• Message for Commonwealth Day 2018

    This year the Commonwealth’s theme is ‘Towards a Common Future.’ It’s an aspiration, which many would subscribe to but what distinguishes the Commonwealth’s commitment is a focus on making that future fairer for all. For the Commonwealth fairness is a powerful concept. We invoke it for example in relation to the conduct of elections and […]

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  • Seasonal message from Vijay Krishnarayan Director-General of the Foundation

    On behalf of the Commonwealth Foundation I want to take a moment to extend good wishes to our supporters during this season of goodwill to all. It has been an important year for the Foundation – marking the successful conclusion of one Strategic Plan and the beginning of a new cycle. This is a time […]

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  • Mental health policy reform: time to decolonise our minds

    Mental health legislation in 20 per cent of Commonwealth countries was passed before 1960. The term “idiot” remains on the statutes of 10 Commonwealth countries. The law in many Commonwealth countries is in conflict with contemporary international human rights obligations towards people with mental illness. The roots of mental health legislation can often be traced […]

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  • Non-binary approaches to climate change: time is up for the politics of them and us

    It has taken two category five hurricanes to bring the Caribbean and climate change on to the world’s front pages. The nature of news is such that as we try to fathom the devastation wrought by Irma and Maria, the loss of life and livelihoods caused by the recent flooding in South Asia seem dim […]

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  • The occasional hum of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize

    ABOVE: Regional Winners in Singapore from left to right: Ingrid Persaud (for Caribbean region), Tracy Fells (for Canada and Europe region), Nat Newman (for Pacific region), Short Story Prize Judge Jacob Ross , Anushka Jasraj (for Asia region) and Akwaeke Emezi (for Africa region).   “And occasions being occasional, are a reason to hum…” It’s […]

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  • Healthy discussion: but will Ministers listen?

    Anton Kerr, former Director of HIV/AIDS alliance and chairman of Commonwealth Health Professions Alliance, makes the case for increased spending on health. Photo credit: Leo Kiss But will Ministers listen? That was the thought that nagged away throughout the short flight from London to Geneva as I travelled to attend this year’s Commonwealth Heath Minister’s […]

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  • The Commonwealth theme for 2017: all we are saying…

    It is right that the Commonwealth’s theme for 2017 “A Peace-building Commonwealth,” follows from last year’s “An Inclusive Commonwealth.” The explicit and logical connection between inclusion and peace is important. It takes on the notion that peace might be threatened by diversity and compels us to understand the relationship between pluralism and peace. It also […]

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  • Strategic Planning – Can it Really Make a Difference?

    Ultimately we want to see effective institutions that deliver better development outcomes as a result of civic influence. But can the new strategic plan get us there?

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  • Exploring the local in Brussels

    I step off the train feeling a little nervous. It’s my first time in Brussels since 23 June and I’m not sure what to expect.

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  • CIVICUS World Assembly in Bogota

    The World Assembly was one of the most diverse CIVICUS gatherings with more than 900 people converging in Bogota in April 2016. They reflected the gamut of civic perspective: concerned individuals; local groups; national associations; international federations; development donors; government officials; and the occasional tribune from business. The evidence from this year’s International Civil Society Week at the event is that new approaches are challenging the orthodoxies – space for some may be shrinking but for others new opportunities are being taken advantage of.

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