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15 Aug 2018 description

We, the International Election Observer Missions present for the 30 July Harmonised Elections in Zimbabwe, while appreciating the generally peaceful and orderly pre-electoral environment and on voting day, express our grave concern about the regrettable outbreaks of post-election violence.

At the outset, we extend our sympathies to the families and loved ones of those affected by these troubling incidents.

While recognising the right to peaceful protest, we condemn vandalism and destruction of property and call on political party supporters to abide by the law.

10 Aug 2018 description

It is hard to imagine that only 14 years ago Sri Lanka was severely devastated by the tsunami, triggered by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake in the Indian Ocean.

Its waves submerged the southwestern part of Sri Lanka, killing tens of thousands and destroying the infrastructure.

But there is a lesson to be learnt here. Had Sri Lankans realised that through the destruction of a natural form of defence by chopping down the mangroves, it is unlikely they would have taken this course of action.

08 Aug 2018 description

Workshop Report for the Legislating for Climate Smart Disaster Risk Management in the Pacific, 6 – 8 July. This three day workshop was held in partnership with the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat and IFRC, with financial support provide by Australian Red Cross and British Red Cross.

The workshop involved legislative drafters and disaster and climate practitioners from 12 Pacific countries, as well as partners from the UN, academia and the private sector.

27 Apr 2018 description

Patricia Scotland is meeting with leaders in the Caribbean to explore the Commonwealth’s role in minimising the impact of extreme weather events as the region’s hurricane season approaches.

The Secretary-General said it was a worrying time for leaders. “The threat of life-changing, economy-decimating, apocalyptic storms and hurricanes is beginning to cast a long shadow on the sunny islands of the Caribbean. June 1st is the day that is circled on the calendar, and as the countdown to hurricane season begins, nobody knows what to expect.

29 Mar 2018 description

Tonga is pulling together to rebuild following the devastation caused by tropical cyclone Gita that hit in mid-February 2018. Bilal Anwar, general manager of the Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub (CFAH), is currently visiting the capital Nuku’alofa to finalize the details of technical assistance for the island and shares his thoughts on the scale of reconstruction required.

Drive from the airport to the main island of Tongatapu, one still cannot ignore the traces of destruction and damage caused by the devastating tropical cyclone Gita hit the island last month.

27 Mar 2018 description

Commonwealth Secretary-General has met Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on her first official visit to New Zealand.

They spoke on a number of issues affecting the Commonwealth during their meeting at the executive wing of the Beehive, the parliament buildings, in Wellington today.

06 Dec 2017 description

The Government of Kiribati has welcomed the Commonwealth’s support as it works to strengthen its health system.

At a meeting of the Commonwealth Advisory Committee on Health (CACH), the Minister of Health and Medical Services cited the positive difference financial and technical assistance had made.

The Committee, made up of senior government officials from Ministries of Health, regional bodies and civil society from across the Commonwealth, was meeting for the first time in its history in the Pacific.

29 Nov 2017 description

Storm ravaged countries need the Commonwealth’s innovative regenerative model to build back better and stronger, Secretary-General Patricia Scotland asserted last night in a powerful presentation about the Commonwealth’s importance.

15 Nov 2017 description

Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland has called for increased funding to help member states rebuild their countries after natural disasters.

She was speaking at the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and United Nations Development Program’s (UNDP) side event at COP23 in Bonn, Germany, today.

27 Oct 2017 description

Nairobi- 27th of October 2017

We the Heads of the undersigned international observer missions present in Kenya issue this communiqué on the election rescheduled for the 28th of October.

We note the decision of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to postpone polling in Homa Bay, Kisumu, Migori and Siaya counties, based on article 55b of the electoral law.

02 Oct 2017 description

The Commonwealth Secretary General, The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC, has called for peace, unity and non-violence in Cameroon following the recent concerns about the possible escalation of violence in the Southwest and Northwest regions of the country. The Secretary-General is particularly concerned about heightening tensions and fear related to activities planned for 1 October in the above-mentioned regions.

20 Sep 2017 description

Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland is convening a group of specialists from across the Commonwealth to examine how to “coordinate, create and shape a task force” to assist with mobilising international assistance to provide protection and assistance with recovery from the impact of violent storms and similar emergencies.

09 Aug 2017 description

Nairobi, 09/08/2017 - 16:53 - UNIQUE ID: 170809_3

Heads of International Election Observation Missions, including EU EOM Kenya 2017, issue a joint statement a day after the 8 August general elections in Kenya


08 Aug 2017 description

We the heads of the following international observer missions present in Kenya — African Union (AU), Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Commonwealth, East Africa Community (EAC), European Union (EU), International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD), National Democratic Institute (NDI) and The Carter Center:

29 Jun 2017 description

The Commonwealth is hosting an online discussion on education for migrants and refugees for the first time on its Education Hub.

‘Education for Migrants and Refugees’ is the latest ‘eDiscussion’ topic on the Hub and has invited submissions from more than 800 education policymakers and professionals from across the 52 Commonwealth countries. It seeks to find ways to educate millions of displaced people facing some of the most challenging conditions.

31 May 2017 description

Patricia Scotland, the Commonwealth's Secretary-General, today passed on her condolences and sympathies to those killed and made homeless by flooding in Sri Lanka. "This is a real disaster," she stated. "Around 200 people have lost their lives and thousands have been made homeless by the worst torrential rains in more than a decade. I would like to express my sympathy to the families of those who have been killed, and to the thousands more who have lost their homes and livelihoods."

19 May 2017 description

Climate change advocates welcome regenerative development approach

Small islands facing the threat of imminent extinction woke up this morning to a ray of hope following the launch of a “revolutionary” Commonwealth approach to climate change. It’s called “Regenerative Development” and it has the potential to reverse climate change through measures that take carbon out of the air and put it back in the soil. Yesterday, at a conference at Commonwealth Headquarters in London, activists and climate thinkers came together to chart the way ahead.

11 May 2017 description

The Commonwealth Secretariat is helping to create a toolkit that will assist countries to implement the historic Paris Agreement on climate change.

The Secretariat updated partners and country representatives at a meeting in Bonn this week organised by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Steven Malby, Head of Law Development at the Commonwealth said the new toolkit will provide countries with a comprehensive source of methodologies, good practice, and knowledge sharing on climate legislation.

02 Apr 2016 description

On her first day in office as Commonwealth Secretary-General, Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC visited her home country of Dominica and launched a new Disaster Resource Centre.

The Secretary-General called on the country’s President and the Prime Minister and then formally commissioned the rehabilitation of an old library building, in Roseau, which will be home to the new Dominica Disaster Resource Centre.

The Government of Dominica approved the project following the devastation caused by Tropical Storm Erika last year.