Canada decides to send low level rep for CHOGM in Colombo
Tuesday, 8 October 2013 00:48
Premier Stephen Harper’s Government to review funding for C’wealth Secretariat
Canada will dispatch a low level representative to attend next month’s Commonwealth Summit in Colombo, the country’s Prime Minister said, adding that he would direct his Government to review its funding for the Commonwealth Secretariat and programs.
Issuing a statement from Bali Indonesia, where he is attending the APEC summit, Canadian Premier Stephen Harper said Parliamentary Secretary to Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister and International Human Rights will represent Canada at CHOGM 2013 in Colombo.
“I have also asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs to review Canada’s financial contributions to Commonwealth programs and the Commonwealth Secretariat,” he said.
Issuing a statement from Bali, Indonesia, where he is attending the APEC summit, Harper said it was clear that Sri Lanka had failed to uphold the Commonwealth’s core values, which are cherished by Canadians. “As such, as the Prime Minister of Canada, I will not attend the 2013 CHOGM in Colombo, Sri Lanka. This is a decision that I do not take lightly,” he said.
The Canadian Premier said his Government would continue to work with its partners and through the UN to draw attention to the situation in Sri Lanka
“Canada believes that if the Commonwealth is to remain relevant it must stand in defence of the basic principles of freedom, democracy, and respect for human dignity, which are the very foundation upon which the Commonwealth was built,” he said.