The People's Forum 2022

Our Health, Our Planet, Our Future
Kigali, Rwanda | 21-22 June

About the People's Forum

Our planet and its people are facing challenges on an unimaginable scale. Recent events, most especially the COVID-19 pandemic, have exposed fragilities and weaknesses across every aspect of our politics, our culture and our social structures. This has taken place on top of massive change, the nature and pace of which is unprecedented in human history.

We need much better ideas – and more powerful, diverse voices – to properly hold ourselves, our governments and all those who exercise power to account. We need the voices and the ideas to lead the transformation of systems and attitudes that entrench inequality and marginalise so many.

The Commonwealth People’s Forum 2022 will ask and try to answer the big, important questions of our age. How do we harness the best of humanity – the forces of love, compassion, equality and justice – to advance our common future and protect our planet? How do we work together to build – or re-fashion – our institutions so that they support a world that leaves no one behind? And what role could – or should – the Commonwealth of Nations play in these vital steps towards a better world for all its people?

Framework

‘A society for all’ is how the World Summit for Social Development defined an inclusive society, in which every individual, each with rights and responsibilities, has an active role to play. At the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development lies such a society – a just, equitable, tolerant, open, and socially inclusive world in which the needs of the most marginalised are met and that the voices of future generations are heard.

That vision is made explicit in the Sustainable Development Goals, most especially SDG 16, with its explicit call for the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies, access to justice and effective, accountable and inclusive institutions. It also comes through strongly in the core values and principles laid out in the Commonwealth Charter.

Achieving the ambition of SDG16 will only be possible if we are honest about the challenges of equality and inclusion; if public institutions are held to account and open to scrutiny; if private power is democratically controlled; and if governance systems actually deliver on citizens’ needs.  In the age of the fourth industrial revolution, we must also ensure that the benefits and opportunities of progress are available to all in the form of dignified lives, decent work and protection and support of those in need.

The People’s Forum 2022 will be an opportunity for a collective and interactive exchange of ideas about the issues that matter most to the 2.4 billion citizens of the Commonwealth in 2022 as they recover from multiple crises and look ahead to a more just and inclusive world. It will do this by bringing together diverse voices and perspectives to challenge, engage and inspire a future that includes everyone.

Join the conversation: #CWpeople

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Programme

When
9:00 am, 21 Jun 2022 to 9:45 am, 21 Jun 2022 UTC +2
Address
Kigali, Rwanda

Opening Session: A Commonwealth Vision

A creative expression on the theme: Delivering a Common Future: Our Health, Our Planet, Our Future. Welcoming speech by a speaker of the Rwanda parliament.

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Event Hosts
Victoria Rubadiri
Mark de Lisser
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When
10:00 am, 21 Jun 2022 to 11:30 am, 21 Jun 2022 UTC +2
Address
Kigali, Rwanda

Building Resilient and Equitable National Health Systems

Throughout the Commonwealth, the past two years have laid bare the fragility and inequality of many national health systems, and the apparent incapacity of international systems and institutions to provide practical support. What can be done internally to help build up health systems?

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Speakers
Dr Ines Hassan
Dr Justin Koonin
Prof Senait Fisseha
Dr Ravi Rannan-Eliya
Dr Richard Mihigo
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When
12:00 pm, 21 Jun 2022 to 1:30 pm, 21 Jun 2022 UTC +2
Address
Kigali, Rwanda

Climate Justice and Leadership for Change in the Commonwealth

The effects of climate change are being felt throughout the Commonwealth, with some Member States experiencing global warming as a direct and immediate threat to their economies, their communities, and their way of life. The Commonwealth has a special responsibility to amplify their voices and build meaningful solidarity to protect their interests.

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Speakers
Dr Marlene Attzs
Dr Jimmy Fletcher
Harjeet Singh
Maxwell Gomera
Dr Emmanuel Ugirashebuja
Audrey Brown-Pereira
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When
3:00 pm, 21 Jun 2022 to 4:30 pm, 21 Jun 2022 UTC +2
Address
Kigali, Rwanda

Health and Climate: Meeting the Immediate Challenge of Financing

As countries seek to respond to the health and economic effects of recent crises, debt is surging to record levels, with Low-and Middle-income countries especially vulnerable. Their capacity to fund strong health systems, and to respond the impacts of climate change, is increasingly constrained. What can be done to support these countries to meet their climate and health goals?

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Speakers
Heidi Chow
Dr Donald Kaberuka
Alvin Mosioma
Dr Jimmy Fletcher
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When
6:00 pm, 21 Jun 2022 to 6:30 pm, 21 Jun 2022
Address
Kigali, Rwanda

Celebrating the 2022 Commonwealth Short Story Prize Winners

Now in its eleventh year, the Commonwealth Short Story Prize is awarded annually for the best piece of unpublished short fiction from the Commonwealth. This year’s regional winners have been selected and risen to the top from over 6700 entries, from across 52 Commonwealth countries. Details of the full 2022 shortlist can be found here.

All delegates are invited to celebrate this year’s winners in the presence of the overall winner of the 2022 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. We will hear about the judging process and hear excerpts from the winning short stories.

 

Speakers
Usta Kaitesi
Dr Anne Gallagher AO
Ms Louise Umutoni-Bower
2022 Overall winner
When
9:00 am, 22 Jun 2022 to 10:30 am, 22 Jun 2022 UTC +2
Address
Kigali, Rwanda

Innovations in Participatory Governance

This interactive debate will discuss innovations that are bringing people into governance: giving them a voice in shaping their institutions and holding them to account.

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Speakers
Dr Linda Yueh
Hon Protais Musoni
Dr Beth Chitekwe-Biti
Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr OBE
Dr Sohela Nazneen
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When
11:00 am, 22 Jun 2022 to 12:30 pm, 22 Jun 2022 UTC +2
Address
Kigali, Rwanda

Advancing Freedom of Expression in the Commonwealth

The Commonwealth Charter affirms that freedom of expression is essential to democratic societies and a basic condition for development. This session will involve a positive and forward-looking discussion of freedom of expression: why does it matter and how can it be protected? What can the Commonwealth do to support and advance free and responsible media?

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Speakers
Dr Anne T Gallagher AO
Victoria Rubadiri
Dionne Jackson-Miller
Dr Sa'eed Husaini
Julfikar Ali Manik
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When
2:00 pm, 22 Jun 2022 to 3:30 pm, 22 Jun 2022 UTC +2
Address
Kigali, Rwanda

A Commonwealth for All

How can the Commonwealth be a positive force for change on the topics that the People’s Forum has explored –and more? Join us the people of the Commonwealth to hear their vision for the future of the Commonwealth and use examples from their own lives and work to inspire advocacy and action for change.

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Speakers
Alicia Wallace
Dr Justin Koonin
Ineza Umuhoza Grace
Dr Linda Yueh
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When
2:00 pm, 21 Jun 2022 to 2:45 pm, 21 Jun 2022
Address
Delegate-Led Session

A Critical Appraisal of Brain Drain Amongst Healthcare Workers in the Commonwealth of Nations

Hosted by the Commonwealth Medical Association.

A panel discussion that will provide an opportunity to review the state of Human Resource for Health in the Commonwealth and its impact on Health justice and attainment of UHC, with the hope of addressing identified gaps through transformative and scalable initiatives to develop, promote, and retain HRH in the Commonwealth. 

Speakers
Dr Osahon Enabulele
Dr Kar Chai KO
Dr Muruga Raj Rajathurai
Dr Roland Aigbovo
When
2:00 pm, 21 Jun 2022 to 2:45 pm, 21 Jun 2022
Address
Kigali, Rwanda
Delegate-Led Session

Exploring the Nexus Between Climate Crisis and Modern Slavery: Impacts, Good Practices and Partnerships

Hosted by Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative

A moderated panel discussion that will explore the impacts of climate change on modern slavery, sharing the experience of affected States and civil society organisations, particularly from small states and share good practices to address the challenges imposed by climate change on eradicating modern slavery, understanding the role of the civil society and state actors. 

Speakers
Sneh Aurora
Adrian Alexander
Francisca Mbuli Awah
Katharine Bryant
Anne Pakoa - Contributor
When
4:45 pm, 21 Jun 2022 to 5:30 pm, 21 Jun 2022
Address
Kigali, Rwanda
Delegate-Led Session

Emerging From the Pandemic: Antimicrobial Resistance — a Call to Action 

Hosted by The Commonwealth Pharmacists Association.

An interactive discussion to highlight the global picture of AMR and the urgency to act, showcase Commonwealth initiatives tackling AMR through innovation, partnerships and transformation, reflect on opportunities and threats emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic regarding infection prevention and management, and discuss barriers to tackling AMR and action required to change systems and behaviours

Speakers
Winnie Nambatya
Flandrie Habyarimana
When
4:45 pm, 21 Jun 2022 to 5:30 pm, 21 Jun 2022
Address
Kigali, Rwanda
Delegate-Led Session

People-centred Approaches in Criminal Justice Systems: Trends and Challenges

Hosted by Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative 

A roundtable that will explore legal and policy initiatives across the Commonwealth that are focused on improving access to justice for people, particularly for the realisation of constitutional guarantees during arrest and detention, and improved access of marginalised persons through the establishment of robust legal aid systems. The session will also explore the role of civil society to improve people’s participation in justice systems.  

Speakers
Anika Holterhof
Jonathan Osei Owusu
Adrian N Alexander
Madhurima Dhanuka
When
8:00 am, 22 Jun 2022 to 8:45 am, 22 Jun 2022
Address
Delegate-Led Session

Commonwealth Futures – Strengthening the Contribution of Research to Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation

Hosted by The Association of Commonwealth Universities 

The session will be a practical, audience-participatory session designed to ensure the inclusion of youth voices in the programme design of The Commonwealth Futures Climate Research Cohort, a fellowship programme run by the ACU and funded by the British Council. Delegates will have the opportunity to directly shape and develop the research themes and design of this innovative programme.

Speakers
Dr Henri Count-Evans
Annabel Boud
Richard Grubb
When
8:00 am, 22 Jun 2022 to 8:45 am, 22 Jun 2022
Address
Kigali, Rwanda
Delegate-Led Session

What Does a Good Society Look Like? Bringing Marginalised Groups and People Into Policymaking

Hosted by The Commonwealth Equality Network

A conversation at which a diverse group of relevant representatives from different sectors and Commonwealth regions will explore some of the pathways for positive change that can help to create a just, equitable, tolerant and open society for all people in the Commonwealth and beyond – a world we must all strive together to achieve. 

Speakers
Gillio Baxter
Linda Baumann
Glenroy Murray
When
1:00 pm, 22 Jun 2022 to 1:45 pm, 22 Jun 2022
Address
Kigali, Rwanda
Delegate-Led Session

Delivering a Common Future through Inclusiveness and Citizenship Mainstreaming in Governance

Hosted by Royal Commonwealth Society Nigeria Branch

A conversation on how to improve government-citizenship relations at deepening democracy, enhancing good governance and promoting citizenship mainstreaming in governance through sharing different experiences by participants from different countries and unanimously arrive at an acceptable position in line with global best practices.

Speakers
Jimor Murtala
Stuart Mole
Alhaji Adamu Adamu
Clement I. Agba
Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq
When
1:00 pm, 22 Jun 2022 to 1:45 pm, 22 Jun 2022
Address
Kigali, Rwanda
Delegate-Led Session

A Multigenerational Commonwealth

Hosted by CommonAge

A moderated discussion that will draw on the CommonAge research paper “Ageing in the Commonwealth” which demonstrates the demographic challenges facing Commonwealth countries, challenge the Commonwealth to recognise the need for a more inclusive, multigenerational approach to the resilience of civil societies, and examine the role of older people within the context of the theme of “Our health, our planet, our future”, with a focus on how Commonwealth countries can ensure older people’s rights are respected in an age-friendly Commonwealth.

Speakers
Femada Shamam
Andrew Kavala
Elie Mugabowishema
Rev Francis Njuakom
When
5:00 pm, 22 Jun 2022 to 5:45 pm, 22 Jun 2022
Address
Kigali, Rwanda
Delegate-Led Session

Safeguarding Children in the Commonwealth

Hosted by Children and Families across borders

A roundtable discussion that will cover how we can work together to build systems protecting children from all forms of violence, including their sexual exploitation and abuse, and safeguard them, nationally, transnationally, and in the donor community, how best to protect children and families as they are displaced or move across borders, and how we can better hear and include young voices through, case studies of young carers’ experiences.

Speakers
Gerald Okiria
Charles Mbugua Chaste
Chaste Uwihoreye
When
5:00 pm, 22 Jun 2022 to 5:45 pm, 22 Jun 2022
Address
Kigali, Rwanda
Delegate-Led Session

Climate Justice

Hosted by Commonwealth Jewish Council (TBC)

A panel session that will hear from a range of religions, focussed not on their teachings but on what they – and we – might actually do to engage their adherents, the largest bloc of humanity in civil society on the planet, to act on making climate change a key concern and focus for action, inspired by their teachings and driven by their beliefs.