President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa would not attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government summit taking place in Rwanda later this month.
The Foreign Ministry announced that Minister of Foreign Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris will represent President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) which will take place in Kigali, Rwanda from 21 to 25 June 2022. The CHOGM in Rwanda will be attended by the fifty-four (54) Member States of the Commonwealth.
The CHOGM will be declared open by the President of Rwanda Paul Kagame on 24 June with the presence of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, the latter representing the Head of the Commonwealth Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. This will be followed by high-level meetings of the Commonwealth Heads on 24 – 25 June 2022, and preceded by the Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Ministers’ Meeting (CFAMM) on 23 June.
The theme of the 2022 CHOGM is “Delivering a Common Future: Connecting, Innovating and Transforming”, highlighting the work of the Commonwealth family in achieving its shared goals of protecting natural resources and increasing trade. Foreign Minister Peiris will participate in high-level discussions under the three thematic areas of “Democracy, Peace and Governance”, “Sustainable and Inclusive Development”, and “Post-COVID-19 Recovery”.
The Foreign Minister is also expected to hold bilateral meetings at foreign ministerial level with several Commonwealth Member States from Europe, Asia and Africa on the sidelines of the CHOGM, to discuss issues of mutual interest.
Sri Lanka is among the eight founding members of the Commonwealth, and hosted the 23rd Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Colombo in November 2013. The CHOGM in Rwanda was due to take place in June 2020, but was postponed twice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.