The 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) which was scheduled to take place in Kigali, Rwanda on 22 – 27 June 2020, has been postponed As a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
The 26th CHOGM and associated events will be held in Kigali at a time to be announced in due course, according to the statement from the Commonwealth.
Following the decision to postpone the meeting, President Paul Kagame, said in a statement, “In the coming months, every Commonwealth nation will be fully focused on combatting Covid-19 and its socio-economic impact on our people.”
President Kagame was also quoted as saying, “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.”
Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland QC said, “The COVID-19 Pandemic has changed the course of our modern history. Lives have been lost, economies are shrinking, and livelihoods have been shattered. It is 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.”
SG Scotland added, “We stand together with Rwanda, and thank all our member countries and, in particular the United Kingdom as our Chair in Office, who have suffered so grievously, for the support and commitment they have shown in these trying times. I too warmly look forward to reuniting with the Commonwealth family, face-to-face, in the beautiful country of Rwanda.”
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.