The reason provided for President Ian Khama’s low attendance of international summits is that they often clash with his other national priorities and pre-scheduled engagements. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi confirmed to Parliament this week that President Khama has never attended both African Union (AU) and UN General Assemblies and the African Caribbean Pacific- European Union meeting. Since 2008 AU has held 16 ordinary sessions of Heads of State and government meetings while UN has held eight General Debate of the UN General Assembly (UNGA).
According to Venson-Moitoi, out of the four Commonwealth Heads of State and Government meetings, President Khama has only attended two. Khama, who is currently the chairman of SADC, has only attended nine out of 16 of the regional block heads of state meetings. One of President Khama’s favourite areas is environment and he has recently attended the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) which was held in Paris, France last month. Khama has not missed any of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) Head of State meetings. One of the reasons given by Venson-Moitoi why President Khama didn’t attend the meetings is that it they were competing with other national priorities or conflicting schedule.