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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

CHOGM 2013 in Brief

The Commonwealth Ministers Action Group meet today (November 13, 2013) at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall:  
The Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) where the CHOGM's Ministerial Group meets. 

The Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma opens the meeting of the Commonwealth Ministers Action Group (CMAG) held yesterday at the BMICH.

The Meeting was also attended by Hon. Bernard K. Membe (MP), Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Co-operaiton (not in the photo)

The Commonwealth Youth Council:
The Commonwealth youth delegates elect new youth council leader  -  Ahmed Adamu from Nigeria will chair the new body, which will be the recognized voice of the 1.2 billion young people of the Commonwealth and provide a framework for youth-led development initiatives.

CMAG's Statement on Maldives:
The Ministers expressed their deep disappointment that the Maldives presidential election process had not concluded prior to the expiration of the President’s term in office on 11 November 2013.

The Group noted that the breach of the 11 November constitutional deadline to inaugurate a new president followed repeated delays to the electoral process, as a result of annulment by the Supreme Court of the first-round election on 7 September and the failure to proceed with three further elections on 28 September, 19 October and 10 November.
Ministers emphasised the urgency of ensuring a swift conclusion to the electoral process. In this regard, CMAG stressed the importance of the second-round election taking place as scheduled on 16 November, in a credible and peaceful manner, and of the newly elected president being inaugurated promptly thereafter.
The Commonwealth Business Forum Gala Dinner:  
The theme chosen for the CBF 2013 is ‘Partnership for Wealth Creation and Social Development: The Commonwealth, Indian Ocean and SAARC’.  The Commonwealth Charter states that "We the people of the Commonwealth: Recognizing that in an era of changing economic circumstances and uncertainty, new trade and economic patterns, unprecedented threats to peace and security, and a surge in popular demands for democracy, human rights and broadened economic opportunities, the potential of and need for the Commonwealth – as a compelling force for good and as an effective network for co-operation and for promoting development – has never been greater’.

The Commonwealth meeting highlights concerns of small state: 
Image of Commonwealth Ministerial Meeting on Small States press conference - Colombo, Sri Lanka
“All Commonwealth societies should be better equipped to benefit from progress and increasingly able to share the dividends of prosperity. None should be left behind. This has ever been the driving spirit of the Commonwealth" - Commonwealth Secretary-General.

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