PM Lee in Rwanda for meeting of Commonwealth leaders

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will make a working visit to Kigali, Rwanda, from today to next Monday, said the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) yesterday.

PM Lee will be there to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (Chogm) from today to Saturday, said the PMO. He will remain in Kigali for an official bilateral visit on Sunday and Monday, where he will meet Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

This is the first time in four years that Chogm, usually a biennial event, will be held. It was postponed twice because of the Covid-19 pandemic and was last held in Britain in 2018, when PM Lee also attended.

The theme of this year's Chogm is Delivering A Common Future: Connecting, Innovating, Transforming.

"Leaders will review developments in the Commonwealth and discuss salient global and regional issues," said the PMO.

It added that PM Lee will hold bilateral meetings with other Commonwealth leaders on the sidelines of the meeting.

The summit this year will see leaders from 54 countries gathering in Kigali and is expected to attract more than 5,000 participants, including government officials, business leaders and civil society representatives.

In a media statement on Sunday, Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said the grouping is a "bedrock", which is rooted in shared history and collective aspirations, for its member states.

"At a time when multilateralism is under serious strain, Chogm offers a vital forum to deliver the objectives of member states and an opportunity to draw upon all the talents of the member states to deliver a smarter, more resilient, prosperous, confident and sustainable Commonwealth," she said.

Key issues expected to be discussed by the leaders include sustainability, Covid-19 recovery and economic vulnerability.

PM Lee will be accompanied by Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and officials from the PMO and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong will be the Acting Prime Minister from today to next Tuesday, said the PMO.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 23, 2022, with the headline PM Lee in Rwanda for meeting of Commonwealth leaders. Subscribe