* Hou: CHOGM 2018 a success
* Prince Charles eyes visit here
* PM returns with more positives
THE 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London is a “success”, Prime Minister Rick Houenipwela declared on arrival last Friday.
Mr Houenipwela and Minister for Foreign Affair and External Trade Minister Milner Tozaka led the country’s delegation to CHOGM.
Her Majesty The Queen officially opened the CHOGM, with the 53 members of the Commonwealth present.
According to the Prime Minster, the CHOGM itself were arranged in two parts.
“The first part was the plenary session, which I was able to make a statement representing issues and matters that are of concern to not only our self but the Pacific and Small Island Development States, including Climate Change, Good Governance, Security, trade, business, and investment.
“The Second part of the CHOGM was a leaders retreat, convened at the Windsor Castle – one of the Queen’s residential properties,” he said.
At the retreat, Mr Hou said the leaders agreed on a press statement, as well as an executive communiqué.
“The executive communiqué defines CHOGM leaders’ 2018 position, on something like 50 specific issues, covering Good Governance, Climate Change, trade, investment, cybercrime, terrorism, financial system, and many more.
“In that retreat, four major declarations were agreed on.
“First, the Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda on Trade and Investment. Secondly, the Commonwealth Charter, Third the Commonwealth’s Guideline in Conduct of Election Observations, and fourthly, the Commonwealth Cyber Declaration,” the Small Malaita MP said.
He added that during the retreat, the leaders also agreed that His Royal Highness Prince of Wales, Prince Charles as the next Head of the Commonwealth.
Leaders also agreed on the next hosts of the CHOGM, which is Rwanda in 2020, and in 2022 Samoa, in the Pacific.
Prince Charles eyes visit here
By RONALD TOITO’ONA
THE next Head of the Commonwealth Prince Charles has indicated his interest to visit the Solomon Islands soon.
Prime Minister Rick Houenipwela revealed this to journalist on arrival from the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London, last Friday.
“My first courtesy call was to the Royal Highness Prince Charles,” Mr Houenipwela stated during a press conference.
“The future King has indicated his interest to visit the Solomon Islands. He is looking forward to that,” he added.
“So that is something that we have to work very hard on.”
The next Head of the Commonwealth’s visit will be a historic one, as Her Majesty the Queen has already visited the Solomon Islands twice – in 1974, and in 1982.
Royal couple Prince William and Kate have also visited the country once, in September 2012.
Meanwhile, regarding Prince Charles’ visit, Prime Minister Houenipwela said he has assured him that, preparations will start immediately.
PM returns with more positives
By RONALD TOITO’ONA
PRIME Minister Rick Houenipwela and his delegation arrived last Friday from the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London, with many positives for the country.
In a press conference, Hou talks about his week-long trip.
In London, Prime Minister Hou met other Commonwealth heads at the CHOGM, which was opened by Her Majesty The Queen, at Buckingham Palace.
Besides that, he also made a courtesy call to the new Head of the Commonwealth, Prince Charles.
The Prime Minister said he was also privileged that he and Madam Rachel were able to meet Her Majesty The Queen, in a brief meeting.
He also held four bilateral meetings with some of the Commonwealth leaders, particularly his Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull, his Indian equal Narendra Modi, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and the UK Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Mark Field.
Most of the talks were based on some positive plans for both countries, in which he emphasized that the Solomon Islands will be benefiting greatly from them.
Some of the issues highlighted include Scholarship Awards for Solomon Islanders, Climate Change, environment, trade, expansion of the CITREC program to all provinces in the country, training of local diplomats overseas, and many more.
Apart from the CHOGM, the Prime Minister also opened the country’s Diplomatic Office in London.
The Small Malaita MP said the launch of the High Commission in London was a relief for the Solomon Islands community there.
He described the opening of the London Office as a ‘historic’ one for the people of Solomon Islands.