Britain will be the host for this meeting in London and at Windsor during the week of April 16, 2018. The overall theme will be “Towards a Common Future”.
I believe there should be discussion followed by positive action on the following themes:
1: India and Pakistan: There is an urgent need for détente with much increased civilian contact at all levels – sport, youth, voluntary groups, academics etc. This should lead to far more trade and tourism in both directions. All the above should pave the way towards an eventual solution to Kashmir issues;
2: Drugs and Criminals: The Commonwealth should work hard on removing the supply of narcotics and stimulants from the hands of organized crime.
3: Climate Change: As India industrialises it will add to world pollution. Nearby Bangladesh and many small islands are severely threatened by rising sea-levels. All can contribute to de-carbonizing our world.
4: Pollution of Oceans by plastic waste etc: This may be most acute in the Atlantic. The Commonwealth, however, could give a lead by encouraging best practice and preventing pollution everywhere.
5: Water Resources: Rivers such as the Nile, Niger, Volta, Zambezi, Brahmaputra are critically important for water and energy supplies. Some countries need desalinators, which might be powered by solar energy.
The Commonwealth, with its well-developed systems for communication and information exchange, is well-placed to tackle all the above issues.