The Rt. Hon Lord David Howell, FCO Minister of State for the Commonwealth will arrive in India today for talks on the Commonwealth in the run up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth in October.
During his visit to India, the Minister will give a lecture on, ‘The Future of the Commonwealth’ in which he’ll talk about the UK’s vision for the Commonwealth at the Indian Council of World Affairs. He will hold meetings with Minister of State for External Affairs, Preneet Kaur, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, S Jaipal Reddy, Chief Election Commissioner, Dr SY Quraishi, and Mr Shashi Tharoor.
Before leaving for India Lord Howell said:
“I look forward to my visit to India to discuss the forthcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Perth later this year.
As the Commonwealth’s largest parliamentary democracy and the home to over half of the Commonwealth’s population, it’s clear that India has an important role to play in influencing the future of the Commonwealth.
This year’s Commonwealth meeting in Perth will focus on how the organisation should develop and grow, and how best to direct the collective economic and political influence of all its members to tackle key challenges such as promoting trade, alleviating poverty and acting as a beacon for the highest democratic standards.
I look forward to discussing these matters and other important bilateral issues, such as energy and trade between our two countries, in my meetings with senior Indian leaders.”
Lord Howell continued:
“I will also discuss how the UK and India can work together on the challenge of growing energy demand, amidst a backdrop of declining traditional reserves and concern for the environment. India and the UK have a shared interest in finding innovative solutions that will deliver clean and secure energy for all.”
Whilst in India, the Minister will also hold talks on international energy policy with Dy Chairman, Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia , Director General, TERI Dr R K Pachauri and meet British businesses operating in India.