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network Colloquia CHOGM Small states make big plans in Colombo commonwealth The Commonwealth has affirmed its commitment to supporting the progress of small states, Commonwealth Secretary- General Kamalesh Sharma said in the week leading up to CHOGM. “All Commonwealth societies should be better equipped to benefit from progress and increasingly able to share the dividends of prosperity. None should be left behind. This has ever been the driving spirit of the Commonwealth.” He continued: “Now is the time to make our distinctive Commonwealth voice heard loud and clear for small states, and for our member states collectively to contribute to international and regional processes for the shaping of the post-2015 global development framework – particularly from a small states perspective.” On 12 November, 2013, foreign ministers from around the Commonwealth met at the Commonwealth Ministerial Meeting on The Commonwealth Ministerial Meeting on Small States included larger states, like Jamaica and Botswana Small States in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The meeting addressed many of the key in order to achieve this notion of inclusive concerns of the 31 Commonwealth nations development, the citizens of these countries with populations under 1.5 million and need to experience a real and measurable those challenged by limited resources. change in living standards. He suggested The importance of including these that many of the financial problems small countries in all Commonwealth matters states face, such as increasing debt burdens was highlighted, to ensure they have an and a lack of investment opportunity, act as equal voice as part of their membership. barriers to this opportunity for change. Sri Lanka’s foreign minister and chair of “Our central challenge today is to make the meeting, Prof. G. L. Peiris, insisted that development a reality for our people and 82 l www.global -br ief ing.org f i rst quar ter 2014 global improve their quality of life. It must not appear remote to them,” he said. CHOGM’s 2013 theme, ‘Growth with equity: inclusive development’, will be under spotlight in 2014, which has been deemed the International Year of Small Island Developing States, with a summit set to be hosted by Samoa. Liam Woodcock Federation breakfast meeting carries the baton for the 2014 Commonwealth Games The imminence of the 2014 Games was the main subject of discussion at the Commonwealth Games Federation Sports Breakfast held during CHOGM. Malaysia’s Prince Tunku Imran, president of the Commonwealth Games Federation, took the podium to speak in anticipation of next year’s Games, which are to be held in Glasgow, UK. “We are now just 249 days away from the 20th Commonwealth Games,” he said. “The games are, to quote the former Secretary General of the Commonwealth Sir Don McKinnon, ‘the most visible public manifestation of the Commonwealth’.” November 2013 saw the seventh Commonwealth Games Federation Sports Breakfast take place, attended by 250 Heads of Government, ministers and government officials, as well as international athletes and sports stars. The run-up to the Games, which are being held in partnership with UNICEF, began in October with the launch of the Queen’s baton relay by the Queen herself at Buckingham Palace. The relay will travel through all nations and territories of the Commonwealth before arriving in Scotland next June. “Through the relay we are highlighting not only the power of the Games to unite the people of the Commonwealth but also to focus on our partnerships with UNICEF,” added Imran. Presentations were also made by Hugo Swire, UK Minister for the Commonwealth, and Shona Robison MSP, Scottish Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport. A Glaswegian netball court gears up for the Games


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