Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 1971

1st Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting
Host country  Singapore
Dates 1422 January 1971
Cities Singapore
Participants 32 (of 32 members)
Heads of State or Government 26
Chair Lee Kuan Yew
(Prime Minister of Singapore)
Follows 1969
Precedes 1973
Key points
Singapore Declaration
British arms sales to South Africa

The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 1971 was the first Meeting of the Heads of Government of the Commonwealth of Nations (formerly named the British Commonwealth). It was held in Singapore, between 14 January 1971 and 22 January 1971, and was hosted by that country's Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew.

British Prime Minister Edward Heath advised Queen Elizabeth II not to attend the conference due to a row within the Commonwealth over Britain selling arms to South Africa.[1] It would be the only CHOGM the Queen would miss until 2013.[2]

Ugandan president Milton Obote was overthrown by Idi Amin in a military coup, whilst he was attending the meeting.

At the meeting the Singapore Declaration of Commonwealth Principles was agreed setting out the core political values that would form the main part of the Commonwealth's membership criteria.


  1. "Only the Queen understands the true value of the Commonwealth". Daily Telegraph. 27 December 2013.
  2. "Concern as the Queen misses Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka". The Telegraph. 7 May 2013. Retrieved 7 May 2013.
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