Queen Elizabeth II, Head of the Commonwealth and Patron of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association opens CHOGM 2018 

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II opened the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) at Buckingham Palace to mark the start of two days of meetings with 53 Commonwealth leaders, both in London and at Windsor Castle.

The Queen said: “Put simply, we are one of the world's great convening powers: a global association of volunteers who believe in the tangible benefits that flow from exchanging ideas and experiences and respecting each other's point of view. And we seem to be growing stronger year by year. The advantages are plain to see. An increasing emphasis on trade between our countries is helping us all to discover exciting new ways of doing business. And imaginative initiatives have shown how together we can bring about change on a global scale.” 

To read the Queen’s full speech at the CHOGM 2018 opening please click here
To watch the speech please click here.

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) was represented at the opening ceremony of the CHOGM 2018 at Buckingham Palace by the Secretary-General, Mr Akbar Khan, who also attended many meetings and events during the week. 

At the 2018 CHOGM, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Secretary-General, Mr Akbar Khan presented to the Commonwealth Foreign Ministers meetings held at Lancaster House and chaired by the UK Foreign Secretary, Rt Hon. Boris Johnson, MP and the UK Commonwealth Minister, Rt Hon. Lord Ahmad. The CPA Secretary-General presented on behalf of the Commonwealth Associated Organisations (AOs)* to the Foreign Ministers meeting together with, Lucy Slack, Deputy Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF).

Heads of all 53 Commonwealth nations met under the theme of Towards a Common Future, which was also the theme for Commonwealth Day on 12 March 2018. CHOGM also addressed the four sub-themes of: a more sustainable future; a fairer future; a more secure future; and a more prosperous future. Commonwealth leaders, Ministers and senior officials from the 53 Commonwealth nations also met at Lancaster House in London and Windsor Castle to discuss how member states will work even closer together on sustainability, fairness, security and prosperity. Member states also discussed ways of collaborating to tackle the threat of climate change. Under consideration by leaders at CHOGM 2018, were:
A Commonwealth Blue Charter on ocean governance
A Commonwealth connectivity agenda for trade and investment
A declaration on cyber-crime
Revised Commonwealth guidelines on election observation in member countries

Commonwealth leaders reaffirmed their continuing gratitude for the duty and commitment that Queen Elizabeth II has shown to all members of the Commonwealth over the decades and her role in championing the Commonwealth and its peoples. Commonwealth leaders also confirmed that the next Head of the Commonwealth will be HRH The Prince of Wales

Please click here to read the CHOGM 2018 Communique.

Please click here to read the CHOGM 2018 Leaders Statement.

Commonwealth Secretary-General, Rt Hon. Patricia Scotland, QC
said: “CHOGM 2018 promises to deliver transformational change for the people of the Commonwealth. Through consensus Commonwealth leaders will reach agreement on collective action, with the impact of their decisions likely to extend far beyond the boundaries of the Commonwealth. Agreement among our culturally diverse and geographically widespread member countries to collaborate and innovate often provides the basis for broader progress regionally and internationally. Immediate impact combined with wider influence make the Commonwealth an unparalleled force for building understanding and cooperation towards realising global goals for social and political progress, inclusive prosperity, and sustainable development.”

To view the Commonwealth Secretary-General’s full speech at the CHOGM 2018 opening please click here.

Many members of the royal family took part in Commonwealth events during CHOGM week and it was announced that the Queen had appointed Prince Harry to be the new Commonwealth Youth Ambassador in his role as President of The Queen's Commonwealth Trust, a new youth charity which will provide a platform for young change-makers across the Commonwealth in areas such as education, sport, health and the environment. 

Commonwealth Forums took place ahead of the CHOGM 2018 on four themes – Women’s, People’s, Business and Youth - at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre. Participants included Commonwealth leaders, government ministers, members of the royal family, senior UN figures, business leaders, civil society activists and literary figures. 

The Commonwealth Women’s Forum explored the Commonwealth’s role in achieving gender equality in line with UN aspirations and the crucial role women should play in politics, business and peace building. Please click here for more about the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) at this event.

The Commonwealth Youth Forum brought together 500 young people to engage in planning, capacity-building and a General Assembly where they finalised their priorities on youth-led action in development and elected their new Commonwealth Youth Council. Please click here for more about the CPA's youth participants in the Commonwealth Youth Forum.

The Commonwealth People’s Forum, a joint venture between the Commonwealth Foundation and the UK government, was the single largest gathering of civil society representatives in the Commonwealth and discussed key issues facing Commonwealth people on the sub-theme of ‘Inclusive Governance: The Challenge for a Contemporary Commonwealth’. Please click here for more about the CPA at the Commonwealth People's Forum. 

The Commonwealth Business Forum, organised by the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council in partnership with the City of London, took place at Guildhall in the City of London and was a unique platform for dialogue, bringing together business and government leaders from across the Commonwealth. 

The outcomes of the four Commonwealth Forums were presented to Commonwealth leaders and Ministers ahead of the CHOGM 2018. 

For further information about the CHOGM 2018/Commonwealth Summit please visit www.chogm2018.org.uk.


The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) and associated Forums take place every two years in a different Commonwealth country.

*Commonwealth Associated Organisations: Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management; Commonwealth Association of Tax Administrators; Conference of Commonwealth Postal Administrators; Conference of Commonwealth Meteorologists; Commonwealth Games Federation; Commonwealth Education Trust; Commonwealth Local Government Forum; Commonwealth Parliamentary Association; Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation.

Images and video footage provided by the Commonwealth Secretariat and CHOGM 2018 teams.

Updated 26th April 2018.

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association connects, develops, promotes and supports Parliamentarians and their staff to identify benchmarks of good governance and the implementation of the enduring values of the Commonwealth. 
For further information about the CPA, please contact:

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
CPA Secretariat, Westminster House,
Suite 700, 7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA,
United Kingdom
T: 44-20-7799-1460
F: 44-20-7222-6073
Email hq.sec@cpahq.org
For media enquiries, please contact communications@cpahq.org