Rate this
0 (0 votes)
“Common but differentiated responsibilities"
0 out of 5 based on 0 user ratings

“Common but differentiated responsibilities"

Mridul UpadhyayThe Colombo CHOGM ended with a reaffirmation of core values in the Commonwealth Charter, writes Mridul Uphadyay, 22,  a Commonwealth Correspondent from New Delhi in India who attended the sessions in November and details what that means.

The Commonwealth Heads of the Government have reaffirmed their commitment to the protection and promotion of the Commonwealth Charter’s core values, all under the theme of ‘Growth with Equity: Inclusive Development’.

A communiqué issued at the end of the 2013 CHOGM meeting in Colombo, Sri Lanka, presented various interlinked and mutually reinforced issues relevant to the people of the Commonwealth. Particularly emphasized were sustainable development; environment protection; human rights; international peace and security; importance of democracy; freedom of expression; separation of powers; rule of law; good governance; access to health, education, food and shelter; gender equality; young people; the needs of small and vulnerable states; and the role of civil society.

Achieving United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and planning for Post-2015 Development Agendas were the prime issues discussed in CHOGM 2013. Various resolutions of the United Nations, outcomes of the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development and of other major conferences, summits and conventions were also adopted, and firm support has been expressed by the Heads of Governments.

The CHOGM also adopted recommendations from the People’s Forum held earlier in the week.

The Colombo Declaration brought forward recommendations from the Commonwealth People’s Forum for ‘sustainable, inclusive and equitable development’ that were accepted by CHOGM. The Business Forum put forward the Kotte Statement for ‘International Trade and Investment’, and the Commonwealth Youth Forum’s Magampura Declaration for ‘Commitment to Young People’ has been adopted in CHOGM.

Recognizing that eradicating poverty is the greatest global challenge facing the world today, they urged members to accelerate their efforts. For the well being of women and the girl child, CHOGM attendees stressed the need to address implementation gaps to prevent and eliminate gender discrimination.

Heads reiterated the need to accelerate efforts towards the ratification of all major international human rights instruments to strengthen their implementation, especially for indigenous people. They also they renewed appreciation of ‘freedom of expression’ and ‘freedom of religion or belief’ as human rights.

Terrorism and extremism was unambiguously condemned by CHOGM, with Heads welcoming the UN strategy for counter terrorism. They expressed their deep concern to stand against piracy, cybercrime, and illicit trade of small arms and light weapons. Underscoring the long-term physical and psychological trauma suffered by survivors, Heads decried the dehumanizing and cowardly use of sexual violence in armed conflicts and as a weapon of war.

Heads agreed about accelerating efforts to ensure full quality education and health security for the people of Commonwealth, regardless of circumstance and economic background. They called for a need to transform existing investment trends in the social sector.

Highlighting the Iwokrama Rainforest Program, the Heads committed to restoring biological and wildlife diversity, sustainable land management, transparent natural resources extraction, and governance and management of oceans. Heads looked forward to tackling climate change through the provisions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Reinforcing its support for democracy, CHOGM has declared 2014 as the Year of Development Local Government. In accordance with the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) Heads called for accelerating efforts to eliminate all forms of corruption. They stressed the importance of rule of law to assure accountable government, independent supreme audit institutions, co-operation on international tax policy, legitimate money transfer operations and effective public accounts committees.

Reflecting upon their unique structural challenges and inherent vulnerability, Heads remained committed to support small states in addressing common issues, highlighting debt and financing challenges. They urged a genuine and durable partnership among small states for sustainable development. 

Heads called on middle income Commonwealth countries to strengthen their voices on the international platform. They noted the detailed contributions made by five Commonwealth G20 members regarding their special responsibility to convey the perspectives and priority concerns of the Commonwealth to the wider G20 membership. 

On the issue of Commonwealth collaboration, CHOGM welcomed proposals for easy movement of Commonwealth citizens between Commonwealth countries, maximizing benefits for migrants, bilateral technical cooperation and telecommunication development for broadband inclusion.

CHOGM extended the expectation of constitutional civilian democracy for Fiji, and supported sovereignty for Cyprus, Belize and Guyana.

Heads acknowledged the progress made, since their last meeting, by several Commonwealth organisations, and called on them to continue making progress. They appreciated the Commonwealth of Learning for its ‘Learning for Development approach’ and the Commonwealth Foundation’s results-based approach for awarding grants.

The contributions of the Commonwealth Secretariat, Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG), Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Commonwealth Business Council, and Commonwealth Local Government Forum were all noted with appreciation at CHOGM.

Heads encouraged the sharing best practices. They collectively endorsed a call for a strong and effective partnership for development, and welcomed the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.  

Photo: Official Photographer, CHOGM 2013

 …………………………………………………………………………………………
About me:
A thinker, a social volunteer, a mechanical designer, a theatre artist, a guitar player, a lyrics-writer, an amateur sketch artist, a cook, a traveler, a wannabe civil servant – there are many phrases I enjoy trying on me to describe what I see myself as.
Currently I work for the Oil and Gas Pipeline refineries as a design engineer and am studying for Management in Business Administration. I aspire to enlighten society with the knowledge and experience I gain.
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments