Dec 07, Colombo: Sri Lanka will host the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo from 15 to 17 November 2013, the External Affairs Ministry announced today.
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma today have announced the dates for the international forum that will bring leaders of 54 member countries of the Commonwealth to the island.
CHOGM 2013 will be the largest international event at the level of Heads of State Sri Lanka will be hosting since the 5th Summit of the Non Aligned Movement Sri Lanka hosted in 1976.
Announcing the event President Rajapaksa has said that Sri Lanka is looking forward to share experiences in areas of collective interest, including rural development, youth empowerment and people-centered socio-economic growth within the Commonwealth family, and engage with all members to achieve a significant outcome.
The Commonwealth Secretary-General has noted that CHOGM is an opportunity for Commonwealth leaders to work on common approaches to the current national and global challenges and find ways for the organization to serve the world better.
"The Commonwealth unites governments and people around practical action on shared values and principles, mutually supporting one another in a spirit of goodwill and cooperation," Sharma has said.
Sri Lankan government has decided to set up a Task Force Secretariat at the BMICH to proceed with the work pertaining to CHOGM 2013 with an allocation of Rs 217.44 million for expenses.
The CHOGM held in Trinidad and Tobago in Nov 2009 unanimously agreed to hold its 2013 meeting in Colombo, and at the 2011 CHOGM held in Perth, Western Australia, Commonwealth reaffirmed their decision to hold the CHOGM 2013 in Sri Lanka.
Following the 2013 meeting, Sri Lanka will serve as the Chair of CHOGM for the next two years. CHOGM 2015 will be held in Mauritius.