter and CSET are implemented through country-led ‘Action Groups’ to translate CHOGM words into actions – delivering our common future through connecting, innovating and transforming.
At this open side event, high-level panelists (minsters or their designates) will discuss the Action Group model so far, the importance of partnerships, progress, lessons learned along the way, and reflect on what more needs to be done to accelerate ambition into action. The side event will feature the announcement of the new Commonwealth Blue Charter Project Incubator, and the launch of CSET Action Groups on Energy Literacy and Geothermal Energy.
Articulating a comprehensive and cooperative approach to ocean health, marine climate change, and sustainable ‘blue’ economic development, the Blue Charter provides a platform for all Commonwealth countries to tackle shared ocean issues. It is implemented through 10 Action Groups led by 16 Champion countries, with 47 governments having joined one or more of these.
The CSET agenda provides a platform for collaborative action between member countries towards achieving SDG 7 on access to affordable and clean energy and SDG 13 on climate action; and is anchored on three key pillars identified by members at the inaugural Commonwealth Sustainable Energy Forum in 2019 - Inclusive Transitions; Technology and Innovations; and Enabling Frameworks.
- All welcome to attend. Participation at the roundtable, however, is restricted to Foreign Ministers and senior officials engaged in either the Blue Charter or CSET. All with CHOGM accreditation can register their interest to attend here. Please RSVP regarding ministerial participation by e-mailing Jeff Ardron, and Alache Fisho, Commonwealth Secretariat. Media contact
Rwanda - Commonwealth Fashion Week - Collective Rwanda
- Tuesday 21 – Sunday 26 June
- Various venues
Rwanda - Commonwealth Fashion week will showcase local and Commonwealth fashion, accessories and interior designers. A list of of activities will be organised throughout the week including a panel on sustainable fashion in the Commonwealth at the Commonwealth Business Forum, a fashion night out, the launch of a common marketplace and digital exhibition, designers, shop tours, and visits to artisans. Rwandan and Commonwealth designers will have the opportunity to learn from each other, co-create, network and build synergies for future collaboration.
- Invitations: All delegates are invited to attend, and an RSVP is not required. Contact e-mail: Natasha Haguma, Collective Rwanda.
Commonwealth Forum of National Human Rights Institutions (CFNHRI) Biennial Meeting
- Thursday 16 – Friday 17 June, 9.30am – 5pm
- Kigali Marriott Hotel
56 Commonwealth national human rights institutions and ombudsman offices will attend the CFNHRI biennial meeting under the theme “Human Rights for All at the Heart of Recovery Efforts During and After COVID-19.”
Building on the progress of the 2018 biennial meeting in London, National Human Rights Institution’s will discuss ways in which Commonwealth member countries can use a human rights approach when adopting and implementing COVID-19 measures and recovery efforts, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.
- This is an invite-only event. Contact e-mails: Aissa Umutoni, National Commission for Human Rights, and Sian Lambert, Equality and Human Rights Commission.