New Zealand's Commonwealth relationships strengthened at CHOGM

Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta has concluded a visit to Rwanda reaffirming Aotearoa New Zealand’s engagement in the Commonwealth and meeting with key counterparts.

“I would like to thank President Kagame and the people of Rwanda for their manaakitanga and expert hosting of this important meeting,” Nanaia Mahuta said.

“CHOGM was a valuable opportunity to reconnect New Zealand to the world through building and deepening relationships with counterparts and leaders from across the Commonwealth, including from Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean.

“The meeting reinforced the true value of the Commonwealth, as a diverse network of nations sharing democratic values and with a commitment to peace and universal human rights.

“Meeting with Pacific counterparts was also a highlight of the week and allowed me to reaffirm our connections in person. During a working lunch with Pacific counterparts, we discussed regional and global challenges, including climate change and oceans issues, and how the Commonwealth can best contribute to addressing these,” Nanaia Mahuta said.

CHOGM 2022 saw Leaders at the meeting endorse the communiqué which outlined common issues of concern to member states, including the global impact of the war on Ukraine and the importance of upholding the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states.

Leaders also agreed to a statement which reaffirmed the importance of vaccine equity, countering violent extremism, and recognising the impact of global insecurities in food, energy and climate on Commonwealth members. They also welcomed Togo and Gabon into the Commonwealth as new members, and reappointed Secretary General Scotland for a further two year term.

During the week, Nanaia Mahuta held bilateral engagements with:

  • President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame
  • Jamaica Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Kamina Johnson Smith
  • Belize Minister of Foreign Affairs, Eamon Courtenay
  • Sierra Leone Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, David J. Francis
  • Kenya Minister of Foreign Affairs, Raychelle Omamo
  • Solomon Islands Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jeremiah Manele
  • Pakistan Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hina Rabbani Khar
  • Singapore Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vivian Balakrishnan
  • Sri Lanka Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gamini Lakshman Peiris
  • UK Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss
  • India Minister of External Affairs, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar
  • Australia Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Pat Conroy
  • Ghana Minister for Foreign Affairs, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey.

The Minister also hosted a Pacific lunch attended by the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Prime Minister of Samoa, the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister of Tonga, Minister for International Development and Pacific of Australia, Papua New Guinea High Commissioner to London, Fiji High Commissioner to London, Foreign Minister of Tuvalu, and the Foreign Minister of Solomon Islands.

The next CHOGM will be held in Samoa in 2024.