The 2020 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (Chogm) that was due to take place in Kigali, Rwanda, in June has been postponed.
The Commonwealth, a political association of 54 member states, nearly all former territories of the British. Chogm, which meets annually, was set to converge in Kigali from June 22- June 27.
But a statement issued on Tuesday, April 21, the Commonwealth Secretariat said the postponement was inevitable given the coronavirus pandemic.
“As a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, it is necessary to postpone the 26th Chogm scheduled to take place in Kigali,” the Commonwealth Secretariat said.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has claimed lives, economies are shrinking, and livelihoods have been shattered,” Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said, adding:
“It is difficult to predict what the new normal will look like. We must be mindful of the risks large meetings pose to all. The current circumstances require heroic decisions.”
Rwandan President Paul Kagame acknowledged that combating the pandemic was the priority for every nation.
“In the coming months, every Commonwealth nation will be fully focused on combatting Covid-19 and its socio-economic impact on our people,” Mr Kagame said.
He added that his country is looking forward to welcoming the Commonwealth family to Kigali for the summit once the pandemic has been defeated.
Rwanda won the right to host 2020 Chogm summit at the end of the 2018 meetings in London, bringing back the meet to east Africa for the first time since 2007 when it was held in Kampala.
Rwanda has so far registered 150 cases of Coronavirus.