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Nov 30, 2009

World leaders tackle climate change at CHOGM 2009

Story PictureIn news from the region, the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) wrapped up on Sunday in Port of Spain, Trinidad. The organization, primarily made up of former British colonies, grew by one. But the big news coming out of the Summit was a consensus document in time for the upcoming Copenhagen Climate Change Summit. News Five’s Delahnie Bain has this report with the collaboration of our friends from the C.M.C.

Delahnie Bain, Reporting
The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting covered numerous issues affecting member states, in particular climate change. But before the discussions started, Head of the Commonwealth, Queen Elizabeth the second, addressed the leaders.

Queen Elizabeth II, Head of Commonwealth
“This region is dear to the Commonwealth. For small island states, the buffeting of the economic storms in the last twelve months has provided a stern test and great resourcefulness has been shown in order to meet the challenge. As an organization, the Commonwealth must remain dedicated to building resilience among its smaller members.”

Climate change was the hot button issue, with leaders proposing numerous suggestions to mitigate its effects. As it relates to funding, Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, spoke of the Climate Change Launch Fund.

Kevin Rudd, Prime Minister, Australia
“It seeks to provide immediate financial support to the small island states; the most vulnerable states around the world today as they deal with the immediate challenges of adaptation and mitigation in the face of climate change.”

Tillman Thomas, Prime Minister, Grenada
“We need to really try to capitalize on getting technical assistance from those that are more advanced than us because we are a community, we share certain values. Democratic governance has been part of our tradition and whatever assistance we can get to strengthen and develop democracy and democratic institutions, we will try to get that assistance.”

Patrick Manning, Prime Minister, Trinidad & Tobago
“We have come to a conclusion, which we proudly would like to present to you as the Port of Spain Climate Change Consensus, the Commonwealth Climate Change Declaration.”

Another noteworthy subject, treatment of communicable diseases, was brought up by St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister, Denzil Douglas.

Dr. Denzil Douglas, Prime Minister, St. Kitts & Nevis
“We believe that if we are able to raise the sensitization of our colleague heads of government in the Commonwealth on this particular matter, then from the Caribbean side we would have impacted in a very meaning full way, the rest of the world in terms of what has become a huge challenge; a major health challenge and developmental challenge to the peoples of the Commonwealth in general.”

At CHOGM 2009, Rwanda was also announced as the fifty-fourth member state. Delahnie Bain for News Five.

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