Press Release

11 November 2013

President Zuma to lead a delegation to the Commonwealth Heads of State and Government Meeting in Sri Lanka

President Jacob Zuma will lead a South African delegation to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) that will be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, from 15-17 November 2013.

CHOGM 2013 is taking place against the prominent international focus on the 2015 target date for achieving the Millennium Development Goals and a number of initiatives examining the Post-2015 global development agenda.  Due to a large number of small, developing and vulnerable states amongst its membership, the Commonwealth has a special interest in both the MDGs and the Post-2015 Development Agenda. This interest is reflected in the theme and focus of CHOGM 2013: “Growth with Equity: Inclusive Development”.

The theme for CHOGM 2013, developed by the host country, emphasises the importance of equity in economic development and that inclusive development should provide opportunities to all members of society.

Discussions at the meeting will cover a number of global issues affecting Commonwealth members including: the global financial crisis; attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); development of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); the Post-2015 Development Agenda; access to employment; youth unemployment; education; entrepreneurship; international trade and investment; the Doha Development Agenda of the WTO; and climate change financing. 

Since the CHOGM held in Perth in 2011, the Commonwealth has made significant progress in the reform of the organisation as called for by the Heads of Government. Most of the recommendations by the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) in their report “A Commonwealth of the People: Time for Urgent Reform”, including the strengthening of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) and the adoption of a Charter, were formally approved.

The Charter of the Commonwealth, a codification of the values and principles of the Organisation is a ground-breaking development for the Organisation and was signed by Queen Elizabeth II, as Head of the Commonwealth, on 11 March 2013.

President Zuma will be accompanied by Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation. The Heads of Government Meeting will be preceded by the Pre-CHOGM Foreign Ministers Meeting on 13 -14 November 2013, where Minister Nkoana-Mashabane will lead the South African delegation.

For further information please contact Mr. Clayson Monyela spokesperson for DIRCO on 082 884 5974.

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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