Samoa will be the first Pacific nation to host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).
As the meeting concluded in Rwanda, Samoa was confirmed as the next host of the meeting in 2024.
This will allow a lot of Commonwealth members to come to the Pacific for the first time.
Re-elected secretary general Patricia Scotland said the meeting in Rwanda was very successful. She said climate change would be the focus as they helped rebuild members affected by COVID-19.
“Samoa will host the next CHOGM meeting in 2024. This CHOGM has been a long time coming. We moved from Kagali and Rwanda, with a clear mandate, with unity, with purpose and a clear sense of direction,” she said.
Samoa’s Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa said it was a wonderful opportunity for the rest of the Commonwealth to see the Pacific.
“Logistically, it is going to be an island experience, it will be an island environment. It will be very good for the Commonwealth to see this side of the Pacific,” she said.
The announcement was made at the leaders’ retreat. During the press conference, Samoa’s ability to accommodate the disabled was put to the prime minister.
Ms Mata’afa said Samoa was a developing island nation and there would be things learnt from Rwanda which will be put to the organising committee.
She said the disability organisations in Samoa are very active and they are part of policy decisions.
Ms Mata’fa said they are looking forward to hosting the event and will ensure that all members of the Commonwealth are looked after.
Samoa had in fact lobbied to host the next CHOGM.
Tuvalu’s bid to have the first secretary general did not eventuate, however, the Pacific has gone away as having the opportunity to host the CHOGM for the first time.
CHOGM brings together leaders and delegations from 54 commonwealth nations from across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, the Pacific, and Europe.
Leaders of Commonwealth countries meet every two years, hosted by different member countries on a rotating basis since 1971.
The last meeting was hosted by the United Kingdom in 2018, and this is the first since the Covid-19 pandemic delayed the meeting for two years.
The week-long meeting in Rwanda discussed important matters to the Commonwealth family of nations such as democracy, peace, and governance; sustainable and inclusive development; post-covid-19 recovery, climate crisis, new members, and the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Secretariat.