Fiji was represented by FASANOC’s President Mrs Makarita Lenoa and Secretary General Ms Lorraine Mar at the 2019 Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) General Assembly. The Assembly was held in Kigali, Rwanda from 3-5 September at the flagship Kigali Convention Centre with the event marking the ten-year anniversary of Rwanda joining the list of Commonwealth nations in 2009.
Rwanda itself is the newest member of the Commonwealth and the second country (as well as Mozambique) in the Commonwealth without historic UK ties.
The CGF has committed to embedding human rights and influencing social changes in the work they do following the series of workshops at the Assembly.
In conjunction with the Centre for Sport & Human Rights, the workshops focused on how CGAs can work collaboratively with human rights agencies and governments to influence positive change.
Across the 71 nations and territories that make up the Commonwealth are some of the world’s largest and smallest countries, from India, with over 1.2 billion people to Nauru with a population of 10,000.
This combined population of 2.4 billion represents a third of the world’s total population. More than 60% of Commonwealth citizens are young people aged under 30.
The Commonwealth Charter brings together the values and aspirations which unites its diverse membership, outlining its joint commitment to democracy, human rights and the rule of law, to promote peace and prosperity and to improve the lives of all peoples of the Commonwealth.
Speaking at the General Assembly, CGF President Dame Louise Martin DBE said: “All of us across the Commonwealth and the Commonwealth Sports Movement must work hard to shift the dial on human rights and mega sporting events.
“Put simply, we are one hundred percent committed to upholding the ideals and principles that underpin our respect, protection and promotion of human rights in all that we do. It starts with our vision – to create peaceful, sustainable and prosperous communities through sport.
“Today, more than ever, and across the Federation and our CGAs, we must be very explicit about the value we place on host communities and citizens and the positive impacts we seek to achieve in all that we do.”
Mary Harvey, the CEO of the Centre for Sport & Human Rights, said: “Today was an historic day where the Commonwealth Movement engaged in a discussion on embedding, protecting and taking action to protect human rights in sport.”
This was the first CGA for Mrs Lenoa, in her capacity as President for FASANOC. She said she thoroughly enjoyed the meeting and workshops and was extremely impressed that the CGF decided to host the Assembly in Rwanda. I got to learn that Rwanda was the first country in the world that legislated the ban of single use plastic bags in 2007. Also, I was really moved that Rwanda used sports as the medium to move the country forward after The Rwandan Civil War in 1994.
She said she was aware of the Human Rights atrocities that took place in Rwanda. “However coming to Rwanda and seeing things for myself has certainly put a lot of things into perspective.” Lenoa said the slogan – sport is just the beginning resonated very strongly with me. This really showcased how leadership can be used for good or otherwise, she said.
The 2019 General Assembly also saw the quadrennial elections take place for every position on the Executive Board and Sports Committee as well as the approval of a refreshed Transformation 2022 strategy and the continued evolution of the CGF’s Governance and Regulations.
Dame Louise Martin DBE has been re-elected Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) President for a second four-year term at the CGF.
Dame Louise (Scotland) was re-elected unopposed at the Kigali Convention Centre four years after she took up the role in 2015, when she became the first female to hold this office in the history of the Commonwealth Sports Movement.
She has a long and distinguished association with the Games as an athlete – swimming for Team Scotland at the Perth 1962 Commonwealth Games – and thereafter as Team Manager, Administrator and Honorary Secretary.
She was appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty The Queen in the 2019 New Year Honours List.
A list of the newly elected Executive Board and Sport Committee is below:
President (One Position):
Dame Louise Martin DBE (Scotland)
Vice President (Three positions):
Bruce Robertson CM, CPA, CITP (Canada)
Kereyn Smith MNZM (New Zealand)
Chris Jenkins (Wales)
Regional Vice President (One position per region):
Africa: Miriam Moyo (Zambia)
Americas: Simons J.P (Bermuda)
Asia: Chris Chan (Singapore)
Caribbean: Fortuna Belrose (Saint Lucia)
Europe: Harry Murphy MBA (Gibraltar)
Oceania: Hugh Graham (Cook Islands)
Sport Committee (One position per region):
Africa: Sani Ndusa (Nigeria)
Americas: Linda Cuthbert (Canada)
Asia: Lt Gen Retired Sayid Arif Hasan (Pakistan)
Caribbean: Ephraim Penn (British Virgin Islands)
Europe: Helen Phillips MBE (Wales)
Oceania: Craig Phillips (Australia)
In addition, deliberations took place to further evolve the Commonwealth Games Sports Programme while the new CGF Brand and Logo was formally showcased for the very first time. Also of interest to the Fiji Delegates was the presentation by Birmingham, host for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.