Minister Joly concludes successful participation in Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Ministers’ Meeting

News release

June 25, 2022 - Kigali, Rwanda - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today concluded a productive trip to Kigali, Rwanda, where she participated in the Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Ministers Meeting.

While in Kigali, the Minister also joined Prime Minister Trudeau at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. Ahead of this meeting, foreign ministers and senior officials from the Commonwealth’s 54 nations gathered in-person for the first time in almost 3 years to underscore shared commitments to cooperation, global resilience in the post COVID pandemic recovery, trade investment, the fight against climate change, and the impact of global food and energy shortages, particularly in vulnerable member states.

Throughout her meetings and bilateral discussions to advance shared priorities, Minister Joly underscored the leadership role that the Commonwealth can play in pursuing efforts towards a strong, coordinated approach to Russia’s unprovoked and unjustifiable aggression against Ukraine. She also stressed, at an event focused on women and girls, the need for concerted efforts towards gender equality and women’s empowerment by eliminating violence against women and girls and placing them in leadership and decision-making positions.

During her visit, Minister Joly announced Canada’s intention to enhance its diplomatic capacity with Rwanda by converting the Canadian office in Kigali into a high commission. The Minister also announced an air transport agreement between Canada and Rwanda that will encourage tourism and business and ensure greater legal certainty for air services between the two countries while building stronger links between their people.

To bring a renewed focus to Canada’s relationship with the African Union and strengthen ongoing efforts on shared priorities, Minister Joly announced that Canada is establishing a dedicated mission and permanent observer to the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


“As the world confronts the impact of Russia’s war in Ukraine, it has never been more critical for the Commonwealth to demonstrate its capacity and willingness to make a difference. Together, Commonwealth members represent a third of the world’s population. We have a solemn duty to stand up and rise to the challenges of the 21st century and build a better future for our peoples.”

- Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Quick facts

  • In 2021-2022, Canada’s financial contribution to the Commonwealth totaled $10.86 million, of which $1.22 million went to the Commonwealth Foundation, $7.04 million to the Commonwealth Secretariat, and $2.6 million to the Commonwealth of Learning. 

  • Headquartered in Burnaby, British Columbia, the Commonwealth of Learning is the only intergovernmental Commonwealth organization focused exclusively on open learning, distance education and technology-based learning. Through the organization, Canada advances shared priorities in education and gender equality and empowerment of women, girls and people living with disabilities.

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Adrien Blanchard
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

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