Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 1973

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2nd Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting
Dates 2–10 August 1973
Venue(s) Mont-Tremblant
Cities Canada Ottawa, Canada
Participants 33 (of 33 members)
Heads of State or Government 24
Chair Pierre Trudeau
(Prime Minister)
Follows 1971
Precedes 1975
Key points
Commonwealth Youth Programme
Nuclear weapons testing
International trade
European Economic Community relations with the developing world

The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 1973 was the second Meeting of the Heads of Government of the Commonwealth of Nations. It was held in Ottawa, Canada, between 2 August and 10 August 1973, and hosted by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.

The summit issued a Statement on Nuclear Weapon Tests that affirmed "the unfailing support of Commonwealth governments for the international Treaty banning nuclear weapon tests in the atmosphere, in outer space and under water. It appeals, furthermore, to the international community for a total ban on nuclear weapon tests in any environment."[1] Also discussed were changing relationships among United States, the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China, regional security, disarmament, the situation in the Middle East and South East Asia (i.e., the Vietnam War), the proposed creation of a peace zone in the Indian Ocean and the situation in Southern Africa and in particular Rhodesia's white minority rule government. Also discussed was the desirability of a world-wide expansion of trade through the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and negotiations between the European Economic Community and developing countries.[2]

Besides the policy topics discussed, the CHOGM saw a number of incidental, but lasting, innovations that helped define the work of the Commonwealth. The leaders held a private session in Mont-Tremblant, beginning the tradition of the 'retreat', whereby, in addition to the executive sessions, the heads of government leave the host city, taking only their spouses and one advisor each, to be isolated from outside influences and to discuss on less formal terms.[3]

The Commonwealth flag emerged from pennants that were designed to be displayed on the leaders' cars in Ottawa. Designed by Trudeau and Commonwealth Secretary-General Arnold Smith (a fellow Canadian), the flag was officially adopted three years later, on 26 March 1976.[4] Although the Royal Commonwealth Society petitioned the CHOGM to discuss creating a uniformly-observed Commonwealth Day, this would eventually be discussed, at the proposal of the Canadian delegation, at the 1975 Meeting, and the Canadian proposals adopted.[5]

Queen Elizabeth did not attend the 1971 conference but attended the Ottawa conference on the advice of Prime Minister Trudeau, despite being advised against attending by British Prime Minister Edward Heath.[6] She would attend all subsequent CHOGMs until absenting herself in 2013 when she began to refrain from long distance travel.


  1. ^ "Statements and Declarations". Commonwealth Network. Retrieved 20 Jan 2016. 
  2. ^ The Commonwealth at the Summit: Communiqués of Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings, 1944-1986, issued by the Commonwealth Secretariat, 1987.
  3. ^ Ingram, Derek (October 2007). "Twenty Commonwealth steps from Singapore to Kampala". The Round Table. 96 (392): 555–563. doi:10.1080/00358530701625877. 
  4. ^ Thomas, Dean (2004-03-31). "Commonwealth of Nations". Flags of the World. Retrieved 2008-01-14. 
  5. ^ "Jour du Commonwealth". Department of Canadian Heritage. Retrieved 2009-06-28. 
  6. ^ "Only the Queen understands the true value of the Commonwealth". Daily Telegraph. 27 December 2013.