Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group Invites Feedback on its Recommendations

LONDON, May 4 /CNW/ - The Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group (EPG) is inviting feedback on its recommendations to help reform and renew the Commonwealth.

The 11-member EPG has published a report outlining the general direction of its recommendations to sharpen the impact, strengthen the networks and raise the profile of the Commonwealth, for comment from members of the public.

The report is available at: Feedback should be returned by 15 June 2011 to Daisy Cooper at or at the following address: Ms Daisy Cooper, Secretary-General's Office, Commonwealth Secretariat, Marlborough House, Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5HX, UK.

(Due to the length of this URL, it may be necessary to copy and paste this hyperlink into your Internet browser's URL address field. Remove the space if one exists.)

The report's proposals include: the creation of a 'Charter of the Commonwealth' and a Commissioner for Democracy and the Rule of Law; enhancing the Commonwealth's role in development and trade, climate change and in tackling HIV/AIDS; initiatives to support young people and advance the economic and social empowerment of women; and ensuring that the Secretary-General and all Commonwealth governments play their part in enhancing the public profile of the association.

The EPG's final report on its recommendations will be submitted to Commonwealth Heads of Government for their collective consideration at their summit in Perth, Australia, in October.

The EPG was established by Commonwealth Heads of Government at their meeting, in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, in November 2009. The group is mandated to explore and recommend ways to ensure the Commonwealth "will remain relevant to its times and people in future".

At the end of their fourth meeting in London on 21 and 22 March 2011, the group said: "The Commonwealth is in danger of becoming irrelevant and unconvincing as a values-based association.

"To safeguard against this danger we will recommend to leaders the adoption of proposals that will strengthen the Commonwealth, both as an association of governments and of peoples."

Following an online questionnaire in 2010, the EPG received over 230 written submissions from Commonwealth civil society organisations and individuals on the direction of their proposals.

SOURCE The Commonwealth Secretariat

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