President Faure chairs first virtual meeting of Commonwealth leaders | 25 June 2020
President Danny Faure had the honour to chair the first Commonwealth leaders’ virtual meeting yesterday afternoon.
Convened by the Commonwealth secretariat at the request of member states, the virtual meeting of Commonwealth leaders was held to discuss common challenges, exchange ideas and solutions, and develop collaborative strategies in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
The meeting also addressed the fundamental challenges facing the economy, quality of life and sustainability across the Commonwealth.
Discussions centred on four main issues: technology and experience sharing, trade and finance, climate change, and the Commonwealth’s role in promoting tolerance and social cohesion.
President Faure expressed his appreciation to all heads of government and representatives for their commitment and participation in the virtual meeting.
He also expressed his appreciation to the secretary general of the Commonwealth, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC, for facilitating the meeting at a critical time.
"Excellencies, there is no greater priority now for any of us than to explore every opportunity to tackle the multifaceted impacts of this virus.
“Today, we are meeting as a Commonwealth to discuss common challenges, exchange ideas and solutions, and develop collaborative strategies.
“I would like to thank the UK, our chair-in-office, for paving the way for this meeting by sponsoring the Commonwealth Statement on COVID-19. This statement aptly captures our response to the impact of COVID-19 on our fundamental values, on small and vulnerable states, health, our future prosperity, trade and on multilateralism,” said President Faure.
During the virtual meeting, various Commonwealth member states shared their views and experiences on themes in the agenda, reflecting the true spirit of Commonwealth solidarity and commitment set to benefit all member states.
In her closing remarks, SG Scotland thanked President Faure for his leadership and highlighted the shared vulnerability that has highlighted the need for solidarity and collaboration, saying “our solidarity is vital to defeat this pandemic, regenerate our communities and take on the economic and environmental challenges that this planet faces, and defeat the corrosive stain of racism which would seek to tear us apart”.
The virtual meeting saw the participation of 45 member states represented by heads of State or government representatives.
President was accompanied during the meeting by Vice-President Vincent Meriton, who delivered a speech (see separate story). Also present was the principal secretary for Foreign Affairs, Dr Marina Confait.
Communiqué from the Office of the President