By Pita Ligaiula in Luanda, Angola
Samoa’s hosting the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 2024 is an opportunity for the island nation to showcase to the world the effect of climate change facing the Pacific.
CHOGM will bring together delegations from 56 nations from across Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, and the Pacific.
In an interview with PACNEWS in Luanda, Angola, Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland said the meeting is a chance for the members of the organisation to witness the reality of life in the Pacific.
“Well, it’s a great pleasure to have the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting hosted in the Pacific on a small island such as Samoa, which is beautiful. What it will do it will be enable all the member states to taste and see the reality of what living in the Pacific is like.
“The great opportunities, the great beauty, but also the great danger, the great challenge, the great threat,” said Scotland.
Last Friday, Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland held a bilateral meeting with Samoan Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa.
CHOGM in Samoa a chance for member states to witness the effect of climate change says Commonwealth SG, Patricia Scotland @samoagovt @samoaobserver @PScotlandCSG @commonwealthsec @PacIsNewsAssn @ForumSEC @PressACP @PACNEWS2 @spc_live @SprepChannel @JoLatuSanft @IBIupdate pic.twitter.com/qLBrhR8z3P
— Pita Ligaiula (@KaiSawaieke) December 12, 2022
PACNEWS understands they discussed preparations for the CHOGM meeting.
Climate change remains the single greatest threat to the Pacific and is expected to be a topic of discussion among the Leaders during CHOGM in 2024.
“You know, sometimes it’s hard to understand what others are experiencing until you step into their shoes. You see through their eyes. You hear what they hear, and you feel what they feel, and we know that the beauty of the Pacific, the big blue Pacific is now under real threat. The demands for security are there.
“And if we want to preserve the beautiful Blue Pacific, we’re going to have to fight for it. So, it’s a great moment for the whole Commonwealth, from the biggest country, India, 1.31 -1.4 billion people to the smallest of us now, Nauru, to come together in the beautiful big Blue Pacific and to understand better what we’re all fighting for,” said SG Scotland.
The Leaders of Commonwealth countries meet every two years, hosted by different member countries on a rotational basis. Since 1971, a total of 26 meetings have been held, with the most recent being in Kigali Rwanda in June 2022.
The recent CHOGM in Rwanda recorded more than 6000 delegates and 29 heads of government.