Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the 25th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London on Thursday. He announced doubling of India’s contribution to the Commonwealth fund for technical cooperation and stressed the need to focus on providing developmental assistance to small island states.
Prime Minister Modi made several key interventions at the sessions, where he especially stressed on capacity building of small states and small islands that are part of the commonwealth fold.
“India is going to help these small island states and coastal states in capacity building through training programmes at the National Institute Of Oceanography in Goa,” Ruchi Ghanashyam, Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs, told reporters during a briefing in London.
During the two executive sessions at CHOGM, the main issues discussed included strengthening democracy and the rule of law, the state of the international trading system, achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and climate action, and security issues faced by the Commonwealth countries.
He also announced doubling of India’s contribution to the Commonwealth fund for technical cooperation for small island states.
‘We are also doubling our contribution to the Commonwealth offices of small states in New York and Geneva which would help them enhance their capacity in dealing with multilateral issues,” Ghanashyam said.
Apart from attending the multilateral Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London, Modi held bilateral meetings on the sidelines. He met his counterparts from Bangladesh, Australia and the President of Seychelles.
“PM Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina had a productive exchange of views on various issues of bilateral interest,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted after Prime Minister Modi’s meeting with Hasina.
In his meeting with Seychelles President Danny Faure, the two leaders discussed cooperation in areas of trade and investment and other bilateral issues.
Cementing close friendship with Mauritius, Modi met his Mauritius counterpart Pravind Kumar Jugnauth and talked about cooperation in trade and investment, maritime cooperation and people-to-people ties.
PM Modi also had informal meetings with his counterparts from Australia, Fiji, St Lucia, Antigua & Barbuda and Trinidad & Tobago, besides premiers of Kiribati, Uganda and Gambia.