Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting ends in Perth, Western Australia

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, NOVEMBER 1ST 2011 (CUOPM) – Commonwealth Heads of State and Government, among them St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister the Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas, have ended their meeting under the theme “Building National Resilience, Building Global Resilience” which was held in Perth, Western Australia from Friday, 28 October 2011 to Sunday, 30 October 2011.

St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas (fifth from the right) and Grenada’s Prime Minister Hon. Tillman Thomas (sixth from the right) among guests waiting to be greeted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip at a State Banquet hosted by the Queen and Head of the Commonwealth. (Commonwealth Photo)

The traditional “Retreat” of the Heads of State or Government took place at the State Reception Centre, Kings Park from 28 to 30 October 2011.

The Heads of Government segment was preceded by a Pre- Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) meeting of Foreign Ministers from the 26th to 27th October 2011 and a meeting of senior officials from the 24th to 25th October 2011.

Prime Minister Douglas joined fellow Heads of Government in considering issues of Commonwealth reform, both in terms of the review of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG), which is viewed as the custodian of the organisation’s democratic principles and values, as well as the recommendations by an Eminent Persons Group aimed at sharpening the Commonwealth’s impact and raising its profile.

Other issues considered by the CHOGM included climate change, youth, gender and sustainable development, the Commonwealth’s interface with the G20 and food security, – all within the context of the conference theme “Building a National Resilience, Building Global Resilience.”

Heads of Government also acknowledged the role of Her Majesty the Queen in the Commonwealth and agreed to present her with an appropriate tribute for her Diamond Jubilee in 2012.

Australia, as host of CHOGM 2011, focused on food security; climate change; small developing states; mining for development; polio eradication; sustainable development; as well as strengthening the Commonwealth institutionally, including through promoting Commonwealth values such as democracy, the rule of law and human rights.

As agreed by Heads of Government, member states were required to consider the recommendations made by the Eminent Persons Group.

Heads accepted the vast majority of the recommendations and decided to defer final decisions on a number of recommendations that would require further intergovernmental consultations or has financial implications. Some recommendations that are of purely procedural nature will not be considered further.

Heads of Government acknowledged the need to urgently address the question of food security in a separate declaration. Other issues of concern have been addressed in a short and focused CHOGM communiqué.

The communiqué focuses on the reform, values and principles, revitalising development priorities, cooperation to secure global economic recovery, improving gender equality, promoting the voice and role of youth, committing to sustainable growth and resilience for Commonwealth countries, combating people smuggling and human trafficking, and a number country specific issues.

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