Ocean pollution a focus as Commonwealth Summit opens

The multilateral forum, long considered a talk shop, has taken on a new significance for Britain as it prepares to leave the European Union.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II speaks at the formal opening of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting at Buckingham Palace in London on 19 April 2018. Picture: AFP

PRETORIA - Queen Elizabeth’s opened the Commonwealth Summit in London, speaking about the healing hand the 53-nation grouping has on world affairs.

In what is probably the last such gathering she’ll attend, the Queen has handed the baton to her son Prince Charles to continue the work done by herself and his grandfather since 1949.

Dealing with oceanic pollution is high on the agenda of Commonwealth leaders, including President Cyril Ramaphosa.

They’re also expected to bring Zimbabwe back into the fold under its new President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The multilateral forum, long considered a talk shop, has taken on a new significance for Britain as it prepares to leave the European Union.

The Commonwealth contains Australia, Canada, India and South Africa among Britain’s top trading partners.