India’s High Commissioner to the UK, Mr Y.K. Sinha, has underlined his country’s commitment to helping to re-energise the Commonwealth.
Leaders from across the organisation’s 53 member states are meeting in London and Windsor this week as part of the 25th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). India’s prime minister Narendra Modi is due to arrive in Britain later today.
Writing in The House magazine, Mr Sinha said the event provides a unique opportunity for members to determine the organisation’s future path and its relevance in securing a better future for its 2.4 billion people.
He said: “The organisation is at an inflection point given the multitude of challenges that confront us and the pressing need for sustainable solutions. India is one of the founding members of the modern Commonwealth, with more than half of the people of the Commonwealth residing in the country. India would like to see this unique institution strengthened so that it can meaningfully address the aspirations of the people of the Commonwealth, particularly its youth.”
Mr Sinha said it’s imperative that the Commonwealth act as a cohesive group when tackling issues including sustainable development, trade, education, health, youth and empowerment of women. He also underlined the need to find a way to “assist most member states in meeting their developmental goals through an institution building or capacity building approach, rather than a rights-based approach”.
India also wants to see greater attention paid to promoting trade and investment in member countries, according to the High Commissioner.
Mr Sinha added: “India is prepared to step up to the plate and play its due role in re-energising the Commonwealth for the common good, in consonance with the needs and aspirations of the larger membership.
“The forthcoming CHOGM will deliberate and suggest ways of rejuvenating the organisation and charting a course for the future, which will ensure that it remains relevant for its members. India is committed to working with all stakeholders to achieve this objective.”
Main image: ©Foreign and Commonwealth Office – Flags of the Commonwealth in Parliament Square, London.