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Commonwealth heads of gov't meeting closes, with agreement on climate change among others

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 onsix documents: a communique, a restatement of its values, a declaration in support of youth, a decision to push the fight against non-communicable diseases, a deepening of partnerships 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.

Earlier in the meeting Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown and France's President Nicholas Sarkozy each proposed a fund spending 10 billion dollars a year, during 2010, 2011 and 2012, on fighting climate change in the world's poorest nations.

Speaking at Sunday's press conference, New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key said: "I don't think there would be agreement in agreement in Copenhagen without financing," and added a commitment by his nation to put in between 10 million and 50 million dollars into the fund when it appears.

Papua New Guinea's President Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare said that the meeting would go down in history as the place where the world's most vulnerable were able to make their voice heard on climate change.

"It was made clear that there is something wrong and this conference made it possible for our voice to be heard," Somare told the media, adding that he considered the CHOGM a great success.

In its statement on climate change, the CHOGM called for small island states to get 10 percent of the Copenhagen launch fund because rising sea levels put them in the front line of the environmental disaster.