The Head of the Commonwealth Queen Elizabeth II and heir to the throne Prince Charles on Friday officially inducted Malawi President Peter Mutharika into the Commonwealth following his election as Malawi head of State in May last year.
The induction, which took place after the opening ceremony of Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (Chogm), is a result of elections for heads of government that have taken place in 21 Commonwealth countries, including Malawi, since 2013 when the last Chogm was held in Sri Lanka.
Heads of State of 10 Commonwealth members who were attending Chogm for the first time included Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbados Gaston Alphonso Browne, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Prime Minister of Fiji Josala Voreqe Banimarama.
Others were Guyana’s President David Granger, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, St Kitts Prime Minister Timothy Sylvester Harris, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Keith Christopher Rowley.
Outgoing Commonwealth secretary general Kamalesh Sharma hailed the peaceful atmosphere prevailing in the Commonwealth countries, saying this has been signified in the 21 elections held since 2013 including that of Malawi.
In her address to the 24th Chogm, Queen Elizabeth II charged the leaders with the responsibility of showing leadership through their distinctive contribution for the betterment of close to 450 million citizens in Commonwealth community.
Chogm is being held under the theme Commonwealth: Adding Global Value”.
Speaking at the closing session of a three-day Commonwealth Business Forum, Prince Charles, who will take up most of Commonwealth duties from his mother, urged businesses to embark on sustainable initiatives to slow down the destruction of the environment.
He explained that the private sector is crucial to economic growth, but wondered that world economies intend to spend $90 trillion in infrastructure in the next 15 years but without corresponding initiatives to use renewable energy to lower the carbon emissions by businesses.
“We live in a world where we expect a 35 percent increase in food demand and intend to reduce carbon emissions by six percent,” Prince Charles wondered. n