Tuesday, April 16, 2024

PM urges action on food security, climate change and gender equality at CHOGM

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Maria Gill
Maria Gill
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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today concluded his participation in the 2022 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (RCGC) in Kigali, Rwanda, where he worked closely with international partners on key priorities, such as food security, climate change and gender equality, to improve lives. For everyone.

We are at a pivotal moment. The member states of the Commonwealth, as well as other nations around the world, are feeling the effects of Russia’s illegal and unjustified invasion of Ukraine. Among other things, food and gasoline prices have skyrocketed and fears of starvation are growing. The situation is becoming increasingly dire as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change continue across the world.

During the RCGC, the Prime Minister urged other nations to take action to overcome these challenges and reiterated Canada’s unwavering commitment to the fundamental values ​​around which Commonwealth nations must unite, namely, free and democratic societies and to promote peace and prosperity to improve them. Everyone’s life.

At the RCGC, the Prime Minister announced an investment of nearly $500 million to improve the lives of people across the Commonwealth and around the world. Among these funds, note the $250 million announced on June 23 to combat the global food crisis with a particular focus on sub-Saharan Africa. An additional $246.5 million will also be allocated to advancing critical issues such as global health, gender equality, and sexual and reproductive health.

This total includes $94 million in education funding, including:

  • $80 million for the Canadian International Development Scholarship Program 2030.
  • $7.8 million over three years to renew long-term institutional support for Commonwealth of Learning (English only), located in Burnaby, British Columbia
  • $6.2 million for the Teaching and Learning in Fragile Contexts initiative, which aims to improve primary school learning in Liberia and Sierra Leone.
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$120 million will also be allocated to 11 initiatives to support gender equality, the empowerment of women and girls, and sexual and reproductive health and rights in Commonwealth countries, particularly under the following projects:

  • $27 million for the Municipal Partnerships for Innovation – Women in Local Politics project.
  • $20 million for Nigeria’s ongoing support in the area of ​​sexual and reproductive health and related rights, particularly in neglected areas.
  • $15.5 million for artificial intelligence and global health.

The Prime Minister affirmed Canada’s commitment to continue supporting efforts to combat climate change and promote peace and security on the African continent by announcing programs in the amount of $32.5 million.

On the sidelines of the RCGC, Prime Minister Trudeau also emphasized Canada’s desire to boost trade and investment with its Commonwealth partners in Africa through the signing of the Canada-Rwanda Air Transport Agreement. Expanding the Canada air travel relationship improves connectivity to new and existing destinations, benefiting both passengers and businesses. The Prime Minister also took this opportunity to revive agreements with the private sector in Botswana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya and Zambia that could amount to $148 million. Expanding trade and investment with African countries is critical to our economic recovery through expanded trade partnerships and more diversified supply chains that create jobs and grow the middle class.

In Kigali, Canada announced its intention to increase Canadian representation on the African continent. This decision will improve our relations. The Canadian office in Rwanda will be transformed into a High Commission and, as such, will have a greater diplomatic capacity to enhance our diverse partnerships, the wide range of our common interests and our cooperation. Canada is also sending a permanent mission and observer to the African Union in Addis Ababa, which will provide an opportunity to reformulate our relations with our African partners and advance efforts toward our shared priorities. Given the complex peace and security challenges we see around the world, now is the time to step up our support for regional peace and security efforts.

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At the conclusion of the RCGC, Heads of Government issued a statement titled “Towards a Shared Future of Connections, Innovation and Transformation,” renewing their commitment to free societies, democracy and the promotion of peace. Commonwealth leaders also re-elected Patricia Scotland as Commonwealth Secretary-General, agreed to undertake reforms to modernize the Commonwealth and improve its administration and hoped that these moves would take place without delay.


“We are at a pivotal moment. More than ever, countries need to join forces to defend Ukraine’s interests, while mitigating the global impact of Russia’s illegal invasion, including on food security and the cost of living. We also want to strengthen our relations with Commonwealth countries, including Rwanda, to create good jobs and promote growth in the middle class, for the benefit of all, and fight climate change together.

Right hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada


  • At the RCGC, the Prime Minister participated in an intergenerational breakfast dialogue with the Commonwealth Youth Council.
  • The Prime Minister also participated in the Round Table of Heads of Government and Business at the Commonwealth Business Forum. The Round Table was chaired by President Paul Kagame and His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales.
  • The Prime Minister participated in a side event at the RCGC titled ‘Maintaining the 1.5°C target – the Glasgow Climate Charter and building momentum ahead of COP27’, hosted by Rwanda and the United Kingdom.
  • The modern Commonwealth is a values-based union of 54 countries, most of which have historical ties to the United Kingdom and a combined population of more than 2.4 billion people across five continents.
  • Canada is the Commonwealth’s second largest donor country. In 2020-21, he gave the organization $10.86 million in total.
  • This year, leaders gathered under the theme “Towards a Shared Future of Connections, Innovation and Transformation” to discuss ways to improve the lives of the citizens of the 54 Commonwealth of Nations.
  • During the RCGC, Prime Minister Trudeau also held bilateral meetings with the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Brown, the President of Ghana, Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, and the President of Zambia, Hakainde Hachilema.
  • On June 23, 2022, Prime Minister Trudeau visited the Genocide Memorial in Kigali to honor the victims of the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.
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