Commonwealth Day: Commonwealth Foundation Committed to Peace-Building

Director of Commonwealth Foundation says responsive governance important to building peace.

Commonwealth Day will take place on Monday 13 March 2017, and will be marked by celebrations in 52 countries around the Commonwealth. This year, the annual celebration is themed ‘A Peace Building Commonwealth’.

Speaking on the occasion Vijay Krishnarayan, Director of the Commonwealth Foundation, said:

“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 encourages us to acknowledge the importance of governance in creating an environment for peace”.

In the spirit of this year’s Commonwealth Theme, the Commonwealth Foundation will highlight projects that contribute to peace-building. The Foundation recently supported Global March in their efforts to fight child labour and was pleased when the Chair of Global March, Kailash Satyarthi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (jointly with Malala Yousef Sai) in 2014 for his work in this field.

A recently approved initiative, which will receive funding from the Commonwealth Foundation for the coming three years, aims to help young people shape the development of riverside slums in Port Harcourt in Nigeria using radio and music.

The Foundation’s Director said:

“These […] examples articulate the Commonwealth Foundation’s approach to peace-building, which emphasises the importance of civic voice and agency. They illustrate the centrality of young people to peace-building and […] show how those previously side-lined can come to play a leading role in making the case for peace”


Notes for Editors:

  1. For Media enquiries please contact Leo Kiss +44 (0) 20 7747 6582 or email
  2. Commonwealth Foundation: The Commonwealth Foundation has a unique role as the Commonwealth’s agency for civil society, mandated and funded by its member states to strengthen civic voice across the Commonwealth.
  3. Commonwealth Day is an annual celebration that takes place on the second Monday of every March. Events on the day include The Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey in London at 1445GMT and The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay launch at Buckingham Palace at 1130GMT. The events are primarily organised by The Commonwealth Secretariat, the Royal Commonwealth Society and the Commonwealth Games Federation.
  4. The Commonwealth Service will be broadcast live in the UK on BBC One from 1445 -1615 GMT. It will be relayed live on the BBC World Service and streamed live on and for those watching abroad.

Media Contacts:

Commonwealth Foundation
Leo Kiss
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7747 6582
Email: @Commonwealthorg

Commonwealth Secretariat
Will Henley
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7747 6379
Mobile: +44 (0) 7918 677 759
Email: @CommonwealthSec

The Royal Commonwealth Society
Rachel Ilett
Tel: +44 (0)20 3727 4311
Mobile: +44 (0) 7718 476 234
Email: @TheRCSLondon

Commonwealth Games Federation
Martin Reynolds
Mobile: +44 (0) 7789 772 619
Email: @ thecgf