…leaders’ confident declaration will significantly impact Copenhagen talks
By Gary Eleazar in Trinidad
Three days of intensive deliberations yesterday ended with a renewed sense of optimism as it relates to the relevance of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting.
During the closing briefing with media operatives, this was pointed out by leaders such as John Key of New Zeakand, Jacob Zuma of South Africa, host Patrick Manning and Grand Chief of Papua New Guinea Sir Michael Somare among others.
Manning in his remarks recalled that prior to the meeting there was a significant amount of skepticism as it relates to the relevance and ability of the grouping to come to an agreement in light of its diversity.
He stated that the conclusion of the 2009 CHOGM has vindicated the grouping, adding that the consensus that they arrived at on the issue of Climate Change, “…is likely to go a long distance at Copenhagen.”
Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Kamalesh Sharma, said that he hopes that the 2009 CHOGM has validated the relevance and importance of the grouping to the rest of the world.
He reiterated that the CHOGM is an event that gives all of its members, large and small, vulnerable and developed, an equal voice.
Prime Minister of New Zealand John Key reiterated the importance of the meeting in relation to the upcoming one in Copenhagen, Denmark.
He also added to that the inference that could be drawn by accepting Rwanda into the grouping, bringing its numbers to 54 illustrates that the grouping is a relevant body.
According to Key, the CHOGM was able to confront the world challenges as one and did it to their best.
He added too that the successes of CHOGM’s are not necessarily in the communiqués that are issued but also in the opportunity to have a number of bilateral exchanges be made possible among member states.
Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak conceded that he travelled to the 2009 CHOGM in the face of tremendous skepticism about the relevance of the grouping but is returning to his home with a different opinion.
According to the Malaysian Prime Minister, the 2009 CHOGM had answered his question, given the way in which it confronted Global challenges.
South African President Zuma also showered praises on the 2009 CHOGM, adding his view that he too had begun to question the relevance of the grouping.
“My questions have been answered.”
He said that the CHOGM had been able to confront a range of critical issues successfully.
Zuma stated that of particular note is the way in which the issue of climate change was dealt with.
Zuma stated that he too was confident that the declaration that was crafted and agreed to by the Commonwealth leaders will undoubtedly make an impact on the Climate Change deliberations in Copenhagen next month.
Papua New Guinea Premier Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare was also in loud praise of the 2009 CHOGM.
He said that he had attended many CHOGMs before but the Trinidadian Prime Minister must be congratulated for leading so many Heads and State Representatives and Ministers to such a successful meeting.
He was especially loud in praise for the fact that small, impoverished and most at risk countries were given a voice so that the world leaders could hear of their plight first-hand, giving them a more appreciative understanding of the gravity of climate change.
On the question of access to financing by small and vulnerable states, Secretary General Sharma pointed out that those nations will have to be assisted in that there are times when funds are available but some of these nations don’t know how to access them.
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