Historic Declaration of the Commonwealth Games Federation© Photo by Annice Lyn/Getty Images for the Commonwealth Games Federation

The General Assembly of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) in Singapore has unanimously approved the Commonwealth Sport Declaration on Reconciliation and Partnership with Indigenous Peoples, welcoming new members.

The historic Declaration reflects the Commonwealth Sport Movement's commitment to addressing issues of truth and reconciliation through sports and honoring the culture, heritage, and experiences of Indigenous Peoples within the Commonwealth. Emphasis has been placed on the benefits of sports for Indigenous peoples, including physical, cultural, spiritual, and mental well-being, support for sustainable sports policies and programs, investment in training and mentorship for Indigenous youth, and the integration of Indigenous sports into schools and community programs.

Ava Hill, Former Chief and Co-Chair of the Indigenous Working Group, stated: "This Declaration represents a profound commitment to the rights and opportunities of Indigenous Peoples. It is a testament to the power of collaboration and dialogue. As we move forward, we are dedicated to ensuring that the principles outlined in this Declaration are implemented, leading to meaningful change for Indigenous communities across the Commonwealth."

Additionally, at the General Assembly, Gabon and Togo were voted in as members of the CGF, bringing the total number of independent member nations and territories to 74, the highest it has ever been. Joining the Commonwealth Sport family is highly significant as it presents a transformative opportunity. Gabon and Togo can now participate in Games and Development programs that have far-reaching, positive impacts on athletes and communities alike. The admission of these two nations also demonstrates the continued growth and appeal of the Commonwealth Sport Movement.

In addition to this historic declaration, the General Assembly also included an update on progress since the withdrawal of the State of Victoria as the host for the 2026 Commonwealth Games. Ongoing work in four regions to secure a host was highlighted, as well as the exploration of innovative concepts for future Games, a key commitment of Commonwealth United, the CGF’s Strategic Plan 2023-2034.

Katie Sadleir, Chief Executive Officer of the CGF, commented: "We have informed our members about the extensive work being done to find a solution for the Games that is in the best interest of athletes and the wider Commonwealth Sport Movement, and we have had constructive and forward-looking discussions. We are acutely aware that timeframes are tight and are committed to providing greater clarity in early 2024”.