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Commonwealth Secretary-General to visit Kiribati

Commonwealth Secretary-General to visit Kiribati

Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma will visit Kiribati from 6 to 8 November 2012.

It will be his first official visit to the Pacific island state.

The Secretary-General is scheduled to call on President Anote Tong and other senior Cabinet Ministers.

Mr Sharma is also expected to hold talks with the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Hon Taomati Iuta and Opposition Leader, Hon Tetaua Taitai.

Discussions with i-Kiribati leaders will revolve around the country's national development priorities and how the Commonwealth can assist. Areas of interest may include democracy, good governance and public administration, human rights, climate change, gender equality, economic development, debt management, and information and communication technology.

The Secretary-General is expected to brief the President and other leaders on progress in implementing an ambitious reform programme aimed at sharpening the impact, strenghtening the networks and raising the profile of the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth is also active in the Pacific and globally in pursuing access to climate change finance for small and vulnerable states, and this is likely to be a focus of the discussions in Tarawa.

The Secretary-General will also discuss the Pacific Plan and the role the Commonwealth can play to support implementation of the Plan and to assist the region generally through the Commonwealth Pacific Governance Facility and the Commonwealth Youth Programme regional office, both of which are based in Honiara, Solomon Islands.

Mr Sharma will also brief leaders on preparations for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Sri Lanka in November next year and welcome input from Kiribati in drawing up the agenda for discussions at the biennial summit.

ENDS

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