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AbstractCanadian Association for Distance Education / Association canadienne de l'éducation à distance, 2005 Annual Conference / Congrès annuel 2005, CADE and COL / L'ACED et COL, Welcoming remarks / Mot de bienvenue, 9 May 2005 by: Sir John Daniel, President & CEO, Commonwealth of Learning // In 1987 Canada hosted both the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, known as CHOGM, and the Sommet de la Francophonie. Prime Minister Mulroney made proposals to both meetings for new programmes that would apply technology to education, proposals that were developed with the help of a number of CADE people. As a result, at the CHOGM meeting the Heads of Government decided to create the Commonwealth of Learning. // COL is an intergovernmental development agency. What do I mean by development? Nobel laureate Amartya Sen defines development simply as the enhancement of freedom. A nation develops by the enhancement of the freedoms that its people enjoy. Freedom is not only the aim of development, but also the means by which it is reached. That is because people, acting as free agents, are the most effective drivers of development.