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Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting

The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHGM) is a biennial meeting of the heads of government from all nations of The Commonwealth. Every two years the meeting is held in a different member state, and is chaired by that nation's respective Prime Minister or President. Most meetings include an appearance by Queen Elizabeth II, who is the titular Head of the Commonwealth.

In the past, CHGM summits have attempted to orchestrate common policies on certain contentious issues and current events, with a special focus on issues affecting member nations. In the past, CHGMs have discussed the continuation of apartheid rule in South Africa and how to stop it, military coups in Pakistan and Fiji, and allegations of electoral fraud in Zimbabwe. Sometimes the member states agree on a common idea or solution, and release a joint statement declaring their opinion.

GHGMs are also the forum in which member states can be expelled from the Commonwealth, after a vote.

Still relevant?

As the cultural and economic links between the Commonwealth countries continue to decline, the meeting's agenda has become more and more relaxed and its relevance questioned. The Commonwealth has grown increasingly large in recent years (it now has over 40 members) and as a result is becoming an increasingly difficult forum to establish any sort of political consensus in. Fears have also been raised that the Commonwealth's agenda is unfairly monoploized by African issues. This is unpopular with non-African member states, who resent the exlusion of discussing the affairs of their reigons, but also with the African states themselves, many of whom view still view the Commonwealth as a neo-colonial, "white" organization. The future of the Commonwealth thus remains in doubt. Some have proposed the organization be split in half, with one half for African affairs, and one for the affairs of all other member states.