By Our Reporter
Kampala: According to the communique published on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Sam K. Kutesa on Sunday received and held discussions with Rt Hon. Patricia Scotland, the Secretary-General of The Commonwealth who is in Uganda for a working visit.
Hon. Kutesa warmly welcomed the Secretary-General, whose last visit to Uganda was in May 2019 and reaffirmed Uganda’s support for the work of the Secretariat in Implementing the Commonwealth Charter and its organizational commitments.
This visit comes after the final report on the Evaluation of the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Support to Uganda from 2013/14 to 2018/19 was issued in August last year.
Hon. Kutesa expressed the Government of Uganda’s appreciation towards the continued Commonwealth partnership, collaboration, and support. He further called for alignment of the Commonwealth programs with the Work Plans of Government MDAs.
The Minister further thanked the Secretariat for their role in coordinating the Commonwealth efforts to respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic through the Virtual Commonwealth Leaders meeting and the Virtual Commonwealth Foreign Ministers meeting that was held last year. He noted that the meetings provided a platform to share experiences on practical ways of dealing with the social-economic effects of the pandemic.
On her part, the secretary-General praised Uganda’s continued role and support for The Commonwealth programs. In May 2019, Uganda hosted the ninth Commonwealth Africa Anti-Corruption Agencies Conference. Uganda also participated in the Secretariat Youth Program, which helped set up youth work associations.
She stressed the role and importance of the use of Information Technology and Connectivity of the Member States amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. She announced that The Commonwealth is in a position to support African Countries including Uganda in their efforts to work towards the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
However, it’s worth noting that President Museveni has on several occasions warned the western countries over their unnecessary interferences into Uganda’s political matters of which some are commonwealth subscribers.
Nakiwala Florence Kiyingi, State Minister for Youth and Children Affairs, and Professor Luis Franceschi, Senior Director, Governance and Peace Directorate at the Commonwealth Secretariat also attended the meeting.
During her visit to Uganda, the Secretary-General will meet with H.E The President, the First Lady, Ministers of Health, Justice, Trade, Gender, and the National Planning Authority.