Rwanda on Wednesday announced the postponement of the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) that was scheduled to take place in Kigali in June, as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.Rwanda and Commonwealth Secretariat had planned to hold the summit in Kigali from 22 to 27 June this year but organisers said the gathering and all associated events has been deferred to a later date.
An official statement made available Tuesday to APA in Kigali said this decision was made in accordance with the 2005 Memorandum of Understanding Establishing the Commonwealth Secretariat and the CHOGM Technical Manual, as well as with precedent.
Reacting to this postponement, Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland said, “The COVID-19 Pandemic has changed the course of our modern history.”
She said lives have been lost, economies left shrinking, and livelihoods shattered, making it difficult to predict what the new normal will look like.
“We must be mindful of the risks large meetings pose to all. The current circumstances require heroic decisions,” she said.
Rwandan President Paul Kagame has been quoted saying that in the intervening months, every Commonwealth nation will be fully focused on combatting Covid-19 and its socio-economic impact on lives.
“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. We look forward to welcoming the Commonwealth family to Kigali for CHOGM once the pandemic has been defeated,” Kagame said in a statement.