Commonwealth Secretary-General to visit Rwanda


Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma will make his maiden official visit to the Commonwealth’s newest member, Rwanda, this week.

He will be in Rwanda 20-23 January 2010, where he will hold discussions with President Paul Kagame, and call on Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo. He is also scheduled to address a joint sitting of parliament.

In Kigali, Sharma is expected to meet leaders of the Human Rights Commission, the National Council of Women, the National Youth Association, the Ombudsman’s Office, and the Electoral Commission.

Commonwealth Heads of Government considered the application of Rwanda for membership of the Commonwealth at their biennial meeting in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago in November 2009, in accordance with the criteria and procedures agreed at their last meeting in 2007. They warmly welcomed Rwanda into the Commonwealth family as its 54th member.

Speaking ahead of the visit, Sharma said: “In visiting our newest member, I am reminded that over six decades this association has brought together countries new and old, large and small, rich and poor. Our highest goals are our values and principles. Our aspirations, and many of our challenges, are the same.
“Our organisation and its members will always be journeying together on the often rugged and winding paths of democracy, development and diversity. My discussions with President Kagame will revolve around those themes, and the ways in which the Commonwealth can serve the people of Rwanda and pursue our shared goals.”

Pic: President Paul Kagame of Rwanda