SI delegation arrives in Malta ahead of CHOGM

THE Solomon Islands delegation to this year’s 24th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) has arrived in Malta ahead of the Summit, which begins on Friday 27th, running through to Sunday 30th November.

Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Maelanga is leading the Government Delegation which also includes the Minister of Foreign Affairs and external Trade Milner Tozaka, Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs Willie Marau and the Minister of Police, National Security and Correctional Services Stanley Festus Sofu.

Other senior government officials also attending the Summit includes the Secretary to the Prime Minister Joseph Waleanisia, Solomon Islands Ambassador to the European Union, Moses Mose Kouni, Head of the Foreign Affairs Europe Desk Trevor Unusu, Chief of Protocol Kereta Sanga, Private Secretary to the Prime Minister Ronald Fugui and Director of Government Communications George Herming.

This year’ s Summit is premised on the theme “Commonwealth – Adding Global Value” which is about using the Commonwealth’s strengths in international politics to influence and eventually effect change on important global issues.

At a glance, the theme is about making a positive difference to the lives of Commonwealth citizens. Adding Global Value seeks to unify the Commonwealth behind an ambitious policy agenda that gives to our young a life of liberty, dignity and prosperity.

Besides, considering its geographical extent around the globe, actions and initiatives taken at the Commonwealth level will undoubtedly add to global values.

Commonwealth countries are already pro-active on the international stage. As one example, Commonwealth countries, that represent one fourth of the countries of the UN, provide 47 percent of UN peacekeepers as indicated by 2015 figures.

The Commonwealth can therefore bring together a community of countries with the energy and drive to develop fair, resilient and universally acceptable solutions to global problems.

The Commonwealth is well represented in most global institutions. It makes up a quarter of the membership in the United Nations and at the moment has four Members on the UN Security Council (Malaysia, New Zealand, Nigeria, UK); has a strong representation in the Caribbean Community; has three Members in the European Union (Cyprus, Malta, UK); has two Members in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Malaysia, Singapore) and five countries represented in the G20 (Australia, Canada, India, South Africa, UK). The Commonwealth is therefore well placed to influence the policy agenda of some of the most influential institutions in global politics.

The Commonwealth is recognised as a leader in developing education programmes around the world. It also provides legal and operational support to Member States on a myriad of issues ranging from International Maritime Law to Election Observance.

Adding Global Value is about encouraging Commonwealth governments and civil society to think about what unites the Commonwealth and what it can achieve together.

As hosts of this year’ s Summit, Malta is asking fellow Commonwealth Members to consider which important issues have been missed by other global institutions, and to use the Commonwealth to provide leadership in those areas. This involves taking advantage of the inherent strengths of the Commonwealth and developing strategies that will make a substantive and demonstrable difference to the lives of people around the world.

The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 53 independent states including Solomon Islands with a combined population of 2.2 billion. The association came together in 1949, after the decolonisation of the British Empire.

Symbolically headed by HM Queen Elizabeth II, the Commonwealth includes some of the world’s largest, smallest, richest and poorest nations. Countries have no legal obligation to each other yet are all guided by the principles contained in The Charter of the Commonwealth: democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

They are also united through language, history and culture.

Source: Government Communication Unit