EAM Jaishankar will also hold bilateral meetings with counterparts from Commonwealth member states

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will lead the Indian delegation at the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kigali, Rwanda.

The CHOGM had earlier been delayed twice owing to the Covid-19 outbreak.

EAM Jaishankar will be representing Prime Minister of India at the Commonwealth Summit on 24-25 June, as well as attending the pre-CHOGM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on June 23 in Kigali, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Tuesday.

The Commonwealth's incoming Chair, which is the Government of Rwanda, has also scheduled a number of forums, such as the Commonwealth Youth Forum, Commonwealth Women's Forum, Commonwealth Business Forum, Commonwealth People's Forum, and other side events, on the sidelines of CHOGM.

The theme of the 26th CHOGM Summit is 'Delivering a Common Future: Connecting, Innovating, Transforming'.

According to the MEA, the leaders of the Commonwealth member states are scheduled to deliberate on topics of contemporary relevance, including global challenges like – climate change, food security, and health issues.

Apart from this, they are likely to adopt four outcome documents. They are CHOGM Communique; Kigali Declaration on Child Care and Protection Reform; Declaration on Sustainable Urbanization and Commonwealth Living Lands Charter: A Commonwealth Call to Action on Living Lands (CALL).

"During the visit, EAM is expected to hold several bilateral meetings with his counterparts from Commonwealth member states and other visiting dignitaries. EAM would also be interacting with members of the Indian community at a reception to be hosted by the Indian High Commission in Kigali," the MEA said.

The Commonwealth provides an important platform to deepen India’s engagement with Commonwealth members, in particular the Small States (SS) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

India is also one of the largest contributors to the Commonwealth and has assisted the organisation with technical assistance and capacity building. In 2018, India announced the creation of a Commonwealth Window, dedicating US$50 million for development projects and assistance to developing countries of the Commonwealth.