Prime Minister Justin Trudeau paid his respects on Thursday to victims of the 1994 Rwandan genocide in Kigali, the place he’s trying to construct consensus with Commonwealth nations to forestall a brand new humanitarian disaster.

Trudeau is the primary Canadian prime minister to go to the Kigali Genocide Memorial, which serves as the ultimate resting place of greater than 250,000 victims.

Trudeau laid a wreath at one of many tombs and crossed himself as members of the Rwandan army stood guard and performed a sombre melody on the bugle horn.

Greater than 800,000 had been killed over 100 days, together with Tutsis, average Hutus and others throughout the battle.

Trudeau is in Rwanda for the Commonwealth Heads of Authorities Assembly, the place he hopes to rally help for Ukraine in its struggle in opposition to the Russian invasion, and supply help to fight the geopolitical fallout of the battle.

The Commonwealth is made up of 54 impartial nations with historic ties to the British Crown, which collectively symbolize about 2.5 billion individuals.

The nations vary from a few of the richest economies on the earth to a few of the poorest.

A number of of these poorer nations within the Commonwealth have felt the pangs of famine that is turning into a urgent situation around the globe as entry to grain from Ukraine and Russia have been restricted by the conflict.

Trudeau is anticipated to fulfill with the summit’s host, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, later Thursday earlier than attending a state dinner together with Overseas Affairs Minister Melanie Joly.

It will likely be a chance to attempt to win help for an unlikely Commonwealth consensus on the battle between Ukraine and Russia.

Rwanda was considered one of 10 Commonwealth nations who abstained from a United Nations vote to sentence Russia’s actions in Ukraine in March.

Canada’s Excessive Commissioner to the UK Ralph Goodale says the Canadian delegation hopes to make an impression in crucial conversations concerning the battle, in addition to different key points like meals safety and local weather change.

Goodale, who serves on the board of governors of the Commonwealth, says Canada has a bigger platform to face on on the summit as a result of different worldwide powers like the US, Russia and China usually are not there.

“We can have vital contributions to make to some very crucial worldwide discussions,” Goodale instructed reporters in Kigali on Wednesday.

“There are nations within the Commonwealth which are very immediately affected by the specter of hunger. And that is introduced on by a whole lot of components, together with local weather change, but it surely’s notably now the consequence of the conflict in Ukraine and Russia’s aggression,” Goodale mentioned.

“It is critically vital for Canada to have the chance in a discussion board like this, the place you actually see the impression of the conflict in Ukraine, for Canada’s voice to be there.”

This would be the first time Commonwealth Heads of Authorities have met in individual since 2018. The 2020 summit, like most occasions, was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trudeau arrived in Kigali on Wednesday however the official welcome ceremony begins Friday. Leaders are anticipated to sit down down for a collection of closed-door conferences Friday and Saturday.

Although many world leaders, together with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, are anticipated to be in attendance for the summit discussions, different leaders have opted to remain house.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and new Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese are among the many absentees.

This report by The Canadian Press was first revealed June 23, 2022.

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