Secretary-General: Summit will reinforce a true global partnership

13 March 2017

The 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting will cement the shared aims of good governance, sustainable growth, and inclusive social and economic development, Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said today.

The Commonwealth is home to 2.4 billion people, a third of the world’s population, with developed and developing countries, small states and vulnerable nations and where 60% are under the age of 30. This is the first Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting under the leadership of Secretary-General Scotland.

“The wonderful thing about the Commonwealth is that we are a family of 52 nations spreading across six regions,” she said. “What motivates us as a family, and what has guided us, are the shared aims of good governance, sustainable growth, and inclusive social and economic development, aided by our common language, common laws, common parliamentary and other institutions, as well as our cultural ties.

“We are singularly well-placed and have connections and mechanisms which can help us devise shared approaches to the opportunities and challenges we face together.

“I’ve found that there’s always a spirit of goodwill, which makes it possible to work collaboratively and get straight to the nub of a matter when it is considered within a Commonwealth setting and by Commonwealth partners. This is what the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, held in the UK, will reinforce, a true global partnership to tackle the issues facing us today and come up with solutions.

“In a ministerial roundtable last Friday, coordinated by the Secretariat, which brought together more than 40 member states, representative of all six regions, it was agreed that a key aim will be to increase intra-Commonwealth trade, building on the “Commonwealth advantage”. Trade among Commonwealth countries is projected to increase to US$1 trillion by 2020.