Gabon joins Commonwealth

June 27, 2022

The Republic of Gabon has been admitted to the Commonwealth at the 26th summit of the organisation's Heads of State and Government staged in the Rwandan capital of Kigali in a development celebrated by the country's president as a 'historic moment'.

The central African state underwent an 18-month assessment period prior to its admittance to the Commonwealth, which it wishes to join so as to diversify its international partners by strengthening exchange and cooperation with the Commonwealth family of nations.

Prior to its acceptance, the country demonstrated it shared the values and aspirations enshrined in the Commonwealth's Charter. Through its membership, Gabon now hopes to support the Commonwealth's work to improve the quality of life of its peoples and the resilience and prosperity of its nations.

Gabon strongly supports the core values and principles expressed in the Commonwealth's Charter of democracy, peace and security, good governance, protection of the environment, gender equality and human rights.

Ali Bongo Ondimba, President of the Gabonese Republic, said: 'This is a historic moment! A new important page in the history of Gabon is opening 62 years after its independence. Gabon's membership of the Commonwealth is recognition of the increasingly important role played by Gabon on the international scene, in particular on the issue of climate where our country is on the frontline.'Gabon is the most carbon positive nation on the planet, with current CO2 emissions estimated at 100 million tonnes per annum, and the country was chosen by the other states in Africa to chair the African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change at last year's COP26 in Glasgow.

Being admitted to the Commonwealth is a 'major diplomatic victory', President Bongo added, saying that joining the Commonwealth constitutes a major geopolitical turning point for Gabon and represented a historic opportunity in terms of economic, diplomatic and cultural development.

As a member, Gabon expects to bring to the Commonwealth specific expertise in political mediation and conflict resolution in Africa, in innovative environmental governance paradigms and in nature-based climate solutions. It believes it will benefit in turn from Commonwealth members' experience and expertise in social governance and political development.

At the meeting in Rwanda, the country and its fellow African state of Togo were the two new states accepted into The Commonwealth, which now consists of 56 member nations.




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