NEW YORK, New York - Government ministers from Commonwealth member countries are holding a series of meetings in New York this week to exchange views and discuss joint strategies around governance, sustainable development and climate issues, in the margins of the High-Level week of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.
The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) will meet to discuss critical political developments across the Commonwealth, relating to democracy, the rule of law, good governance and other fundamental principles embedded in the Commonwealth Charter.
The CMAG, established by Heads of Government to act as the custodian of the Commonwealth’s political values, will be chaired by the Prime Minister of Samoa, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa.
On Thursday 21 September, Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Ministers (CFAM) will meet for an update on preparations towards the forthcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), scheduled for October 2024 in Samoa.
The meeting, to be chaired by the Foreign Minister of Rwanda, Dr Vincent Biruta, will review the progress on mandates set out in the last CHOGM in Rwanda in June 2022, receive updates on territorial issues impacting certain member countries, including a report from the Commonwealth Ministerial Group on Guyana, which is scheduled to meet on 17 September, and chart the way ahead.
It would also be an opportunity for Samoa to launch the theme for the 2024 CHOGM and outline its vision for the biennial summit.
There will also be an inaugural Commonwealth Environment and Climate Ministerial Meeting (CECMM), which will outline key priorities to take forward to the forthcoming UN Climate Change Conference COP28.
Environment Ministers will be encouraged to share country experiences and explore ways to strengthen collaboration to tackle global challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss, desertification, ocean degradation and energy transition.
This meeting will take place on the afternoon of Thursday September 21 and will be chaired by the United Kingdom.
Speaking ahead of this week’s meetings, Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland, emphasized the critical timing of the gatherings, and the importance for the world to see decisive action taken on key issues.
“The scale of the challenges we face demand our highest ambition, and this General Assembly must be a turning point,” Scotland said.
“As leaders gather in New York, Commonwealth ministers will come together with unity and purpose, driving forward our bold work to build a more peaceful and sustainable common future for the 2.6 billion people of the Commonwealth, and the wider world,” the Commonwealth Secretary General added.