A chance to be heard

The Commonwealth People’s Forum will be convened in Perth from 25-27 October. Over two consecutive days, a series of one-day workshops will be held, focusing on finding ways in which civil society, governments and the Commonwealth can respond to some of the key challenges of the day. 

Governance and Democracy

This year has witnessed highly significant and transformative moments of citizen action in the Middle East and North Africa. At the same time, the nature of citizen participation, engagement and activism is changing globally. Reflecting on some of these changes and their significance for the Commonwealth, this workshop will consider (a) how to leverage support for participatory governance, and (b) the role of the individual and civil society in leading progress for social change. 

Gender and Women’s Rights

Gender equality is one of the fundamental principles of the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth Plan of Action for Gender Equality (PoA) 2005-2015 provides the framework within which organisations can contribute to advancing gender equality in Commonwealth countries. In 2010, the Commonwealth Foundation and the Secretariat conducted a review of the implementation of the PoA. This workshop will explore mechanisms for taking forward and supporting the recommendations of this review. 

Education, Technology and Innovation

Education is the main force for individual and community development. It is also the driver for boosting technical and professional capabilities for aiding economic development and prosperity across the Commonwealth. The workshop will focus on education for individual and collective development while examining new innovations and the use of technology in areas such as educational resources, delivery, management and the certification of learner experience. 

Indigenous People

This workshop has been developed with the involvement of a group of Australian indigenous people, and with connections to national groups and families. The programme will have linkages with work from other indigenous or first peoples throughout the Commonwealth. 

Human Rights

The United Nations Human Rights Council has exposed the urgent need for the protection of vulnerable communities from state and non-state-initiated violations of human rights. Can the Commonwealth offer its citizens a new direction in human rights? The Commonwealth People’s Forum aims to reaffirm the centrality of human rights by focusing on human rights defenders, migrants, asylum seekers, the police and the judiciary, as well as housing and land rights issues. 

Climate Change

The landscape of risk and resilience to risk are rapidly changing in the Commonwealth. The types of hazards are increasing and their impact is affecting mainstream development, especially efforts to reduce poverty. Communities in coastal, small island, flood plain and drought-prone areas are becoming more vulnerable. Mitigation and adaptation measures need to be implemented, especially through green jobs and habitat protection programmes. The event will press for more urgent collaborative actions for the Commonwealth. 

Culture, Identity, Peace and Security

The protection, promotion and maintenance of the cultural sector are seen as essential requirements for sustainable development. However, despite progress made in advancing the Commonwealth’s cultural agenda, a paradox remains, and in parts of the Commonwealth culture is neglected, resulting in a fragile and vulnerable sector. The goal of this workshop is to address the gap between discourse and action, and to explore how culture and the creative industries can work towards current economic and social development priorities in the Commonwealth.

Economic Development, Trade & Finance

Current trade and economic development models need to be revamped. The discussion must take into consideration the need for models of financing economic development and delivering on the benefits of trade agreements that require collaboration between governments, the private sector and civil society. The workshop will bring together a cross-section of participants. It will draw on key research and case studies to address these issues and map out action plans to contribute to enhanced frameworks for delivering equity and sustainable economic development.

For information on all the workshops, please see www.cpf2011.org


Post a comment

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Amnesty International