Summit will set out future for a vibrant and diverse Commonwealth

13 March 2017

The 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting will set out the future for a vibrant and diverse Commonwealth, the Prime Minister said today, as the UK joins nations around the world to mark Commonwealth Day.

Leaders from more than 50 countries are expected to attend next year’s summit, which will take place during the week of 16 April 2018 in London and Windsor. For the first time, Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle will be among the summit venues.

Speaking on Commonwealth Day, the Prime Minister said:

“As we prepare to host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London next April, we are reminded today of the unique and proud global relationships that we have forged with the diverse and vibrant alliance of Commonwealth nations.

“The UK has a longstanding and firm commitment to the Commonwealth and to the values it upholds, of democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

“And in hosting the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting next year, the UK is committed to working with all members not only to reaffirm these shared values, but also to re-energise and revitalise the Commonwealth to cement its relevance to this and future generations.

“As we look to create a truly global Britain, the deep partnerships that we share through a 21st century Commonwealth can help us strengthen the prosperity and security of our own citizens, and those of our many friends and allies across the world.

The Prime Minister and Cabinet will oversee preparations to ensure the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting is a truly cross-government effort, including through a new dedicated Inter-Ministerial Group co-chaired by the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Amber Rudd.

A central team has also been established in the Cabinet Office to deliver the summit, working closely with the Commonwealth Secretariat and member states.

The dedicated unit will report directly to the Prime Minister, who has appointed Tim Hitchens as its CEO. Tim Hitchens was previously British Ambassador to Japan, and has served as Africa Director and Europe Director in the Foreign Office, and also as Assistant Private Secretary to The Queen.

The summit in April 2018 will see the UK take over as chair of the Commonwealth until 2020.