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CHOGM: Leaders Affirm Commitment For A More Effective Commonwealth

By Sunday October 30th, 2011 No Comments

PERTH, Oct 30 (Bernama)– The Commonwealth Heads of Government ended its meeting here today with a firm commitment to see the Commonwealth becoming a more effective and relevant institution, able to tackle global challenges of the 21st century like food security, climate change and sustainable development.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the leaders also strengthened their commitment to values like democracy, rule of law and human rights.

Summing up what were discussed during the three-day Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), he thought it was good in terms of principles, values and commitment towards reform.

“But as usual, it is the ‘how’ part. How do we go about it after CHOGM? That will be the biggest challenge,” he told Malaysian journalists covering CHOGM, here.

He said the desire for change was there, the thoughts behind tackling the world’s problems were quite evident while the spirit of the Commonwealth was alive.

“The desire to make the Commonwealth more relevant is also quite evident but the commitment in the execution part in terms of the resources, in terms of what we can do, I think is going to be a major challenge,” he added.

Questions have been posed lately on how relevant the Commonwealth is and what the organisation stands for amid the current challenges.

On top of this, Najib said “CHOGM is a collection of pretty diverse nations”.

“The challenge is always to get the consensus behind every single decision. When there is this process of trying to arrive at a consensus, it means that you will not get everything that you want,” the prime minister said.

“Another problem faced is that a great number of CHOGM members are categorised as small island states, so the ability to fund the programmes will be somewhat curtailed in terms of their capacity to do so.

“And in terms of global uncertainties and economic prospects that are immediate and further down the road, the question of how much additional resources that countries can commit to the programmes will be somewhat uncertain or at least will be a major challenge,” he said.

Meanwhile, in the CHOGM communique, the heads of government agreed to reappoint Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma for a further four-year term commencing April 2012.

It also reaffirmed its decision to meet in Sri Lanka in 2013 and in Mauritius in 2015 as well as to welcome the offer by Malaysia to host the 2019 CHOGM.

Leaders from 53 countries attended this year’s CHOGM themed, “Building National Resilience, Building Global Resilience” and with a sub-theme of “Women as Agents of Change”.

Source : Bernama

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