The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting was held in London week commencing 16 April 2018. Commonwealth leaders attended working sessions and a dinner hosted by Her Majesty The Queen at Buckingham Palace and gathered at Windsor Castle for the Leaders’ Retreat - a day when leaders engage in frank dialogue and set the course for future Commonwealth co-operation.
Leaders’ discussions were informed by outcomes from the four forums which took place between 16-18 April.
At the conclusion of the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, a Communiqué was released detailing the agreements which had been reached as a result of the talks. Key aspects of particular importance to the work of the RCS are:
A Fairer Future
It was affirmed that youth empowerment and gender equality are critical in order to realise the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the aspirations of the Commonwealth Charter. The role of civil society organisations was also acknowledged.
A commitment was made to ‘mainstream and promote gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in social, economic and political life’, along with actions to eliminate sexual violence, gender-based violence, child marriage and FGM.
An agreement was reached to ‘mainstream youth priorities into national development policies and plans, and to promote the participation of young people at all levels of decision-making.’
A More Prosperous Future
To promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, it was resolved to ‘address systemic barriers to women’s full and equal participation in the economy by taking a gender-responsive approach to the development of trade policy, and to promote women’s economic empowerment.’
The importance of creating meaningful employment opportunities for young people was stressed, highlighting the importance of ‘skills building, entrepreneurship, apprenticeships, and the need for better data to target interventions effectively.’
A More Sustainable Future
It was acknowledged that climate change presents a significant risk to many of the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable member countries; it was agreed to ‘pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.’
Heads highlighted the contribution of The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy to the conservation of forests throughout the Commonwealth, and encouraged member countries who have not already done so to participate in this initiative. It was also agreed to share best practice in effectively and sustainably managing natural resources.
Actions were agreed to provide at least 12 years of quality education for all children throughout the Commonwealth by 2030.
A More Secure Future
Leaders called for the eradication of forced labour, modern slavery and human trafficking, along with the worst forms of child labour and all forms of child sexual exploitation.
The role of young people in promoting peace was recognised, urging member countries to ‘consider support for youth-led mechanisms that enable the meaningful participation of young people in peace building and social cohesion processes in their communities.’
CHOGM 2018 Report
The RCS collaborated with Henley Media Group to produce the only print publication for the Meeting. Reflecting the theme 'Towards a Common Future' it focuses on promoting collaboration and delivering solutions to create a more prosperous, secure, sustainable and fair future for Commonwealth citizens. The report was distributed to both meeting and forum delegates and is available to read online and download.