Article published on the 2009-11-27 Latest update 2009-11-27 14:49 TU
Queen Elizabeth II arriving in Trinidad and Tobago on Thursday for Commonwealth summit
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon will address the Commonwealth summit in Trinidad on Friday. Although France is not a member of the 53-nation association, which developed from the former British Empire, he will make a speech following the official opening by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II.
According to Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Patrick Manning, Ban, Sarkozy and Danish Prime Lars Loekke Rasmussen were invited as non-members over concern about, “the way negotiations were going ahead of Copenhagen next month”.
Manning has criticised the possibility of per capita limits on greenhouse gas emissions ahead of the Copenhagen meeting.
He said he “categorically rejected” the idea and said it was “a convenient argument for countries with large populations”.
The Commonwealth meeting will bring together leaders representing more than two billion people worldwide and this year’s meeting is expected to focus on debate between developed and developing countries on climate change.
Countries like Britain, India, Australia, South Africa and Canada, will be seated alongside smaller island nations such as the Bahamas, Kiribati and the Maldives.
There will also be discussion on Rwanda’s application to join the Commonwealth.
In October, Rwandan President Paul Kagame submitted a formal membership appeal to the Commonwealth Secretary General.
But an investigation by the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative in May indicated that, “the government of Rwanda is not sufficiently committed” to human rights and democracy.