President Cyril Ramaphosa has today, Monday 16 April 2018, departed South Africa for London in the United Kingdom where he will be leading a South African Delegation to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM 2018) between 19th and 20th April 2018.
CHOGM 2018 is themed "Towards a Common Future" and the meeting of Heads of Government segment will be preceded by a Pre-CHOGM Foreign Affairs Ministers' Meeting on 17th and 18th April 2018.
CHOGM 2018 will provide Heads of Government with an opportunity to discuss common international challenges facing the membership, including:Weak global trade and investment flows; 21st century security threats; Increasing the resilience of small and vulnerable states facing climate change (especially its impact on oceans); Advancing the Commonwealth's shared values and democracy, good governance and inclusivity as set out in the Commonwealth Charter.
The Commonwealth consists of 53 members including: 19 African members, 7 Asian members, 13 members from the Caribbean and the Americas, 3 members from Europe and 11 members from the Pacific and meets every two years to discuss issues affecting both the Commonwealth members and the international community in general.
The Heads of Government will, at the conclusion of the meeting on Friday, 20 April 2018, adopt an Outcome Document which covers a wide range of issues which will serve as a Programme of Action for the organisation in the next two years.
For South Africa, the CHOGM 2018 is an opportunity for the marketing and promotion of South Africa as an investment destination. President Ramaphosa will utilize the opportunity to engage with major investors and business leaders based in the United Kingdom. The President will thus extend an invitation to leading investors and leaders of business to attend the Investment Summit scheduled for later this year.
While in London, President Ramaphosa will pay a courtesy call on Her Majesty the Queen, hold a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May, deliver keynote addresses at the Commonwealth Business Forum banquets, attend CHOGM opening and closing sessions and participate in a number of executive and retreat sessions.
President Ramaphosa and the South Africa delegation will also utilize the opportunity of the meeting of heads of government to continue to lobby for South Africa's candidature to the UN Security Council for the term 2019 – 2020 with the elections to be held on the 8th of June in New York.
The South Africa delegation will continue to promote the centenary year of the birth of President Nelson Mandela.
President Cyril Ramaphosa will return to South Africa on Friday 20th April 2018.