Scotland Times

Sunday, Apr 21, 2024

Climate, malaria highlighted as Commonwealth leaders meet

Climate, malaria highlighted as Commonwealth leaders meet

Leaders of Commonwealth nations met in Rwanda’s capital Friday to tackle climate change, tropical diseases and other challenges deepened by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The summit for Commonwealth heads of state in Kigali is the culmination of a series of meetings this week that officials said yielded some success in efforts to improve the lives of people in the 54-nation association that is home to 2.5 billion people.

The Commonwealth’s member states range from vast India to tiny Tuvalu. The African nations of Togo and Gabon have asked to join the Commonwealth despite having no colonial history with Britain.

The group of nations comprises mostly former British colonies, and its titular head is Queen Elizabeth II. But countries such as Mozambique and Rwanda — a former Belgian colony with an Anglophile leader — previously launched successful bids to join.

Prince Charles is representing his mother, who at 96 is restricting her official duties. The summit is taking place at an uncertain time for the British monarchy as well as the Commonwealth, whose relevance is sometimes questioned.

The bloc faces a new challenge as some member nations discuss removing the queen as their head of state. She is the head of state of 14 Commonwealth realms, but Barbados cut ties with the monarchy in November, and several other Caribbean countries, including Jamaica, say they plan to follow suit.

In his remarks Friday, Charles said “free” nations can make such decisions “calmly and without rancor.” The heir to the throne also spoke of his sorrow over slavery and its legacy for Indigenous communities and others, saying the Commonwealth “must find ways, new ways, to acknowledge our past.”

“Quite simply, this is a conversation whose time has come,” he said.

Commonwealth members reelected British diplomat Patricia Scotland as the group’s secretary-general on Friday. The summit is set to wrap up Saturday with the issuing of a final policy communique.

Rwanda’s hosting of the summit is contentious to some who cite the East African country’s poor human rights record under Paul Kagame, an authoritarian leader who has been de facto leader or president since a 1994 genocide.

Other critics are unhappy with what they see as an illegal and cruel deal with Britain to transfer migrants thousands of miles to Rwanda. That agreement faces legal hurdles, and the first group of migrants has yet to arrive in Africa.

World leaders attending the summit range from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, whose leadership of the Conservative party suffered a heavy blow overnight as voters rejected the party’s candidates in two special parliamentary elections, is also in Rwanda.

Some meetings on the margins of the summit reported successes in efforts to address pressing issues such as managing climate change and deadly diseases.

More than $4 billion was pledged Thursday toward global efforts to accelerate the fight against malaria and other neglected tropical diseases. The money will come from governments, philanthropists and others in the private sector. In addition, pharmaceutical companies donated 18 billion tablets to prevent and treat those diseases.

Observers said the fundraising marks a significant breakthrough as malaria is a leading killer in Africa.

Dr. Francisca Olamiju, the head of a non-governmental organization in Nigeria that advocates for the poor, told The Associated Press of her high expectations for such a big gathering to bolster campaigns against tropical diseases.

World leaders must “walk the talk” and mobilize more resources for the cause, she said.

Summit participants also are urging increased action to curb global warming ahead of a United Nations climate change summit scheduled to take place in Egypt in November. Commonwealth governments have been asked to submit their targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by Sept. 23.

At the summit, Commonwealth leaders are expected to adopt a plan to address climate change, land degradation and biodiversity loss. The Living Lands Charter charter aims to achieve climate goals through a mixture of policy influence, financing, technical assistance, governance and sharing knowledge across nations.

Some 32 of the Commonwealth’s members are small states, with 25 of them small islands and developing states classified as vulnerable to climate change.
Newsletter

Related Articles

Scotland Times
0:00
0:00
Close
UK Island Orkney council to look at proposals to become territory of Norway
Woman Awarded Over £100,000 After Being Fired for Transgender Tweet
A provocative study suggests: Left-Wing Extremism and its Unsettling Connection to Psychopathy and Narcissism
A Real woman
Brand new security footage has just been released to the public showing the Active shooter Audrey Elizabeth Hale drove to Covenant Church School in her Honda Fit this morning, parked, and shot her way into the building
China's foreign ministry branch in Hong Kong urges British gov't to stop the biased and double standards Hong Kong report
Double standards: UK lawmakers attack EU chief over Ireland claims
Democracy? Not for UK. UK PM rejects Scottish independence referendum, cancel democracy in BVI
UK urged to brace for economic storm
Women's own body dissatisfaction appears to influence their judgment of other women's body sizes
Prince William To Move Family Into Cottage Near Queen Elizabeth II
BOOOOOOS: Tony Blair receives royal honour
Captured Britons sentenced to death in Ukraine
Barbados PM Mia A. Mottley among Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People
Today's headlines
"Just One Of the Boys In School:" Years That Shaped Prince Charles
BVI Premier Rubbishes Claim Of Causing COI Delay
Comments on "Human Intelligence in a Digital Age" - A brilliant Speech by MI6 Chief Richard Moore, and the elephants neglected in the room
Bitcoin: BoE Deputy Gov wants to cancel democracy and protect the banks with regulations which infringe on people’s freedom, independence and benefits they get from their own money.
What are the Pandora Papers?
Taiwan-China relations at their 'worst in 40 years'
The attempt to hold Epik.com accountable for the content of its clients' websites is like blaming Gutenberg for the NYT's fake news that dragged the US into the pointless war against the nuclear weapons Iraq never had
×