By Abigail Chaponda in London, United Kingdom
Commonwealth Secretary-General BaronessPatricia Scotland QC, has urged Zambia to take advantage of the forthcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) that will be held in Rwandato forge and enhance trade partnerships with Commonwealth Member States.
And Zambia’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom His Excellency Lieutenant General Paul Mihova has applauded the cordial and warm relations that have existed between Zambia and the Commonwealth Secretariat for the past 50 years.
BaronessScotland made the remarks whenHis Excellency Lieutenant General Mihova paid a courtesy call on her atthe Commonwealth Secretariat at Marlborough House in London.
The Secretary General said the Commonwealth Heads of Government summit is an important event and a platform to enhance shared and common values across the Commonwealth family adding that there was so much that Zambia can benefit from other member countries.
Secretary-General Scotland said, “It’s going to be a very exciting meeting. As member countries, we are looking forward to create sustainable partnerships that will benefit the Commonwealth family. The Commonwealth opens up scope for creating synergies,” she said.
And High Commissioner Mihova expressed appreciation for the support and benefits Commonwealth membership bring to the people of Zambia, and the Southern African region.
High Commissioner Mihova said that the Zambian Government remains committed to the core values and principles of the organisation as contained in the Commonwealth Charter.
Lieutenant General Mihova said that the Zambian Government respects and firmly upholds the Commonwealth values and principles of democracy, human rights, international peace and security, freedom of expression, separation of powers, rules of law, good governance, sustainable development, environmental protection, universal access to health, education, food and shelter, youth development and gender equality, among others.
“We want to see more trade between Zambia and other Commonwealth countries and CHOGM 2020 will provide an opportunity for Zambia to have high level dialogue on trade and investment between private enterprises and governments from across the Commonwealth and beyond” he said.
CHOGM 2020 will be held in Rwanda in June at the Kigali Convention Centre under the theme ‘Delivering A Common Future: Connecting, Innovating, Transforming’.Five sub-themes have been identified for discussion: Governance and Rule of Law, ICT and Innovation, Youth, Environment, and Trade.
Building on progress since CHOGM 2018 in London, leaders are expected to discuss ways the contemporary Commonwealth can transform societies, in accordance with Commonwealth Charter values of democracy, multilateralism, sustainable development, and empowerment of women and youth.
Zambia was the first African country to host the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in 1979. 39 Countries attended the 5thCHOGM meeting which was held in Lusaka, Zambia from 1st – 7th August 1979 and was chaired by the First President Dr. Kenneth Kaunda. issues discussed at the meeting included the situation in Rhodesia, the armed conflicts in Indo-China, the global growth of the refugee problem, the situation in Cyprus and Southern Africa. The Lusaka Declaration of the Commonwealth on Racism and Racial Prejudice was issued at the end of the CHOGM, including a special declaration condemning apartheid.