Environmental News from Africa:
The newly-expanded Commonwealth made broad commitments on Saturday to address climate change and boost trade, concluding a summit aimed at shoring up the relevance of a group that evolved from the British empire.
The club, whose 56 members range from India to the tiny Pacific island nation of Nauru, covers some 2.5 billion people, or about one-third of the world’s population. It presents itself as a network for cooperation, but critics say it needs to carve out a more concrete role and be less of a talking shop.
The week-long summit in Rwanda’s capital Kigali included comments from Britain’s Prince Charles expressing sorrow for his country’s role in the trans-Atlantic slave trade, the first time the Commonwealth has publicly addressed the subject.
Some members urged the organization to go further by discussing reparations to countries hurt by the slave trade.
There was no mention of the topic in the final communique or news conference, which instead focused on broad policy pronouncements about sustainable development, health care, and gender equality.
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