Sri Lanka has begun preparations to host the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) that will bring the leaders of 54 member countries of the Commonwealth to the island.
The External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris has proposed setting up of a Task Force Secretariat (TAFS) to handle preparatory work for the CHOGM 2013 summit and the Cabinet of ministers has approved his proposal at the regular Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
The Task Force Secretariat will be set up at the BMICH to proceed with the work pertaining to CHOGM 2013 with an allocation of Rs 217.44 million as capital and recurrent expenditure.
Officers from identified ministries and departments including External Affairs, Defence and Urban Development, Mass Media and Information, and Economic Development will be appointed to the Secretariat for a period of two years to work full time for the preparatory work.
CHOGM 2013 will be the largest international event at the level of Heads of State Sri Lanka will be hosting since the 5th Summit of the Non Aligned Movement Sri Lanka hosted in 1976.
The CHOGM held in Trinidad and Tobago in Nov 2009 unanimously agreed to hold its 2013 meeting in Colombo, and at the 2011 CHOGM held in Perth, Western Australia, Commonwealth reaffirmed their decision to hold the CHOGM 2013 in Sri Lanka.
Following the 2013 meeting Sri Lanka will serve as the Chair of CHOGM for the next two years. CHOGM 2015 will be held in Mauritius.