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A Commonwealth of the People? Part 2

Crisis, Opportunities And Multilateralism

Jump to Guests
Victoria Rubadiri
Sir Ronald Sanders
Sir Peter Gluckman
William Shoki
Alicia Wallace
Date & Time
2:00pm, 23 November 2021 - 3:00pm, 23 November 2021
About the event

The Covid-19 pandemic provided a rare opportunity for the Commonwealth to shine. It was a chance for this organisation to come together as 54 Member States and deliver vaccines and financial and technical support to those who needed them.

While there were some small successes, especially in the early days, many would argue that the Commonwealth failed to demonstrate the level of solidarity and cooperation that it could have, most especially towards its smaller and more vulnerable Member States.

The original optimism was well-grounded. The Commonwealth should be well suited to multilateral action: 54 member states, bound by shared histories, now united by shared interests.

Yet this solidarity failed to fully materialise. Is there something wrong; or are our expectations unrealistic?

This event will reflect on the Commonwealth’s role in the big issues that really matter to its people and ask important questions. What do the experiences of Covid-19 tell us about the Commonwealth system and where we need to focus our efforts to reform and re-imagine? How can this re-imagining be applied to the Commonwealth’s work around the climate crisis – an even greater challenge for the planet and in particular, for the Commonwealth’s small and vulnerable states?

This is the second of three hard-hitting discussions about what it really means to be a Commonwealth of the People.

Victoria Rubadiri Moderator
Sir Ronald Sanders Speaker
Sir Peter Gluckman Speaker
William Shoki Speaker
Alicia Wallace 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.

Sir Ronald Sanders

Sir Ronald Sanders is a diplomat, businessman and academic. He is currently Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the United States of America and the Organisation of American States, and non-resident High Commissioner to Canada for Antigua and Barbuda.

Prior to his appointment as Ambassador in 2015, he was a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London in the UK and a Senior Fellow at Massey College, University of Toronto.

Sir Ronald has served on the Board of the International Programme for the Development of Communication at UNESCO (1983-1985) and as an elected member of the Executive Board of UNESCO (1985-1987). He was twice High Commissioner to the United Kingdom for Antigua and Barbuda and Ambassador to the World Trade Organization (WTO). He has served on numerous committees, task forces and advisory boards to formulate and implement policy for the Caribbean and the Commonwealth, and is the author of several works on the Commonwealth.

He has also served in the private sector on the Board of Directors of media, telecommunications, banking and sustainable forestry companies in Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Barbados and Guyana.

Sir Peter Gluckman

Professor Sir Peter David Gluckman ONZ KNZM FRS FMedSci FRSNZ is a New Zealand scientist. He is the current President of the International Science Council, and is the founding member and current Chair of the International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA).

In 1980, Sir Peter established a research group in perinatal physiology at the University of Auckland. He then became executive Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences from 1992-2001 and from 2001-2009 was founding Director of the Liggins Institute of the University of Auckland.

In 2008, Sir Peter became the first person to hold the position of Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minister. He was re-appointed for two subsequent terms, until 2018.

Sir Peter’s research has won him numerous accolades and international recognition, including Fellowship of the Commonwealth’s most prestigious scientific organisation, The Royal Society. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of NZ in 1986, conferred a Companion of the NZ Order of Merit in 1997 and conferred a knighthood in 2009. In 2001 he received New Zealand’s top science award, the Rutherford Medal. He was named New Zealander of the Year by the New Zealand Herald in 2004.

He has published over 500 refereed papers, 150 reviews and authored both technical and popular science books.

William Shoki

William Shoki is a South African journalist and activist. He is Staff Writer of Africa Is A Country, where he writes extensively about the country’s politics and society.

William studied BA Law at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Alicia Wallace

Alicia Wallace is a queer Black feminist, gender expert, and research consultant. She is the Director of Equality Bahamas which promotes women’s and LGBTQ+ rights as human rights through public education, community programming, and advocacy.

Alicia received a Queen’s Young Leaders Award in 2015 for her work to promote equal rights in the Bahamas and enable women to reach their potential.

She is passionate about social justice work, and using creativity as a tool. She is a communications expert, skilled in creating safe spaces for critical dialogue, designing and administering surveys, and interpreting data and statistics for mass consumption.

Alicia was the Founder of Hollaback! Bahamas in 2014 — part of a global movement to end street harassment — and used the platform to broaden discussions on feminism and gender-based violence and discrimination. She is a steering committee member of Feminist Alliance for Rights (FAR). She has a weekly column on social and political issues in the Bahamian daily newspaper The Tribune and has published academic papers.

Alicia produces The Culture RUSH, a newsletter on social justice and pop culture, and has recently launched Scorch, her Patreon which makes academic text and theory more accessible to wide audiences with clear explanations, links to news, and pop culture references.

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