CHOGM 2020 postponed over coronavirus pandemic
The 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) that was scheduled to take place in Kigali in June this year has been postponed as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement released by this organization on Tuesday, April 21, it was noted that this meeting and associated events will be held in Kigali “at a time to be announced in due course.”
“As a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, it is necessary to postpone the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) scheduled to take place in Kigali, Rwanda on 22 – 27 June 2020,” reads part of the statement.
CHOGM 2020 was expected to attract about 10,000 delegates including Heads of State and Government of member states.
As a country, hosting the summit was regarded as a huge endorsement to national efforts of becoming an internationally recognised meetings and conference destination.
In the statement, President Paul Kagame noted that Rwanda looks forward to welcome participants of this Summit while COVID-19 is over.
He said: “In the coming months, every Commonwealth nation will be fully focused on combatting COVID-19 and its socio-economic impact on our people.”
He continued to say that: “Our organisation’s deep reservoirs of solidarity and expertise will be invaluable tools as we work together globally to ensure no country is left behind,” Adding that: “We look forward to welcoming the Commonwealth family to Kigali for CHOGM once the pandemic has been defeated.”
Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland QC also noted the essence of taking heroic decisions amidst the pandemic.
“We must be mindful of the risks large meetings pose to all. The current circumstances require heroic decisions,” she said.
She added that: “We stand together with Rwanda, and thank all our member countries for the support and commitment they have shown in these trying times.”
Rwanda was in April 2018 selected to host the 2020 CHOGM during the same meeting that was held in London, in an announcement that was made by then British Prime Minister Teresa May.
The Commonwealth is a community of 53 countries – mostly former British colonies – with a combined population of about 2.4 billion.
Rwanda joined the bloc in 2009 becoming the second member to be admitted into the Commonwealth club of nations without any direct colonial ties to British, after Mozambique.