The Commonwealth Summit opened on Friday 24 June 2022 in Kigali, Rwanda. In the absence of Queen Elizabeth II, the Head of the Commonwealth, Prince Charles of Wales officially opened the Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) 2022.
The President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Boris Johnson, and the Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Patricia Scotland, also addressed the leaders of the 54 Commonwealth member countries at the opening ceremony.
“Our Commonwealth family, which includes both the world’s most vulnerable and wealthiest nations, has the capacity, indeed the obligation, to be a force for the global public good,” the Prince of Wales said in his address.
He welcomed the fact that several third countries have expressed a desire to join the organisation, which is largely made up of former British colonies.
“As we recover from the pandemic that has devastated so many lives; as we respond to climate change and biodiversity loss that threaten our very existence; and as we see lives destroyed by violent forces… friendships like this are more important than ever,” he continued.
After the opening ceremony, the proceedings were devoted to the election of a new Commonwealth Secretary General.
The Heads of State and Government will meet in late afternoon Executive Sessions to continue discussions on the CHOGM 2022 theme of “Delivering a Common Future: Connecting, Innovating, Transforming”.
They will meet in retreat on Saturday 25 June.
The 54 member states – including 32 island states – that make up the Commonwealth have a combined population of 2.5 billion people worldwide.