By Maniraguha Ferdinand
The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) which was to be held in Kigali in June 2021, was postponed for the second time due to the surge in Covid-19 cases among Commonwealth members.
CHOGM was postponed for the first time in June last year due to Covid-19 impact.
The statement issued by Commonwealth on Friday evening, says that postponement of CHOGM 2021 is a result of the continuing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Having reviewed all available evidence and risk assessments including with the World Health Organization (WHO) and their risk assessment tool, and after close consultation between the Commonwealth Secretariat and Member States, the decision has been made to postpone the CHOGM in Kigali for a second time”, the statement reads.
Through the statement, President Paul Kagame said that Commonwealth citizens ‘health is above everything.
“The decision to postpone CHOGM for a second time has not been taken lightly. The health and welfare of all Commonwealth citizens at this critical time must take precedence. We look forward to welcoming the Commonwealth family to Kigali for CHOGM at the appropriate time.”he said
Commonwealth Secretary-General, The Rt. Hon. Patricia Scotland “We know that the COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to have a hugely damaging impact on our member countries, many of whom continue to face huge losses to lives and livelihoods. And while it is with deep disappointment and regret that we cannot bring Commonwealth leaders together at this time to discuss many of these critical issues, we must be mindful of the huge risks large meetings pose to all.”
She thanked Government and people of Rwanda “for their professionalism, support, patience and their impeccable readiness to hold CHOGM” and assures that the meeting will be resumed in Rwanda “when the conditions allow for us to do so safely and securely.”
Rwanda had begun all preparations for meeting including roads renovations, building new hotels, among others.