South African President Jacob Zuma has arrived in Colombo, Sri Lanka, for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), which starts today, 15 November 2013.
The summit, held under the theme ‘Growth with Equity: Inclusive Development’, is a chance for leaders to confer on the importance of equity in economic development and to look at measures that can stimulate inclusive development to provide opportunities to all members of society.
During the three day summit, Commonwealth leaders will discuss issues including international peace and security, democracy, good governance, sustainable development, debt management, education, environment, gender equality, health, human rights, information and communication technology, law, multilateral trade issues, small states and youth affairs.
Due to the summit taking place against the prominent international focus on the 2015 target date for achieving the Millennium Development Goals, the leaders will examine several initiatives on the Post-2015 global development agenda.
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.
This year’s summit, which is attended by several world leaders, will be presided by the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, in the absence of his mother Queen Elizabeth II, since Buckingham Palace is reviewing her long-haul travel.
President Zuma is accompanied by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, who participated in the pre-CHOGM Foreign Ministers Meeting, which focused on the importance of equity in economic development.
Since re-joining the Commonwealth in 1994, South Africa has worked closely with the Commonwealth, contributing politically, financially and in terms of capacity and expertise in the work of the organisation.