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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 11230

Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting

Photo of Howard, John

Howard, John

Period of Service: 11/03/1996 to 03/12/2007

More information about Howard, John on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 10/11/1999

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 11230

I will attend the biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Durban, South Africa, from 12 to 15 November. It takes place during the 50th anniversary year of the Commonwealth.

The heads of government will focus on the economic and social challenges of globalisation under the theme ‘People-Centred Development: the Challenge of Globalisation’.

Successful management of the changes brought about by globalisation is a major challenge for all countries regardless of their stage of economic development and I look forward to a productive discussion.

Democratic values and good governance play a vital part in achieving sustainable economic growth and in ensuring all sections of our communities benefit from that growth. Because of its common language, and the shared democratic and institutional heritage of its members, the Commonwealth is especially well placed to assist developing member countries in strengthening their institutions and governance.

The meeting is also an opportunity to build momentum for the successful launching of global trade negotiations at the WTO ministerial meeting in December. Both developing and developed countries have a major interest in greater market access for their exporters and a new global round is the best way of achieving this.

The meeting will also select a new Secretary-General of the Commonwealth to replace Chief Anyaoku.

While in Durban I will have, as is the custom, a private meeting with the Queen.

After the Commonwealth meeting, I will travel to Pretoria to conduct an investiture ceremony marking the appointment of the former president of South Africa, Mr Mandela, as an Honorary Companion in the Order of Australia.

Australia will host the Commonwealth’s next heads of government meeting in Canberra in August/September 2001.

10 November 1999

Transcript 11230