Updates from Sri Lanka and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2013.
The UK strongly supports the Commonwealth, and firmly believes it can continue to be a force for good around the world, promoting freedom, democracy and human rights.
It consists of 53 independent member states, nearly a third of the world, with over two billion citizens, and several of the world’s fastest growing economies. The Commonwealth exports over $3trillion of goods and services a year and intra-Commonwealth trade in goods is valued at around £250 billion a year.
CHOGM 2013 will discuss issues that matter greatly to UK. This includes seeking a successor to the Millennium Development Goals, which focuses on eliminating absolute poverty and ensuring Commonwealth values, such as the rule of law and good governance, are at the heart of the next development framework.
They will also discuss upholding Commonwealth values, and expanding international trade. If we want to ensure that these issues are taken seriously then we have to be at the table. We are attending CHOGM not only to support the Commonwealth, but to shine a spotlight on Sri Lanka and to urge its government to take make real progress on issues of human rights, reconciliation, accountability and political settlement.
We will use the visit to Sri Lanka to see the situation on the ground first hand, to meet people on all sides of the conflict, and to raise UK concerns frankly and directly with the Sri Lankan Government. Like every other Commonwealth country Sri Lanka is expected to live up the values of the Commonwealth.
Over the last few years and in particular in the run up to CHOGM, the UK has regularly raised concerns with the Sri Lankan Government about post-conflict reconciliation, and the overall human rights situation.
We believe attending CHOGM is the right thing to do for the Commonwealth. If the UK is not there, we have no way of getting the Commonwealth to act on issues that matter to us.
William Hague: a boycott of Sri Lanka would be wrong
In an article first published in the Telegraph, Foreign Secretary William Hague explains why Britain’s presence at the Commonwealth summit will achieve more than an empty chair would. Read the full story
PM on Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting
An op-ed by Prime Minister David Cameron on the UK’s aims and values ahead of the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). Read the full story here
FCO Minister Hugo Swire Twitter Q&A on the Commonwealth
Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire answered your questions on the Commonwealth live via Twitter on 7 November. Read the full story
Commonwealth Business Forum
Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire addressed the Commonwealth Business Forum at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting. Read the full speech
Commonwealth People’s Forum
FCO Minister Hugo Swire spoke at the closing session of the Commonwealth People’s Forum at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting. Read the full speech
Foreign Secretary speech: Preventing sexual violence in Sri Lanka
The Foreign Secretary gave a speech on preventing sexual violence and urged Sri Lanka to end the culture of impunity.Read the full speech here
The Foreign Secretary meets Sri Lankan Foreign Minister
William Hague and G.L. Peiris discussed media freedom, human rights & Commonwealth values at Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting.Read the full story here
Foreign Secretary meets Tamil National Alliance in Colombo
Foreign Secretary discusses devolution and reconciliation in Sri Lanka with the Tamil National Alliance during CHOGM. Read the full story here
Foreign Secretary opens UK funded reconciliation centre
Sri Lankan reconciliation centre offers hope after civil war and encourages young people across Sri Lanka to help build peace and reconciliation.Read the full story here
Commonwealth sports meeting
Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire spoke about the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at the Commonwealth sports meeting. Read the full story here
University of Central Lancashire launched in Sri Lanka
The Foreign Secretary William Hague took part in the launch of the University Of Central Lancashire campus in Sri Lanka and praised educational links between Britain and Sri Lanka. Read the full story here
Foreign Secretary meets human rights campaigners in Sri Lanka
The Foreign Secretary heard from several groups involved in monitoring and reporting on human rights abuses.Read the full story here.
Social media at CHOGM 2013
Stay connected to the latest happenings at the CHOGM 2013 in Sri Lanka through social media. Regular updates throughout the week will be provided on a variety of social media channels. Follow the handles, hashtags, and other social media accounts outlined below to stay connected.
Follow the updates as they happen on our CHOGM 2013 Storify
Prime Minister David Cameron
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs William Hague
Minister of State at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office Hugo Swire
British High Commission in Colombo
Official Twitter Account of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2013
Hashtags to follow during CHOGM 2013