Announcement

Sir Malcolm Rifkind takes up role in key Commonwealth reform body

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Former Foreign Secretary will represent UK interests on the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group.

Sir Malcolm Rifkind has been appointed as the UK’s representative to the body tasked with reforming the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth Eminent Person’s Group (EPG), chaired by former Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, will examine the role of the Commonwealth and will assess where it should focus its efforts for the future.

Welcoming the appointment, the Minister for the Commonwealth, Lord Howell said: “I am delighted that Sir Malcolm Rifkind has been appointed to the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group (EPG). His wealth of experience will make him an influential member of this prestigious group. He is as passionate about the Commonwealth as I am and will enjoy working alongside eminent colleagues drawn from across the Commonwealth regions.”

“Co-ordinated global responses are vital to deal with 21st century challenges such as poverty, financial turbulence, and climate change. The Commonwealth has a role to play in this, and should focus its efforts where it has brand strength and comparative advantage.”

“I look forward to seeing Sir Malcolm and the EPG build momentum behind this important work ahead of the next Commonwealth Heads meeting in Perth next year.”

Sir Malcolm said after the announcement, “The UK is committed to reinvigorating the Commonwealth. This important institution, which represents one third of the planet’s population and a fifth of all global trade, is a ready made platform for the international community to tackle today’s global challenges and help promote foreign policy and trade objectives. As part of the EPG, I will do my utmost to ensure that the Commonwealth continues its important work across the world and remains a relevant institution for the future.”

“As part of the EPG, I will do my utmost to ensure that the Commonwealth continues its important work across the world and remains a relevant institution for the future.”

The EPG was mandated by Commonwealth Heads of Government at their meeting in Port of Spain last year. It is currently made up of 10 influential figures from across the Commonwealth and will hold its first meeting on 19 - 20 July 2010 in London.