PM Mitchell and FA Minister David participating in CHOGM 2018

by Linda Straker

  • Grenada at CHOGM 2018
  • CHOGM provides platform to the 53-member countries to discuss achievements, challenges and dynamics of emerging markets

Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell and Foreign Affairs Minister Peter David are among government officials from Commonwealth countries who are attending the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) which will conclude in London on Friday, 20 April 2018.

The one-week meeting opened on 16 April under the theme: “Towards a Common Future.” At the opening, the UK Government pledged to provide more funding to help developing countries in the Commonwealth cut their emissions and prepare for the impacts of climate change.

During the meeting, the UK Government said it would provide an extra £8m for climate action and mitigation projects around the world. Some £3.5m will go towards extending the ‘2050 Calculator’ technology which helps countries develop greenhouse gas strategies, while £1.2m will go to help Pacific countries cut their carbon emissions.

Meanwhile, £3.5m will be spent to deploy British satellites in Kenya to help the country plan its response to climate-related disasters such as droughts and floods.

“The UK is leading the world in tackling climate change while growing our national income, ensuring we are best placed to help other countries reduce harmful carbon emissions,” Climate Minister Claire Perry said at a CHOGM on Monday. “Providing expertise to mitigate global warming and reducing emissions is a crucial priority for Commonwealth nations, and vulnerable Pacific Islands in particular.”

The UK Government has also pledged £60m to help stop plastic waste entering the oceans, and promised to look into the feasibility of re-writing the UK’s emissions targets to include a net zero goal.

UK Secretary of State for International Trade, Liam Fox and UK Secretary of State for International Development, Penny Mordaunt said that CHOGM will provide the opportunity for members to set out how they will work across the Commonwealth to promote trade as a driver of individual, regional and international prosperity.

“Today the Prime Minister will launch 2 programmes to boost trade within the Commonwealth. Helping countries implement the World Trade Organisation’s landmark Trade Facilitation Agreement that could boost global trade by up to $1 trillion, and the Commonwealth Standards Network that will help countries to increase trade flows through greater use of a shared language of international standards,” he said on Monday.

These programmes will ease trade across borders, and support developing countries to produce goods and services to existing internationally recognised standards – helping them sell to new markets, creating thousands of jobs and lifting yet more people out of poverty.

He said that the meeting marks the beginning of a new and ambitious Commonwealth approach to improving women’s access to jobs, business and trade opportunities, with the UK-backed launch of the International Trade Centre’s (ITC) She Trades Commonwealth programme. This will provide Commonwealth governments with the data they need to identify and improve opportunities for women – and help female entrepreneurs to start trading.

CHOGM has been held every 2 years since 1971, with the objective to provide a platform to the countries to discuss achievements, challenges and dynamics of emerging markets globally. The current membership of the Commonwealth countries consists of 53 states that reflect diversity covering 6 continents.

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