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PM’s intervention at CHOGM

November 28, 2009

His Excellency Mr. Patrick Manning, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago,
Distinguished Heads of States and Governments,

Our Summit in Port of Spain coincides with the 60th anniversary of the Commonwealth.

India, as a founder member of the Commonwealth, is celebrating the 60th anniversary through a number of initiatives. We have issued commemorative coins and released first day covers and stamps to mark the occasion as an expression of our support for the values enshrined in the Commonwealth.

On this occasion, I am pleased to announce the following initiatives:

  • Organising a fully financed Diplomatic Training Module in our Foreign Service Institute which will begin in 2010. I encourage Commonwealth members to avail of this opportunity to train their young diplomats in the Institute.
  • India will underwrite the cost of the first phase of the Commonwealth Partnership Platform Portal (CP3) and will support this programme as it develops.
  • As host to the Commonwealth 2010 Games, India will fund a post of Sports Adviser in the Commonwealth Secretariat.
  • India has long believed that stronger South-South cooperation is essential for the transformation of our societies through skill enhancement and sharing of knowledge. India would earmark 250 slots under its International Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Programme specifically for Commonwealth countries.
  • India’s support to the Commonwealth small states is well known and long standing. India has been contributing $100,000 annually towards a Commonwealth tranche for a Small State Office in New York. In response to the Secretary-General’s request, I am pleased to announce that India will contribute $80,000 per annum for a similar Small State Office in Geneva.
  • The Commonwealth Media Development Fund has been a success story. It gives me great pleasure to announce that India will double its contribution to the Fund and will now contribute 120,000 US dollars, spread over a period of two years.
  • We will support the Commonwealth Secretary General’s initiative to convene a body of National Elections Commissions to share experiences and learn lessons from each other.

I thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Port of Spain
November 28, 2009


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