Prince Charles said at the opening of a meeting of Commonwealth leaders in Kigali on Friday that member states are free to renounce the monarchy and expressed his “sadness” for Britain’s enslaved past.
The summit (CHOGM) is being held in Rwanda, which joined the Commonwealth in 2009, at a time when engagement with 54 member states is undergoing deep questions, in a period of transition to a British monarchy and colonialism. On the question of the past. ,
Of the 14 member states, Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state, and some of them have made no secret of their desire to distance themselves from the monarchy in the wake of Barbados, which officially declared a republic in November 2021 .
,The Commonwealth includes countries within it that have constitutional ties to my family, some that continue to have them, and a growing number that do not.Said Prince Charles, who is the head of the Commonwealth, representing his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.
,As I have said before, I want to make it clear that the constitutional rule of each member, whether republic or monarchy, is entirely a matter for the decision of each member state.“, he insisted, in front of dozens of leaders, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The heirs to the British Crown also acknowledged that the Commonwealth’s roots were “Dive deep into the most painful times in our history,
,I cannot describe the depth of my personal grief over the suffering of so many, as I continue to deepen my understanding of the lasting effects of slavery.“, did he declare.
CHOGM is in the midst of controversy over a deal to deport illegal migrants from the United Kingdom to Rwanda, which has drawn outrage from several human rights NGOs, the United Nations and the Anglican Church.
According to the British press, Prince Charles even privately expressed his disagreement with the device, which he described as “horrendous”. The British government has promised to continue with the program of deportation, which was blocked by a decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) at the last minute on 14 June.
Prince Charles met with Boris Johnson on Friday morning. But the British prime minister indicated he would not detail the content of the interview. ,There are many prejudices about Rwanda that need to be removed“, he repeated to British media on Friday.
Boris Johnson praised the “huge progress” made by Rwanda, a small East African country that has experienced spectacular economic growth since the end of the 1994 genocide. However, he is regularly criticized for his human rights policy.
Over CHOGM, 23 NGOs recalled their “serious concerns” on the subject in an open letter.
At the same time, the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo called on the United Kingdom to condemn Rwanda, which it accuses of “aggression” in eastern Congo and supporting the armed group M23.
Togo and Gabon Unified
CHOGM, which is due to expire on Saturday, should see the unification of two new members, Togo and Gabon.
,Showing you everything you need to know about the health and vitality of our Commonwealth the new nations are looking to joinBoris Johnson said.
The summit is also expected to result in fierce competition for the leadership of the organization.
Jamaican Kamina Johnson Smith is challenging Britain’s Patricia Scotland for the position of secretary general, despite a convention of the organization which provides that the incumbent should run unopposed for a second term.
Ms Johnson Smith, Jamaica’s foreign secretary, has the backing of the UK, who has publicly expressed dissatisfaction with Ms Scotland’s management, who also has Dominican nationality.
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