By Banthu Reporter 15/11/2013
The Commonwealth Secretary General, Kamalesh Sharma, has called upon
Commonwealth member state countries to invest in youth if respective
countries were to achieve socio-economic development.
Sharma was speaking Thursday during the official opening of 2013
Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) currently underway in
Colombo, Sri Lanka. He explained that poverty has hit hard some of the
member state countries, saying there is need to adopt new development
measures through youth investment.
“Some Commonwealth member states are entwined win poverty. As such, I
would like to urge respective countries to invest in youth so that
they can attain socio-economic development,” Sharma said.
He, however, hinted that trade would mostly improve people’s living
standards among member state countries hence the need to improve trade
which, in turn, would improve countries’ respective export revenues.
“Let me also urge all member state countries to promote trade which
will help improve livelihoods of citizenry as well as improve export
revenues,” he explained.
Prince Charles of Wales, who represented Head of Commonwealth Queen
Elizabeth II hailed member state countries for the unity and zeal to
promoting the organization, saying Commonwealth is charged to confront
the many issues affecting security and well-being of its nations and
“Each one of us is here because of the hope and trust we place in the
Commonwealth to bring that ‘touch of healing’ to our troubles and
deliver the very best future of our people,” Prince Charles said.
This year’s CHOGM is being held under the theme “Growth with Equity:
Inclusive Development”. Among other issues being discussed during 2013
CHOGM include seeking a successor to the Millennium Development Goals
which focuses on eliminating absolute poverty and ensuring
Commonwealth values such as the rule of law and good governance are at
the heart of the next development framework.
Besides, the Meeting would also discuss a proposal to make the
position of Head of Commonwealth hereditary to descendants of Queen
Before the official opening of this year’s CHOGM, Heads of State and
Government participated in tree planting exercise on Thursday as one
way of highlighting the Commonwealth nations’ commitment in the fight
against climate change.
This year’s CHOGM started on Sunday, 10 November, 2013 with youth and
people’s fora and is expected to end on Sunday, 17 November, 2013.
Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting is a biennial summit meeting
of the Heads of Government from all Commonwealth nations. It was
formed around 1960s and had its ever first meeting in Singapore on
January 14, 1971.
The Commonwealth Secretariat was formed to reflect the growing
diversity of the constitutional structures in the Commonwealth.
Currently, the Commonwealth Secretariat has 54 member states and is
being headed by Queen Elizabeth II of United Kingdom.
Malawi joined Commonwealth on July 6, 1964 and this year’s Summit is
being represented by Vice President Khumbo Kachali.