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Commonwealth countries set to meet in Rwanda: What to expect | News | NEWSRUX

The summit comes amid souring relations between Rwanda and DR Congo which have reignited decades-long animosity.

Heads of presidency from Commonwealth nations will meet within the Rwandan capital, Kigali, on Friday and Saturday to deal with challenges from local weather change and poverty to the meals safety disaster triggered by the battle in Ukraine.

Listed here are some key info concerning the Commonwealth Heads of Authorities Assembly (CHOGM) and the Kigali summit, which had been purported to be held in 2020 however had been twice delayed due to the COVID pandemic.

What’s the Commonwealth?

It’s a voluntary affiliation of 54 nations that developed steadily from the British Empire and has existed in its fashionable kind since 1949.

Who’re its members?

  • The Commonwealth consists of 13 nations within the Caribbean and the Americas, 19 nations in Africa, three in Europe, eight in Asia and 11 within the Pacific.
  • It has a mixed inhabitants of two.5 billion.
  • India accounts for 1.4 billion of its residents, whereas 32 members have populations of 1.5 million or much less, the smallest being Nauru, which has 10,000 inhabitants.

Are all of them former British colonies?

  • Most of them are, however that isn’t a situation for membership. The final two nations to hitch, Rwanda and Mozambique, don’t have any historic ties to the British Empire.
  • Gabon and Togo, each former French colonies, are anticipated to use to hitch on the Kigali summit.

What does the Commonwealth do?

  • It presents itself as a community for cooperation on widespread targets akin to defending the surroundings, boosting commerce, supporting democracy, selling schooling and gender equality, and giving small states a louder voice on the world stage.
  • Though it’s not a free commerce zone, it calculates that its members discover it 21 p.c cheaper to commerce with different members than with non-Commonwealth nations that are the same distance away, primarily based on an evaluation of World Financial institution information. Components embody a typical language and related authorized and industrial frameworks.

Who heads it?

  • Queen Elizabeth II has been head of the Commonwealth, a largely symbolic function, since her reign started in 1952.
  • The organisation says the British monarch is just not robotically its head, however its members nonetheless agreed at a gathering in London in 2018 that Elizabeth’s son Prince Charles would succeed her within the function. Charles is attending the Kigali summit, representing his mom.
Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales attends a Commonwealth Business Forum Exhibition at the Kigali Cultural Village during Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kigali, Rwanda
Charles, Prince of Wales, attends a Commonwealth Enterprise Discussion board exhibition on the Kigali Cultural Village throughout a Commonwealth Heads of Authorities Assembly (CHOGM) in Kigali, Rwanda [Ian Vogler/Reuters]

Who runs it?

  • It has a secretariat primarily based in London and a secretary-general, presently Dominica-born Patricia Scotland.
  • Commonwealth leaders will determine in Kigali whether or not to reappoint her for a second time period or exchange her with Kamina Johnson Smith, the Jamaican overseas minister. Britain has criticised Scotland’s management and is backing Johnson Smith, as are India and Belize.

Who’s attending the Kigali summit?

  • Most heads of presidency of Commonwealth nations might be there, together with Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari, Britain’s Boris Johnson and Canada’s Justin Trudeau.
  • However South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa, India’s Narendra Modi, Pakistan’s Shehbaz Sharif, Australia’s Anthony Albanese and New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern will not be anticipated, elevating questions concerning the relevance of the organisation for these nations.
  • A number of nations like Zimbabwe have left the alliance or signalled their will to depart it. Others like The Gambia, Pakistan and Maldives beforehand left however have rejoined the physique.

What’s more likely to be mentioned?

  • Leaders are anticipated to debate souring relations since Could between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo as insurgent teams – which Kinshasa accuses Kigali of supporting – have launched their most sustained offensive in a decade. On Monday, Kenya introduced the deployment of the Japanese African Neighborhood’s regional drive in DRC to quell the violence.
  • Local weather motion may even be on the agenda as local weather change stays a significant concern for the bloc. Current climate occasions and long run local weather traits, together with warmth waves, excessive temperatures, droughts, cyclones, floods and rising sea ranges, afflict most of its member states.
  • Commerce amongst member nations, a recurring subject of debate, might be included, too.
  • The approaching presidential elections in Kenya, scheduled for August 9, are additionally anticipated to be mentioned.


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