Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting
Notes for Remarks to Commonwealth Heads of Government Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, 2003 (CHOGM) Abuja, Nigeria, 5 December 2003 by Mr. Lewis Perinbam, O.C. Chairman of the Board of Governors Commonwealth of Learning // Mr. President, Your Excellencies, Mr. Secretary-General: As the new Chairman of the Commonwealth of Learning I am grateful for the honour to address you on behalf of it's Board of Governors. I count it a privilege to have been asked to become its Chairman. // When COL was established former Commonwealth Secretary-General Shridath Ramphal, noted that, "it is not often that ideas emerge which stir the imagination and beckon people to work for their fulfilment." COL is one such idea and it is to the credit of Commonwealth Heads of Government that they seized on it when they created the Commonwealth of Learning in Vancouver fifteen years ago. It was a bold and imaginative initiative - an act of faith that has been more than fulfilled. COL is now established as the premier multilateral organisation in open and distance learning. In creating it, Commonwealth Heads of Government have forged new paths for the educational advancement of Commonwealth countries and to bring education within the reach of the Commonwealth's peoples. This is the significance of your action - it is your achievement and it should be a source of pride to all Commonwealth Heads of Government. COL's Report entitled "The World of Knowledge" which your Delegations have received will give you a glimpse of some of COL's accomplishments in the past three years. We would welcome your reactions to it. // I wish to express the gratitude of COL's Board of Governors to your governments for your generous financial, as well as in-kind support. For its part, COL's record speaks for itself. It enjoys widespread respect because it is an agency which recognises that the services it renders are more important than itself. And, in keeping its operating costs at less than 18% of its budget, it ensures that its slender resources go far beyond what can be normally expected. More importantly, COL has heralded a new era in educational cooperation in the Commonwealth.