KIGALI — The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) that was due to take place in Rwanda in June has been postponed, the Commonwealth Secretariat said on Tuesday.
The event, which is held in different Commonwealth member countries every two years, would have brought together leaders from the 54 nations including Uganda.
The summit would also host the Prime Minister of UK Boris Johnson and the Queen’s representative, Prince Charles.
Both Prince Charles ams PM Johnson are battling coronavirus.
But the Commonwealth Secretariat announced that the 26th CHOGM would be delayed because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
It will still be held in Kigali, Rwanda, “at a time to be announced in due course”.
Commonwealth Secretary-General Baroness Scotland said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the course of our modern history.
“Lives have been lost, economies are shrinking, and livelihoods have been shattered. It is difficult to predict what the new normal will look like.
“We must be mindful of the risks large meetings pose to all.
“The current circumstances require heroic decisions.”
She added: “I too warmly look forward to reuniting with the Commonwealth family, face to face, in the beautiful country of Rwanda.”
It is not the first time CHOGM has been rescheduled.
The 25th meeting set for the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu in 2017 was postponed after the country was devastated by Cyclone Pam in 2015.
CHOGM 2020 was billed to become Rwanda’s largest summit after the 2018 African Union Heads of State Summit—a landmark for the government following its heavy investment and focus on conference tourism.
The suspension of CHOGM 2020 also means that government will put on hold the launch of Kigali International Finance Centre (K-IFC), which was planned to be unveiled during the summit as a national special purpose vehicle to attract financial resources.