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PNG High Commissioner Kiap appointed as new chair of the board of Governors of the Commonwealth Secretariat

Papua New Guinea’s High Commissioner to London, United Kingdom,Winnie Kiap was recently appointed (Thursday 2nd June 2016) as the new Chair of the Board of Governors of the Commonwealth Secretariat.

Kiap was appointed by the fifty-three (53) member Board of Governors (BOG) of the Commonwealth Secretariat as its new Chair for the next two years from 1st July 2016. The BOG consists of High Commissioners of the fifty-three (53) member states of the Commonwealth.

“The 53 Heads of member states gather once in two years in the meeting known as the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), to review development progress in member states and through communiqués which further set out development goals and instructions to the Secretary-General to implement and report back in future CHOGM’s.”

In the recent gathering of the CHOGM last November 2015 in Malta, The Heads of Government appointed the first woman Secretary-General, Rt Hon Patricia Scotland from the Commonwealth of Dominica in the Caribbean. She is the 6th person to hold the office of Secretary-General and has taken up office since 1st April 2016.

“The High Commissioners constituting the BOG represent their Heads of Government. The BOG overseas the implementation of the programmes agreed by the Heads during their biennial meetings. The BOG also oversees the budget of the Secretariat given that it is entirely funded by member states.”

Kiap highlighted that the chairmanship of the BOG rotates on regional basis in which Africa is now replaced by the Pacific region. In 2008 – 2010, the High Commissioner of Tonga was the chair. This year is again for the Pacific region and therefore, the Pacific High Commissioners in London and Brussels supported and nominated me for the role. She further stated that the Caribbean and African High Commissioners as well as High Commissioners of small states also supported her.

Kiap reiterated that ‘I am humbled by the support and goodwill of the distinguished Board of Governors, in particular the Pacific group. I have been on the BOG for 5 years now and well versed to assist guide the Board. It is a great privileged as well to work with the new Secretary-General, Rt Hon Patricia Scotland  in defining the goals and strategies to take the Commonwealth forward and make the values it stands for and articulated in its Charter have meaning for its membership.’.


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