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A Commonwealth of the People? Part 3

A Commonwealth Fit for Purpose – Where to From Here?

Jump to Guests
Victoria Rubadiri
Professor Hilary Beckles
Hon. Bogolo Kenewendo
Dr. Lawrence Gonzi
The Rt. Hon. Sir Malcolm Rifkind KCMG QC
Date & Time
2:00pm, 30 November 2021 - 3:00pm, 30 November 2021
About the event

The Eminent Persons Report highlighted the need to ensure that the institutions of the Commonwealth – from the Secretariat to the Heads of Government Meetings (CHOGM) to the Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) to the Commonwealth Foundation – must be fit for purpose: they must be structured and work in such a way as to be true to the Commonwealth’s values and its essential qualities of close collaboration and quiet, strategic diplomacy.

What is our assessment, ten years on? What are the priorities for change and how can this happen? Who is responsible? And how can civil society – the people of the Commonwealth – be brought into the Commonwealth project in meaningful ways?

This event will ask whether the institutions of the Commonwealth are fit for the future.

Victoria Rubadiri Moderator
Professor Hilary Beckles Speaker
Hon. Bogolo Kenewendo Speaker
Dr. Lawrence Gonzi Speaker
The Rt. Hon. Sir Malcolm Rifkind KCMG QC Speaker
Victoria Rubadiri

Victoria Rubadiri is a renowned broadcast journalist, radio and television presenter, and Internet personality from Kenya. She is known most for her ability to connect with her audience and tell compelling stories. She is a senior news anchor and journalist for Citizen TV, East Africa’s most-watched news network. Before moving to her current position, she was a news reporter and anchor for NTV.

Victoria won the 2020 most anticipated BBC World News Komla Dumor Award and is currently training with the BBC academy in London.

Victoria holds a Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She held a number of roles during her university years, which included writing evening news programs and serving as a field news reporter. She made her debut as a pioneer News Anchor at Capital FM.

She was also the host and co-producer of Kenya’s top-rated talk show ‘Victoria’s Lounge’, a show that discussed social issues ranging from mental health, gender equality and governance.

Beyond her work in the media, Victoria has also moderated high-level discussions across Africa of both regional and continental importance.

Professor Hilary Beckles

Professor Sir Hilary Beckles is a distinguished academic, international thought leader, and global public activist in the field of social justice and minority rights. He is the current Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies and also Chairman of the CARICOM Reparations Commission.

Before assuming the office of Vice Chancellor, Professor Beckles served as Principal and Pro-Vice Chancellor of The University of the West Indies from 2002 – 2015.

Professor Beckles is a member of the International Task Force for the UNESCO Slave Route Project and has been a consultant for the UNESCO Cities for Peace Global Programme. He was called upon by former UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, to serve as an inaugural member of his Science Advisory Board on Sustainable Development. He also served as an advisor to the UN World Culture Report.

In 2007, he received a knighthood, Commander Knight of St Andrew (KA), the highest national honour recognised in Barbados in recognition of his distinguished service in the fields of education, sports and the arts. He has received numerous honorary doctorates from around the world and recently received the Martin Luther King Jr. Peace and Freedom Award.

Professor Beckles has lectured extensively in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia, and has published over 100 peer-reviewed essays in scholarly journals, and over 13 books on subjects ranging from Caribbean history, gender relations, sport development and popular culture

Hon. Bogolo Kenewendo

Bogolo J. Kenewendo is a Global economist and Former Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry in Botswana.

Kenewendo is also a vocal advocate for gender equity and protection of children’s rights. She is a member of the G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council and a WPL Special Envoy to the G7 & G20. She is also a member of United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres’ High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation and group on Financing for Development, a member of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Future Council on Global Public Goods in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and a WEF Young Global Leader.

She currently serves as Managing Director of Kenewendo Advisory and Non-Resident Fellow with Center for Global Development.

Dr. Lawrence Gonzi

Dr. Lawrence Gonzi is the Former Prime Minister of Malta (2004-2008; 2008-2013). He led Malta during its first nine years as a member of the European Union, transforming the island nation into a modern and dynamic European country.

Dr. Gonzi also served as Speaker of the House from 1988 to 1996, Minister of Social Policy from 1998 to 2004, and Deputy Prime Minister from 1999 to 2004. In Parliament, he was both Leader of the House and Leader of the Opposition. He also retained the portfolio of Minister of Finance for the first four years of his tenure from 2004 to 2008.

In 2013 he led the Commonwealth Observer Group for the Maldivian presidential election.

Dr. Gonzi is now active in international politics and in his profession as a lawyer. He became a Member of the Global Leadership Foundation in 2016 and has been involved in a GLF project in Africa. He has been actively involved in the voluntary sector, particularly in the disability rights movement and mental health sector.

The Rt. Hon. Sir Malcolm Rifkind KCMG QC

The Rt. Hon. Sir Malcolm Rifkind KCMG QC was elected as a Member of Parliament in 1974 until 1997. He is a British Conservative Party politician who served in the cabinets (1986–97) of Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher and John Major.

Sir Malcolm was appointed a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in 1979 in the Scottish Office and later to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He was then promoted to Minister of State in the Foreign Office from 1983-86. He has served in various roles as a Cabinet minister, including: Secretary of State for Scotland in 1986; Secretary of State for Transport in 1990; Secretary of State for Defence from 1992-95, and Foreign Secretary from 1995-97. In 1997 he was knighted in recognition of his public service.

Sir Malcolm was re-elected as a Member of Parliament in May 2005 for Kensington and Chelsea. He served as the Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Welfare Reform until December 2005. He was elected as Member of Parliament for Kensington in May 2010 and remained in Parliament until 2015.

He served as UK representative on the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group 2010-2011 and as Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament from 2010 until 2015.

He is currently a member of the Executive Board for the European Leadership Network (ELN).

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