Minister Cannon Welcomes Establishment of Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group

(No. 222 - July 13, 2010 – 9:40 a.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today welcomed the announcement by Kamalesh Sharma, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, of the establishment of the Eminent Persons Group (EPG). Senator Hugh Segal is a member of the Group.

“I welcome the establishment of the Eminent Persons Group, which will help the Commonwealth strengthen its role in the international community,” said Minister Cannon. “I am also very pleased that Senator Hugh Segal is a member of the Group. With his wide experience and strong commitment to this organization, Senator Segal will bring great value to its deliberations.”

At the 2009 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Trinidad and Tobago, leaders called for the creation of an eminent persons group, which would bring the Commonwealth’s many institutions into a stronger and more effective framework of cooperation and partnership.

“This group will help ensure that Commonwealth institutions and programs remain anchored in the organization’s core values and principles: respect for democracy, human rights, the rule of law and good governance,” said Minister Cannon. “Canada, as the organization’s second-largest funder, strongly supports Commonwealth programs and activities that reflect these core values and principles.”

The EPG’s members will be representative of the diversity of the Commonwealth. They will participate as individuals and will not represent the views of any member government.

On June 9, Secretary-General Sharma and Abdou Diouf, Secretary-General of La Francophonie, visited Ottawa at the invitation of Prime Minister Stephen Harper to discuss Canada’s plans and priorities for the G-8 and G-20 summits and to offer the views of the two organizations and their members.

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