Leaders from the Commonwealth states have struck a common note at the beginning of their meeting in Malta by calling for rich countries to cut subsidies and open up their markets.
The heads of 53 mostly ex-British colonies want the World Trade Organisation summit next month to agree a fairer deal for poor countries. Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II highlighted the second key issue in her opening speech: “Determined and collective action can also help us tackle other challenges that cannot be dressed alone, such as the scourge of terrorism, which is a threat to us all and has directly affected a number of our countries,” she said. The Commonwealth summit happens once every two years. Together the leaders represent 1.8 billion people, around 30 percent of the world’s population. The two day summit is relatively informal, and allows leaders of smaller and poorer states to mingle with those from richer countries like Australia.