Declaration and Communique CTA


CHOGM 2022 outcomes

On completion of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, Heads of Government issued a Communique in which they recognised the importance of sustainable urbanisation and adopted a Declaration on Sustainable Urbanisation to address the impacts of rapid urbanisation and climate change in the Commonwealth, to ensure liveable cities, towns, and villages for all Commonwealth citizens.

CHOGM Opening Ceremony
Source: Commonwealth Secretariat

the CHOGM communique

The full text of the Communique can be found here. The recommendations that are relevant to sustainable urbanisation are shown below:

57.    Heads expressed their appreciation for the leading role women and young people play in galvanising support for climate action across the Commonwealth and committed to ensuring gender responsive implementation. Heads noted the Commonwealth Youth Statement on Climate Change with its call to support communities and safeguard the most vulnerable, including youth, women, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. This should be done by ensuring predictable finance to the local level to enable greater locally led action. Sustainable urbanisation: smart and resilient sustainable cities and communities.

105. Heads noted that the Commonwealth is home to one third of the world’s population and nearly 50 percent of the projected increase of the world’s urban population by mid-century. They reiterated their commitment under SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities) to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, and resilient. To this end, Heads adopted the Declaration on Sustainable Urbanisation.

106. Heads underscored the intrinsic value of sustainable urbanisation to harness structural transformation for the world’s urban populations, particularly those in Commonwealth countries. Heads noted that while the COVID-19 pandemic reversed some gains made in urban development and exposed systemic inequalities creating new vulnerabilities, it also created new opportunities to address social inclusion, and brought to the fore the centrality and importance of the right to an adequate standard of living, including housing. As such, Heads committed to prioritising the provision of affordable and social housing to mitigate the proliferation of informal settlements, promote social inclusion and cushion the urban poor from social-cultural and economic shocks.

the CHOGM declaration on sustainable urbanisation

In addition to the Communique, Heads adopted the Declaration on Sustainable Urbanisation, to prioritise a greater focus on sustainable urbanisation to address the impacts of rapid urbanisation and climate change in the Commonwealth, to ensure liveable cities, towns and villages for all Commonwealth citizens. Significantly, the Declaration includes a link to the Commonwealth Sustainable Cities Initiative as a footnote, implicitly recognising the work to advance the Call to Action on Sustainable Urbanisation across the Commonwealth.

Recognising that Commonwealth countries are projected to account for nearly 50% of the projected growth in the world’s urban population to 2050, and that cities are responsible for over 70% of global carbon emissions, the Declaration acknowledges the need for integrated strategies to deliver safe and sustainable urbanisation and to support cities to mobilise resources to develop scalable programmes to address key challenges while reducing risk and vulnerability.

During the closing Press Conference, Commonwealth Secretary General, Baroness Scotland, remarked that “These Declarations provide the guiding framework for the work of the Commonwealth over the coming period”.

Commenting following publication of the Declaration, UN Habitat Executive Director HE Maimunah Mohd Sharif said: “I applaud Heads of Government for recognising sustainable urbanisation as a defining issue for the Commonwealth. With its shared values and extensive networks, the Commonwealth provides the perfect platform from which to engage with such critical challenges and I look forward to working with Commonwealth colleagues in the coming period.”

The partners to the Call to Action welcome both the Communique and Declaration, which recognise the importance of sustainable urbanisation as a defining issue for the Commonwealth and look forward to contributing to its implementation.

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The image on this page is credited to: the Commonwealth Secretariat