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President Kenyatta Wraps Up Kigali CHOGM Summit

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday wrapped up his final Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) by attending an exclusive retreat at the Intare Conference Arena in Kigali. At the CHOGM retreat that traditionally precedes the close of the summit, the leaders underscored the need for innovative and transformative initiatives to facilitate full recovery from the covid-19 pandemic.

The Commonwealth leaders emphasized that the initiatives should also be tailor-made to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as well as respond to conflicts and crises in ways that increase resilience and progress in delivering a common future for the member states.

Highlights of the outcome of the retreat included a host of proposed initiatives underpinned by sustainability and peace to improve the lives of all the people of the Commonwealth. They encouraged public-private partnerships to create high-quality digital jobs for the youth within the Commonwealth.

In a communiqué issued at the end of the summit, the leaders noted that the ongoing global conflicts, including in Ukraine, have heightened the impact conflicts place on global food security and exacerbated existing high food prices.

In this regard, the leaders underscored the need to sustainably transform current food systems to address weaknesses of the agri-food sector, improve productivity and build resilience in agriculture.

“They (the Commonwealth leaders) reaffirmed the importance of maintaining transparent, inclusive, fair and open agricultural markets and trade to ensure the continued flow of food, products and inputs essential for agricultural and food production,” the CHOGM communiqué said in part.

On climate change, the leaders welcomed the progress of the 26th Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26) and the COP26 Glasgow Climate Pact including their collective commitment to achieving the agreed ambition on finance, adaptation and mitigation.

The Commonwealth leaders also discussed the global Covid-19 situation and resolved to continue to work in cooperation with national, regional and international partners to overcome the pandemic.

They also agreed on the transition towards longer-term Covid-19 control by supporting universal, fair, timely, equitable and non-discriminatory access to and distribution of safe, efficacious and affordable vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics.

President Kenyatta had been inKigali, Rwanda since Thursday when he was received by senior officials of the Rwandan Government, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo and Kenya’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Manoah Esipisu.

This year’s CHOGM brought together delegates from the 54 Commonwealth member states to discuss and address global issues and Commonwealth priorities. The Summit, whose theme is ‘Delivering a common future: connecting, innovating, transforming’, has also attracted over 5,000 participants from government, business and civil society.

Other international leaders who attended the conference included, His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales accompanied by Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Namibian President Hage Geingob.

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