Malta is hosting the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting for a second time, having successfully done so in 2005. As an island state in the Mediterranean Sea, Malta has served throughout history as a bridge between North Africa and Europe. Now, as the CHOGM host for 2015, Malta provides a platform for Commonwealth countries to come together to build bridges of cooperation. CHOGM Malta 2015 will be held between the 27 and 29 of November 2015.
Adding Global Value is about using the Commonwealth’s strengths in international politics to influence and eventually effect change on important global issues. It is also about making a positive difference to the lives of Commonwealth citizens. Adding Global Value seeks to unify the Commonwealth behind an ambitious policy agenda that bequeaths to our young a life of liberty, dignity and prosperity. Besides, considering its geographical extent around the globe, actions and initiatives taken at Commonwealth level will undoubtedly add to global values.
Commonwealth countries are already pro-active on the international stage. As one example Commonwealth countries, who represent one fourth of the countries of the UN, provide 47 percent of UN peacekeepers (Early 2015 figures). The Commonwealth can therefore bring together a community of countries with the energy and drive to develop fair, resilient and universally acceptable solutions to global problems.
The Commonwealth is well represented in most global institutions. It makes up a quarter of the membership in the United Nations; at the moment has four Members on the UN Security Council (Malaysia, New Zealand, Nigeria, UK); has a strong representation in the Caribbean Community; has three Members in the European Union (Cyprus, Malta, UK); has two Members in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Malaysia, Singapore) and five countries represented in the G20 (Australia, Canada, India, South Africa, UK). The Commonwealth is therefore well placed to influence the policy agenda of some of the most influential institutions in global politics.
The Commonwealth is recognised as a leader in developing education programmes around the world. It also provides legal and operational support to Member States on a myriad of issues ranging from International Maritime Law to Election Observance.
Adding Global Value is about encouraging Commonwealth governments and civil society to think about what unites the Commonwealth and what it can achieve together. Malta is asking fellow Commonwealth Members to consider which important issues have been missed by other global institutions, and to use the Commonwealth to provide leadership in those areas. This involves taking advantage of the inherent strengths of the Commonwealth and developing strategies that will make a substantive and demonstrable difference to the lives of people around the world.
The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 53 independent states with a combined population of 2.2 billion. The association came together in 1949, after the decolonisation of the British Empire. Symbolically headed by HM Queen Elizabeth II, the Commonwealth includes some of the world’s largest, smallest, richest and poorest nations. Countries have no legal obligation to each other yet are all guided by the principles contained in The Charter of the Commonwealth: democracy, human rights and the rule of law. They are also united through language, history and culture.
On behalf of the Maltese government and our people, I would like to express how truly honoured we are to be hosting the 2015 Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting; A meeting which will undoubtedly tackle a number of key issues while focusing specifically on the Commonwealth’s Global Value.
In the coming months, we hope this will serve as a platform which will assist you in making all arrangements for your visit. Our team in Malta is working hard to ensure every detail is thought of and catered for. I look forward to welcoming each and every one of you to our beautiful country.