CHOGM begins in Port of Spain

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Port of Spain, Nov 28 (ANI): The meeting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) began here on Saturday with a call by the Queen Elizabeth, to take the leadership role in the UN Copenhagen Summit on climate change.

Addressing the summit the Queen said: "The threat to the environment will continue to attract the security and stability of millions for years to come."

"Many of those affected are among the most vulnerable and live in the Commonwealth," she added.

The opening ceremony included a colourful cultural function with participation from many cultures.

Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held separate meetings with France President Nicolas Sarkozy, British Prime Minster Gordon Brown.

According to the External Affairs Ministry sources, views on climate change and Afghanistan were exchanged in these meetings.

Dr Singh shared India's views that we want a common but differentiated responsibility between the developed and the developing nations to mitigate the ill effects of climate change.

"Adequate transfer of finances and technology from the developed countries to the developing countries is necessary for the purpose," he said.

Both Britain and France agreed that there is a need to continue the present course of action to combat terrorism and stability and security in Afghanistan and Pakistan is important for the development of the region.

External Affairs ministry sources said, in their hour long meeting, President Sarkozy and Dr Singh discussed measures to counter terrorism.

The two leaders expressed satisfaction on cooperation in the civil nuclear energy sector.

Sharing India's views, President Sarkozy said the upcoming Copenhagen meet on climate change should not miss the opportunity to tackle the problem.

India has nothing to lose and everything to gain by being in Copenhagen," he said.

President Sarkozy said:"If India is to be heard, it needs to be present," and expressed hope that Dr Singh will attend the Copenhagen summit.

According to sources, as of now, Dr Singh is not going to Copenhagen. Union Environment and Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh will be representing India.

President Sarkozy's views reflect those of India, which has been insisting that the efforts to take some decision should not be given up and some results must be achieved at the forthcoming meeting.

The French President said all nations need to get commitments with binding decisions, adding the industrial and emerging countries like Brazil must commit to a 50 per cent carbon reduction by 2050. (ANI)

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