The 22nd Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, CHOGM began in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 15 November 2013. The Summit was inaugurated by Prince Charles of England, who is representing Queen Elizabeth at the Commonwealth Summit.
The theme for CHOGM 2013 is Growth with Equity; Inclusive Development.
The official symbol for CHOGM is Water lily flower. The logo symbolises the blue water lily (Nil Manel), the national flower of Sri Lanka. The multi coloured petals represent the diversity, liveliness and unity among different Commonwealth countries within a global perspective.
External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid is represented the India in the 22nd Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). This year, CHOGM in Sri Lanka, the first time an Asian country is hosting the summit in 24 years. The last CHOGM Summit (in 2011) was held at Perth, Australia.
The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) is held every two years to enable leaders of Commonwealth countries to come together to discuss global and Commonwealth issues, and to decide on collective policies and initiatives.
Every CHOGM is jointly organized by the host country and the Commonwealth Secretariat. These biennial meetings serve as the principal policy and decision-making forum to guide the strategic direction of the association.
Commonwealth leaders have been coming together for discussions since 1949, but the title Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting was adopted during a session in Singapore in 1971. This specific classification was used to depict the gathering of both presidents and prime ministers in the event.
One unique aspect of the meeting is that the formal opening ceremony and the formal Executive Session are followed by a where leaders meet privately for discussions. With an informal atmosphere, this session allows heads of state to freely and frankly exchange their views on important issues and come to a consensus.
Previous CHOGMs have focused on a range of global issues, including international peace and security, democracy, climate change, multilateral trade issues, good governance, sustainable development, small states, debt management, education, environment, gender equality, health, human rights, information and communication technology, and youth affairs.
The theme of the 2011 CHOGM in Perth, Australia, was Building National Resilience, Building Global Resilience.
About the Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations is a voluntary association of 53 countries, many of them former territories of the British Empire. It was established in 1949. The head of the Commonwealth is Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Fifty-three countries are members of the Commonwealth. These Countries are from Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and the Pacific and are diverse – they are amongst the world’s largest, smallest, richest and poorest countries. Thirty-two of our members are classified as small states – countries with a population size of 1.5million people or less and larger member states that share similar characteristics with them.
Leaders of member countries shape Commonwealth policies and priorities. Every two years, they meet to discuss issues affecting the Commonwealth and the wider world at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).
All members have an equal say regardless of size or economic stature. This ensures even the smallest member countries have a voice in shaping the Commonwealth.
The last two countries to join The Commonwealth - Rwanda and Mozambique - have no historical ties to the British Empire.Four countries - Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Fiji and Pakistan - have been suspended from the Commonwealth in the past.
The Gambian Government on 2 October 2013 announced that it is pulling out of the Commonwealth with immediate effect. Gambian, a West African country joined the Commonwealth of Nations in 1965.
When: 15 November 2013