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Commonwealth heads of gov't meeting closes, with declaration on climate change

2009-11-30 10:49 BJT

PORT OF SPAIN, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- Trinidadian Prime Minister Patrick Manning Sunday formally declared closed the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) on Sunday in Port of Spain, the capital of Trinidad and Tobago.

He said that Australia would be the next nation to host the CHOGM, which will take place in 2011, then Sri Lanka in 2013 and finally African nation Mauritius in 2015.

Manning said that the meeting had managed to reach agreement on six documents: a communiqu, agreements on the four key topics on the original agenda and a declaration on climate change.

"We were able to get a lot of work done," Manning said at the press conference immediately after the closing ceremony. "We broke new ground having with us the president of France, prime minister of Denmark and the secretary general of the United Nations," he added.

The CHOGM focused on climate change and the meeting run by the United Nations from Dec. 7 to Dec. 18 in Danish capital Copenhagen. On Saturday, during the meeting Denmark's Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said that he had been able to get the opinions of small island states that are most vulnerable to climate change.

The meeting brought together senior representatives from 51 of its member nations, most of which were former British colonies. It now has a total of 54 members after the Saturday night incorporation of central African nation Rwanda.

The CHOGM was notable for the participation of the United Nations secretary general, the prime minister of Denmark and the president of France, who seldom of never come to Commonwealth meetings. They used the occasion to tackle climate change some 20 days ahead of the UN-sponsored Conference of the Parties 15 climate change conference in Denmark's capital, Copenhagen.

It attracted a total of 5,000 delegates to Port of Spain, including government officials, non-government organization workers, business people, media and representatives of youth organizations.

The organization represents around 2 billion people, although more than a billion are in just one member, India. Two nations are members but have not sent delegates: Fiji, which has been suspended due to a coup, and Nauru, which has been suspended due to fee arrears.

Editor: Du Xiaodan | Source: Xinhua