Colombo, 15 November 2013
Today in Colombo, Sri Lanka, President Kagame joined heads of the fifty three member countries of the Commonwealth. The day began with an opening ceremony during which traditional Sri Lankan dancers welcomed the guests. The ceremony was followed by discussion sessions aimed at forging common solutions to global issues.
With this year’s focus on inclusive development, the heads of set meeting centered on the rapidly diminishing gap between developed and developing nations and the role of partnerships in fast tracking development for all Commonwealth members. Opening the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings, General Kamalesh Sharma stressed the importance of the association as a source of collective strength and partnership:
“The deep awareness that our destinies are joined drives us forward in seeking together for practical solution to the many great tasks before the Commonwealth, and the world at large. In these times of flux and rapid alteration, a shared vision of our collective striving and resolve are needed more than ever. That is the role of all CHOGMs, to bring us close as a family, to move us forward together.”
The heads of states ended their first day with a dinner hosted by HRH The Prince of Wales. In CHOGM tradition, the second day will be marked by closed door informal retreat during which Heads of States will discuss policies to address challenges faced by its members.
President Kagame also held a bilateral meeting with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on the sidelines of CHOGM. They discussed continuous close cooperation between both nations. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Long expressed admiration for Rwanda’s development and invited the President to visit Singapore with a business delegation.