The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) is a biennial summit meeting of the heads of government from all Commonwealth nations. Every two years the meeting is held in a different member state and is chaired by that nation’s respective Prime Minister or President who becomes the Commonwealth Chair-in-Office until the next meeting. Queen Elizabeth II, who is the Head of the Commonwealth, attended every CHOGM beginning with Ottawa in 1973 until Perth in 2011 although her formal participation only began in 1997. However, she was represented by the Prince of Wales at the 2013 meeting as the 87-year-old monarch was curtailing long distance travel. The Queen attended the 2015 summit in Malta and the 2018 CHOGM held in London.
The first CHOGM was held in 1971 in Singapore, and there have been 25 held in total: the most recent was held in London, England. They are held once every two years, although this pattern has twice been interrupted. They are held around the Commonwealth, rotating by invitation amongst its members.
In the past, CHOGMs have attempted to orchestrate common policies on certain contentious issues and current events, with a special focus on issues affecting member nations. CHOGMs have discussed the continuation of apartheid rule in South Africa and how to end it, military coups in Pakistan and Fiji, and allegations of electoral fraud in Zimbabwe. Sometimes the member states agree on a common idea or solution, and release a joint statement declaring their opinion. More recently, beginning at the 1997 CHOGM, the meeting has had an official ‘theme’, set by the host nation, on which the primary discussions have been focused.
CHOGM Newsroom – http://thecommonwealth.org/newsroom/chogm
- Final Communique
- What is it
- Where is it
- The Commonwealth
- Task Force