Commonwealth Summit: India to focus on terror, climate change


Against the backdrop of the recent Paris terror attacks and the upcoming global climate summit, the Commonwealth summit in Malta is expected to focus on enhanced international solidarity in combating terror and push for a durable deal on curbing greenhouse gas emissions. For India, the largest country in the 53-nation bloc of former colonies of the British empire, these overarching issues will be key priorities.  External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is expected to underline the need for jointly tackling the twin evils of terrorism and extremism, and press for an ambitious and balanced deal at COP21, which begins in Paris on November 30.

The theme for the CHOGM summit this year is ‘Adding Global Value.’ The Commonwealth countries are home to around 2.2 billion people of which over 60 per cent are under the age of 30. The grouping includes some of the world’s largest, smallest, richest and poorest countries. Of the 53 countries, nearly 31 of its members are small states, many of them island nations.

India is expected to renew its push for a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) to combat global terrorism. In the run up to the global climate change summit in Paris, the three-day long Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) is also going to discuss a range of issues relating to climate change. A special session on climate change will discuss various issues to tackle carbon emissions, with special focus on producing a unified commitment by the Commonwealth countries at the Paris summit.

The summit is also expected to discuss issues related to trade and commerce, migration.  Being the fastest growing economy in the world and Asia’s third largest economy, India is expected to make a strong case to attract investments into the country.