Prime Minister Trudeau holds a media availability in London, United Kingdom
Hello everyone, thanks for being with us. I am very pleased to be here with our Minister of International Development and the Francophonie, Marie-Claude Bibeau, who had a very busy day with meetings and roundtables. We have just concluded a very productive day here at the leaders’ session in London, as part of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. Every two years, this meeting brings together the leaders of the Commonwealth countries to talk about issues facing our citizens. This is the perfect venue for having frank and open discussions among partners and for talking about our common approach to tackling the issues we’re facing.
This year the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting focuses on four important pillars: fairness, prosperity, security, and sustainability. Over the past few days, we’ve talked about our shared commitment to democracy and the importance of investing in growth that works for everyone. We know that strong societies are those rooted in a rules-based international order, and those that respect the underlying principles of democratic governance.
We also know that strong prosperous societies are those where the economic benefits of commerce and trade are extended to all people, not just a privileged few. We have been happy to bring this message and these values to our discussions here in London. Canada has been proud to champion the rights of LGBTQ2 people around the world and strongly promote the empowerment of women and girls. And we used this international gathering as an opportunity to discuss the pressing need to safeguard our oceans.
On this, Canada looks forward to endorsing the Commonwealth Blue Charter. As you know, Canada is president of the G7 this year and the theme of ocean protection will be a key part of our agenda.
I also had an excellent conversation with the heads of island and coastal states of the Commonwealth where we talked about protecting our oceans, about ways to make our coastlines more resilient and about best practices in addressing the consequences of climate change in the world. On the margins of this meeting, I participated in a townhall with the Mayor of London and the Prime Minister of New Zealand. That activity gave us a chance to celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of women winning the right to vote in the United Kingdom.
Prime Minister Theresa May and I sat down to talk about the importance of trade between Canada and the UK. I also held an audience with her Majesty the Queen. Yesterday I met with some of Canada’s closest friends and partners, Prime Ministers May, Ardern, and Turnbull, and we had an excellent discussion about cyber security and how we can work together to keep our people safe. I also reiterated that Canada stands united with our allies against the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime. We strongly support an ongoing concerted effort by the international community to denounce these attacks.
This morning I met with some young Canadian professionals stationed here in London and learned about their experiences living and working abroad. I also met with leaders from Rwanda, Kenya, South Africa, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Mozambique, the Solomon Islands, and Botswana to discuss climate resilience and access to capital for developing nations.
I look forward to taking the conversations I’ve had over the last few days to the G7 where Canada’s presidency will focus on tackling some of the most pressing challenges of our generation.
In short, we had a very busy schedule in London, and tomorrow, we leave for Halifax.