Upcoming events

11 May: The coronavirus years? Historical perspectives on COVID-19 and its aftermath
This symposium organised by Centre for History in Public Health, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and History & Policy, Institute of Historical Research will draw on historical research to explore the policy challenges that result from significant health and social crises and show how these were addressed in the past. The symposium seeks to move beyond the historical analysis of the ‘emergency’ phase of pandemics and assess their longer running legacies.
The event consists of two half days of two sessions. Details online.

18 May – Top Level Tips: Foreign and Commonwealth Office Records
If you’re interested in diplomatic history and the conduct of foreign policy, this expert-led webinar will introduce you to the different types of Foreign and Commonwealth Office records in its collections. The event is organised by the National Archives.

18 May: Can the UK’s post-Brexit sport diplomacy get out of the starting blocks?
Can the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games help UK’s post-Brexit sport diplomacy get out of the starting blocks? Online event organised by the Foreign Policy Centre and Aston Centre for Europe.

26 May: From Empire to Commonwealth: The Commonwealth Secretariat Headquarters and Archives
Presentation by Hilary McEwan (Archivist, Commonwealth Secretariat) as part of the In search of Britain series organised by the Université de Picardie Jules Verne.

8-10 June: Backlogs in the Civil Justice System
How is the Commonwealth addressing worsening backlogs in the civil justice system created by COVID-19? Part of the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Rule of Law Virtual Conversations series.

15-17 June: Going Global 2021
A conference for leaders of international education – organised by the Association of Commonwealth Universities.

22-27 June 2021: Youth, Women’s and People’s Forum events in Rwanda

24-25 June: Climate change 2021
International climate experts discuss what success at COP26 should look like, explore sustainable industry and finance measures and assess green recovery strategies. Virtual conference organised by Chatham House.

Transcripts and audio/visual links to previous Round Table events and events of interest

11 March – Webinar: The Road to CHOGM
The Royal Commonwealth Society will explore the road to CHOGM 2021 with Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Vincent Biruta and International Cooperation and UK Minister of State for South Asia and the Commonwealth Lord Tariq Ahmad. Report and video now available.

8 March: Empire into Commonwealth: The Past, Present and Future role of Britain’s royal family in a global context
Video now available.

7 March: A Celebration for Commonwealth Day
This BBC broadcast includes the annual Commonwealth Day message from The Queen.

25 February: Neither Free Nor Fair’? The Ugandan Elections of January 2021
This panel discussion will bring the audience up to date with developments in Uganda and continued violence and intimidation against the political opposition and raise the important question, What more should the Commonwealth to ensure its values are upheld? Report with video and podcast is now available.

19 January 2021: ‘In Conversation’ with Sir Malcolm Rifkind
Virtual discussion. Report and video now available.

2020 events

20 October:  A Commonwealth for All: Acknowledging the Past – Reimagining the Future.
Report now available.

23 September: ‘Election tourists’ or the spearhead of democratic development? Forty years of Commonwealth election observation
Analysis now available.

10 September – The Commonwealth: Towards Kigali 2021
What will be on the trade and investment agenda for the UK, and the Commonwealth more broadly, during this period? What are the business opportunities? How has Covid affected the Commonwealth and Africa? Discussion includes Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for South Asia and the Commonwealth. A report on this event is now available.

2 September: A Call to action for sustainable cities
Report and recommendations now available.

24 June: Launch of the Sustainable Cities programme
Report now available.


25 November 2019 – Evelyn Wrench Lectures: The Relevance of the Commonwealth in the 21st
HE Ms Yamina Karitanyi, High Commissioner for Rwanda to the United Kingdom, discusses Rwanda as a modern Commonwealth nation, the challenges of reconciliation after conflict and the opportunities presented by being the host of CHOGM 2020. A report on this is now available.

29 April: [email protected]: The Commonwealth & Resilience in 21st century
Panelists analyse the resilience of the association and consider necessary changes to meet the challenges of the 21st Century for its member states. Article now available.

8-9 January: Round Table conference – The Commonwealth in 2019: Challenges and Opportunities.
Report on this event available at


8 October: Peter Lyon Memorial Lecture – Britain, Brexit and the future of the Commonwealth
Speaker: Vince Cable. Missed it? An article on this event is now available. The transcript and podcast are also available.

19 March: Witness Seminar: Britain in the Commonwealth: The 1997 Edinburgh summit. A report is now available on this seminar.

6 March: Round Table-sponsored student debate at London University Senate House. The motion is “This House thinks that Commonwealth commitments for human rights are just for public relations.” (Report now available)

13 February: The Royal Commonwealth Society and Goodenough College host a panel discussion on ‘A Commonwealth Conversation – Rejuvenating the Commonwealth’ at Goodenough College.

7 February: Building a safer world? The Commonwealth approach in comparative perspective.
Taking place at l’Université de Londres in Paris. (Report now available on this conference).

26 January: “This House believes the Commonwealth has no place in the modern world”. There is now a report on the Exeter University debate.

17 January: “This House believes that the Commonwealth prevents the UK from moving on from the past and dealing with the future”. Birmingham students debate the future of the Commonwealth. Report from Birmingham now available.

October 2017: Two-day conference on the plans and challenges for the 2018 Commonwealth Leaders’ Summit. Includes reports, outcomes and video interviews.

April 2017: The Peter Lyon Annual Memorial Lecture by HE Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC, Commonwealth Secretary-General. Chancellor’s Hall, Senate House. Transcript and report.

Video: The House of Lords debate the Commonwealth – 16 March.

Focus on Commonwealth Day – Q&A, our coverage and a look into the Commonwealth Day archives – 13 March.

Nov 2016: Launch of a special issue: Brexit and the Commonwealth: What next?
Special issue of The Round Table The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs.
This issue is now available online.

Round Table Conference
6-7 January 2016 – The Commonwealth after Malta.
A report of the conference proceedings.

Round Table Lecture
“The Commonwealth, the European Union, the Challenges”
Delivered by Dr Lawrence Gonzi, the former Prime Minister of Malta on
27 November 2015 at the University of Malta.
Click here to read Dr Gonzi’s lecture.

The 2015 Malta Summit, Valletta.
The Commonwealth’s New Beginnings?
A One-Day Conference previewing the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting organised by The Round Table: the Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs and the Department for International Relations, University of Malta.
24 November 2015.
Read Michael Frendo’s keynote address

Speech at Senate House
Read Zaid Ibrahim’s The Fate of Freedom and the Onslaught of Islamisation in Malaysia as presented at the event
Date: October 2015
Venue: Senate House, London University, UK

Commonwealth News

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