The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) which officially opened in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda on Friday 24th June 2022 also re-elected Patria Scotland re-elected as the bloc’s Secretary-General.
A Commonwealth Secretary-General serves a maximum of two terms of four years each.
However, Scotland’s first term has lasted for six years as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which delayed the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting by two years.
Leaders of the Commonwealth have reappointed Patricia Scotland for a further two years to complete the balance of her period in office.
Scotland was facing off a candidate designated by Jamaica, Kamina Johnson Smith.
The latter is the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica.
Meanwhile, President Kagame will serve as the Commonwealth Chair-in-Office for two years.
Customarily, the Head of State hosting CHOGM takes over the chairmanship for two years until the next meeting.
Kagame replaces Boris Johnson who held the position since 2018. He was supposed to handover to Rwanda in 2020 but the meeting was delayed due to the pandemic.
As he handed over on Friday, Boris Johnson said that he was passing the baton to President Kagame, one of the newest members of the commonwealth, and wished him success as he chairs, by encompassing 54 countries and a third of humanity.
“One of the newest members is now at the helm, and more nations are seeking to join, which tells you everything about the health and vitality of our Commonwealth, because for all the differences between us, we are united by an invisible thread of shared values, history and friendship”, he said.
The UK Prime Minister noted that he was able to make some remarkable achievements in the face COVID 19 and expressed optimism that the Commonwealth will make immeasurable progress as Kagame chairs the body.
“For now, it only remains for me to thank every Commonwealth member for having given the United Kingdom the chance to serve as Chair-in-Office. And as I pass on this responsibility to President Kagame, a close friend and partner.
I know that he shares my boundless optimism about the future of the Commonwealth at the forefront of the international agenda, and benefiting all our peoples”, he said.
The Chair-in-Office represents the Commonwealth at high-level international meetings and reinforces the Good Offices role of the Commonwealth Secretary-General.