The UK Minister of State for the Commonwealth Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, arrived in Rwanda on Wednesday to assess the level of preparedness ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Governments Meeting (CHOGM 2021).
Rwanda is set to host the meeting in June. According to the UK government statement, the Minister is in Rwanda to see first-hand the Government of Rwanda’s preparations for a safe and successful event.
The 26th CHOGM is scheduled to start the week beginning June 21. The Government of Rwanda has reiterated its readiness to host the mega summit which was postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At CHOGM, the UK will hand over to Rwanda the role of Commonwealth Chair-in-Office.
As outgoing Commonwealth Chair-in-Office, the UK says it worked with its Commonwealth partners over the last three years to deliver over 40 projects across 6 continents, supported by £500m of UK funding, to create a better future for the Commonwealth’s 2.4bn citizens.
“The UK commends Rwanda’s work on its planning for a safe and secure meeting of the Commonwealth family at CHOGM 2021,” Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon said in a statement.
“As Commonwealth Chair-in-Office for the past three years, the UK has worked in partnership across the Commonwealth to deliver the aspirations and commitments which Leaders set out on fairness, security, sustainability and prosperity at CHOGM in 2018,” he added.
The U.K is considered one of Rwanda’s largest and most long-standing bilateral development partners, since the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
“The UK is committed to supporting Rwanda’s development and helping to build on the significant economic and social progress that has been made since the genocide twenty-seven years ago,” the statement reads.
During the two-day visit, Lord Ahmad will lay a wreath at the Kigali Genocide Memorial and will also meet senior Government officials to discuss bilateral and Commonwealth issues, including climate change. He will also meet with human rights activists and journalists, among others.