The group of Commonwealth nations on Sunday collectively pledged to fight terrorism by preventing the use of their territories for terrorist acts or financing and also vowed to accelerate efforts to combat piracy and strengthening maritime security in the Indian Ocean.

In a communiqué issued at the end of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Perth, the 54-nation bloc committed to “unequivocally preventing the use of their territories for the support, incitement to violence or commission of terrorist acts”.

They also agreed to work towards implementing the necessary legal framework for the suppression of terrorist financing, and preventing the raising and use of funds by terrorists, their front organisations, and transnational terrorist organisations.

They also committed to “accelerate efforts to conclude negotiations on a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism”.

The heads of states of the bloc met here for a three-day meeting that ended today. India was represented by Vice-President Hamid Ansari.

Tackling Piracy

On the international security front, piracy was another issue that figured prominently in the communiqué as the group maintained their commitment to a stable and secure national and international environment.

Besides accelerating efforts to combat piracy and to strengthen maritime security, including through enhancing the capacity of coastal states, the communiqué also urged the international community to recognise that the menace of piracy in the Indian Ocean cannot be effectively tackled in the absence of political stability and security in Somalia.

It stressed for “concerted efforts towards strengthening the Transitional Federal Government and other state institutions, including the security sector”.

It also called for encouraging the international community to mobilise additional funding for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) as also combating proliferation and trafficking of illicit small arms and light weapons.

Other key issues

The Commonwealth leaders advocated the embracing of moderation as an important value to overcome all forms of extremism, as called for in the ‘Global Movement of the Moderates’ and improving legislation and capacity in tackling cyber crime and other cyber space security threats, including through the Commonwealth Internet Governance Forum’s Cyber Crime Initiative.

The group also affirmed support to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention and its Seventh Review Conference in December 2011 and pledged to continue tackling the root causes of conflict, including through the promotion of democracy, development and strong legitimate institutions.

Sri Lanka to host Summit in 2013

The Commonwealth today announced that Sri Lanka would host its next summit in 2013.

“Finally, to reaffirm their decisions to meet next in Sri Lanka in 2013 and thereafter in Mauritius in 2015, as well as to welcome the offer by Malaysia to host the 2019 CHOGM,” the communiqué said.

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