What are the global challenges for the Commonwealth? This was the basis of a conference organised for 18-19 January by the Commonwealth Round Table. The conference, entitled ‘Global Challenges and the International Response: What role for the Commonwealth?’ took place at Cumberland Lodge in Windsor.
The filmed panel sessions included presentations, followed by Q&A discussions:
- Panel one – Multilateralism and soft power in an age of nationalism, conflict and division
- Panel two – Climate change, small states, inequality and development
- Panel three (19 January) – Upholding human rights, press freedom and democracy: Can the Commonwealth make a difference?
- Panel four – After Kigali: The Commonwealth’s future challenges
The keynote speech on the evening of 18 January was delivered by Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland, Baroness Scotland of Asthal, and followed by a short interview with career diplomat and former official at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Amitav Banerji.
What is the Commonwealth Round Table?
Round Table Chair Victoria Schofield outlined the role of the Round Table is about, its journal, the website and its continuing work today analysing international affairs through the perspective of the Commonwealth:
Commonwealth future challenges
On the evening of 18 January, the acting director of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, Dr Sue Onslow, was the after dinner speaker. She also discussed some of the key issues from the day with Round Table’s Rita Payne.
On day two, former Round Table Chair Stuart Mole summed up proceedings and the questions it raises about the future of the Commonwealth:
Arif Zaman talks about the conference on his Bloomsbury Radio Business Show with guests Alex May, Brian Speers, Nick Hardman-Mountford, Rita Payne and Helen Jones
Is the Commonwealth Working? – A Round Table and partners’ conference in June 2022