Inbox New Women’s Forum launched in Malta Malta’s President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca spoke at the Women’s Forum Inauguration Ceremony ‘Human Phonograph’ wins 2015 Short Story Prize Jonathan Tel has won the 2015 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for his story, The Human Phonograph. The story is set in 1960s China and encompasses major events and the culture of the time. Tel was one of five regional winners selected from 4,000 entries, his being the entry for Canada and Europe. “I think of the short story, along with all the other stories that were regional winners, as existing, as it were, alongside each other, having a sort of genial conversation, stories interacting and remarking to each other,” Tel says. He is currently writing a novel made up of several short stories about contemporary China, including The Shoe King of Shanghai, which was shortlisted for the Sunday Times EFG Award 2014. He is looking for a publisher for the book. Tel is also writing a book of poems about Berlin. Entries are now being accepted for the 2016 Prize. For more information see: www.commonwealthwriters.org www.global global four th quar ter 2015 -br ief ing.org l 69 commonwealth network A brand new Women’s Forum was launched in the run up to November’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Malta. The Forum, which aimed to raise awareness of women’s issues in Commonwealth countries and show how women’s contributions can have a positive impact politically, economically and socially, took place from 22-24 November at the Intercontinental Hotel in St Julians. Lakshmi Puri, Assistant Secretary- General of the United Nations and Deputy Executive Director of UN Women, was one of the main speakers at the Forum. Sarah Kitakule, from the Gender and Economic Empowerment Section at the Commonwealth Secretariat, said: “The Commonwealth must summon both the political and financial will to honour and sustain its commitment to deliver real progress on improving the lives of women and girls. By holding the Women’s Forum we hope to influence real change for all women, men, girls and boys across the Commonwealth.” The Women’s Forum joins the more established Business, People’s and Youth Forums, which run alongside the biennial CHOGM. The theme of the Women’s Forum was ‘Women Ahead be all that you can be’. The Youth Forum’s theme was ‘Adding Global Value… # WHAT NEXT?’, the People’s Forum was ‘What Makes Societies Resilient?’ and the Business Forum’s theme was ‘Adding Global Value – Creating a More Prosperous Commonwealth’. CHOGM will take place from 27-29 November with the theme ‘Adding Global Value’. Speaking ahead of the event, Malta’s Foreign Minister George W. Vella said: “The first thing Malta wants to bring to the table during CHOGM 2015 is a sense of pride of belonging to this august organisation. We want to instill a conviction that by working together as a family of 53 nations we can achieve much.” He went on to say that the Women’s Forum was instigated at Malta’s suggestion, adding: “We wanted CHOGM to be better informed of the potential lying within its citizens.” Malta, one of just three European countries in the Commonwealth, is hosting CHOGM for the second time, having welcomed heads of government previously in 2005. Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said: “On behalf of the Maltese government and our people, I would like to express how truly honoured we are to be hosting the 2015 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, a meeting which will undoubtedly tackle a number of key issues, while focusing on the Commonwealth’s global value.” Earthquake survivors reunite online Google has set up an app called Person Finder in response to October’s earthquake in South Asia. The web-based application seeks to reconnect people separated by the quake and locate the missing. A 7.5 magnitude earthquake hit Pakistan and Afghanistan on 26 October, killing at least 370 people and injuring 1,900. Around 14,000 homes were lost. Aid organisations, such as The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, have stepped in to help. However, the army is restricting access to the affected area, making it difficult for some non-profits to assist. “If there is a silver lining to this earthquake, it is that it hit a remote area where fewer people live,” said Adam Eads, director of disaster programs at Give2Asia, a California-based organisation that is helping the relief effort.
Global 21 fourth quarter 2015
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