JIS News

A review of global developments, in particular matters relating to the Millennium Development Goals and the development agenda, were among the discussion items at an Executive Session of Heads attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Malta on Friday (Nov. 25). Prime Minister P.J. Patterson is leading Jamaica’s delegation to the meeting, which is being held under the theme “Networking the Commonwealth for Development.”
The Executive Session which was preceded by the official opening of the CHOGM by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll, provided an opportunity for Heads to examine the outcome of the United Nations review of the MDGs and how the Commonwealth could facilitate the implementation of the decisions taken at the 60th General Assembly on matters relating to development, investment, debt and trade, as well as those involving health and gender equality.
The session also focused on environmental issues that are of concern to Member States in particular developing countries and small island states. The issue was highlighted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth who, in her opening address, spoke of the number of natural disasters that have affected Member States and praised the Commonwealth for the assistance provided to affected countries.
The importance of development was also emphasized, with outgoing Chairman of the Commonwealth and President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo noting that a successful conclusion of the Doha Development Round was of significant importance to member states. He said in his address that member countries of the Commonwealth should bring their full weight to bear on issues relating to trade.
Prime Minister Patterson and other Caribbean Leaders stressed during the Executive Session, the value of the Conference issuing a clear and separate statement on the importance of advancing the Ministerial Trade Negotiations in Hong Kong next month, particularly in light of recent adverse World Trade Organisation rulings on sugar and bananas.
Heads of Government will engage in a full discussion on the conference theme during the retreat sessions. Other agenda items will include trade, poverty eradication, governance and capacity building and combating terrorism.