The event was initially scheduled for June 2020 in Kigali, Rwanda and was postponed once to June 2021.
Commenting on the postponement, President Paul Kagame said Rwanda looks forward to welcoming the meeting at the appropriate time.
“The decision to postpone CHOGM for a second time has not been taken lightly. The health and welfare of all Commonwealth citizens at this critical time must take precedence. We look forward to welcoming the Commonwealth family to Kigali for CHOGM at the appropriate time,” he said.
Commonwealth Secretary-General, Rt. Hon. Patricia Scotland QC said that the decision was taken after reviewing all available evidence and risk assessments with the World Health Organization (WHO), and after close consultation between the Commonwealth Secretariat and Member States.
“We know that the COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to have a hugely damaging impact on our member countries, many of whom continue to face huge losses to lives and livelihoods. And while it is with deep disappointment and regret that we cannot bring Commonwealth leaders together at this time to discuss many of these critical issues, we must be mindful of the huge risks large meetings pose to all,” she said.
“I want to thank the Government and people of Rwanda for their professionalism, support, patience and their impeccable readiness to hold CHOGM. And I want to thank all our member countries and, in particular, the United Kingdom as our Chair-in-Office and India, who have suffered so grievously in these trying times. I look forward warmly to a time when we can be reunited with the Commonwealth family, face-to-face, in Rwanda when the conditions allow for us to do so safely and securely,” added Scotland.