Date & Time2:00pm, 22 June 2022 - 3:30pm, 22 June 2022
About the event
How can the Commonwealth be a positive force for change on the topics that the People’s Forum has explored – and more? Join us for this final CPF event where the people of the Commonwealth share their vision for the future of the Commonwealth and use examples from their own lives and work to inspire advocacy and action for change.
We ask everyone to come to this interactive, inclusive conversation with their ideas about what is important, what must change and what support they need to help lead the Commonwealth into the future. We will try to learn from each other, as well as from the Commonwealth’s complex past.
Trust in the institutions and values that hold us together is eroding at the very time where global cooperation on crucial issues of common concern has never been more important. The goal of this session is to provoke deep discussion and personal reflection about where we are now, and how the Commonwealth – its Member States, its institutions and its people – can help inspire real and meaningful change.
The session is aimed directly at all those who care about the Commonwealth; those who have a perspective on its past; and those who have a stake in its future. This includes not just civil society groups who are working on issues that matter to the people of the Commonwealth but also individuals, groups and institutions that are directly involved in its functioning, including Commonwealth staffers, accredited organisations, High Commissioners, heads of State and other Member State officials.
Key questions for the session
A unique position? We will explore the unique position the Commonwealth holds in the multilateral space and both the benefits and challenges of that space. How can the Commonwealth better use its unique position?
Values? The Commonwealth Charter sought to reflect the shared values of the Commonwealth’s citizens. But as we approach the Charter’s 10-year anniversary (March 2023) we reflect on whether the Charter needs refreshing to meet the diverse needs of its citizens for today’s more complex world and the future. Where and how can the Charter be renewed and how can civic voices play a critical role in shaping this renewal and advancing the resulting values?
Where to from here? Thought leaders from across sectors and experiences have provided ideas for how to invigorate the Commonwealth and take advantage of its unique position. We will hear their guidance on how to turn these ideas into actions and ask leaders of Commonwealth institutions to respond.
Alicia A. Wallace is a queer Black feminist, gender expert, and research consultant. She has worked on numerous projects including a guide—commissioned by the Equality & Justice Alliance—for Commonwealth parliamentarians on engaging young people in legal reform and a guide for NGOs on post-legislative scrutiny for Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD). She is the Director of Equality Bahamas which promotes women’s and LGBTQI+ people rights as human rights through advocacy, public education, and community engagement. Its current work includes the #Strike5ive campaign to criminalize marital rape, a CEDAW (Convention) speaker series to familiarize members of the public with the Convention, and climate innovation labs engaging affected communities in solution-building.
Alicia is a Steering Committee member at the Feminist Alliance for Rights (FAR), an Advisor for the grants program and the Online Education Coordinator at Queen’s Commonwealth Trust (QCT), and former Caribbean Coordinator at FRIDA the Young Feminist Fund. She is skilled in creating safe spaces for critical dialogue and designing community-led projects. She writes a weekly column in The Tribune on socio-political issues and has numerous publications including academic papers, toolkits, and articles.
Justin Koonin is co-chair of UHC2030 the international multistakeholder partnership for Universal Health Coverage.. He is also co-chair of the WHO Social Participation Technical Network and of the SDG3 Global Action Plan Civil Society Advisory Group, a civil society representative to the Access to COVID Tools Accelerator (ACT-A), and a member of multiple expert WHO panels. At a national level, Justin is President of ACON (formerly AIDS Council of New South Wales), Australia’s largest civil society organisation working on HIV prevention, care and support, and the health of sexuality and gender diverse people more broadly. Justin’s work spans a diverse range of sectors. In addition to his efforts in health and human rights, he has worked as a postdoctoral researcher in mathematics at the University of Sydney, as a data scientist at PwC, and (currently) as a fund manager at Allan Gray. He holds a Ph.D. in Pure Mathematics from the University of Sydney, and is a Chartered Financial Analyst charterholder, as well as a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Ineza is an Eco-Feminist impact-driven actor in the climate change sector serving the global community-based in Rwanda. She believes in the value of sharing frontline voices, concerns and actions in the pursuit to achieve global climate justice. Her passion for climate justice can be tracked in her involvement in The Green Protector, where she serves as the executive officer, and the Loss and Damage Youth Coalition, where she serves as the coordinator. She holds a bachelor degree in Water and environmental engineering from the University of Rwanda. She is fascinated by climate justice politics as she is a junior researcher in the sector.
Dr Linda Yueh is Executive Chair of the Royal Commonwealth Society. She is Fellow in Economics at St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford; Adjunct Professor of Economics at London Business School; and Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She has written/edited 10 books; the latest is The Great Economists: How Their Ideas Can Help Us Today, which was a Best Business Book of the Year selected by The Times.
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