A Commonwealth Conversation - A fairer future

In April 2018, the UK will host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) when leaders from all 52 member countries are expected to gather in London and Windsor. 

In the run-up to the Meeting at the end of the week, leaders' discussions will be informed and enriched by a variety of events. These will centre on the forums for 'people', 'business', 'women' and 'youth'. 

The summit's theme is: 'Towards a Common Future' and is focused on building on the strengths of the Commonwealth to ensure this unique organisation is responsive to global challenges and delivers a more prosperous, secure, sustainable, and fair future for all its citizens, particuarly its young people. 

In advance of the summit The Royal Commonwealth Society will be convening a series of Commonwealth Conversations each focusing on one of the summit themes. The first of these will address the topic of 'A fairer future'

A fairer future 
The Commonwealth has a proud history of taking action to promote and protect democratic principles. The Commonewalth Charter sets out a shared vision of democracy, good governance, human rights and the rule of law to which we all subscribe. By upholding and promoting those principles we can ensure a fairer future for all members of the Commonwealth, and provide the essential basis for sustainable development. 

6pm: Welcome: His Excellency Mr Euripides Evriviades, High Commissioner for the Republic of Cyprus in the United Kingdom 
6.10pm: Opening remarks from Richard Oppenheim, UK Commonwealth Envoy
6.15pm: Panel Discussion and Q&A session
7.30pm: Drinks and canape reception 

Speakers and Panellists:

Michael Lake CBE is Director of The Royal Commonwealth Society. On leaving the Army, he was appointed Director-General of Help the Aged in 1996. Help the Aged was one of the leading charities in the UK with its roots in international disaster relief. He led the merger of the charity with Age Concern  and took up an appointment as Deputy Director of the Prince's Charity Foundation. He subsequently worked with the English-Speaking Union as it's Director-General through a strategic transition and also with a diverse group of charities and institutions as a consultant.

Richard Oppenheim is the UK Envoy to the Commonwealth. Richard is a career diplomat with Her Majesty's Diplomatic Service. He has wide experience in the Middle East, Japan, the UN and the EU. He is experienced at negotiating and delivering in challenging, fast paced and multicultural / lingual contexts, providing policy analysis and advice to senior leaders, leading and inspiring teams and translating understanding of policy and politics into strategy and delivery of wider objectives. 

Robert Barrington is Executive Director of the UK chapter of Transparency International, the world's leading anti-corruption organisation with chapters in over one hundred countries. He is an authority on global corruption, corporate bribery and corruption within the UK, and has worked in academia and the City. He joined Transparency International in 2008, leading the campaign to secure a new Bribery Act in the UK, and was appointed as Executive Director of TI-UK in 2013. He was previously Director of Governance & Sustainable Investment at F&C Asset Management, and CEO (Europe) of the environmental research group Earthwatch Institute. Advisory roles include membership of the Ministry of Justice's Experts Group drafting the official guidance on the Bribery Act and the BIS Export Guarantees Advisory Committee. Recent publications and projects include 'How to Bribe', 'Adequate Procedures - Guidance to the UK Bribery Act', 'Fair Play', 'Countering Small Bribes' and 'Corruption in the UK'. He also writes a regular blog on corruption trends. Robert is a member of the ICAEW's Corporate Governance Committee and RUSI's Centre for Financial Crime & Security Studies. He has a degree from Oxford University, a PhD from the European University Institute and has held fellowships at Oxford and the University of Sussex's Centre for the Study of Corruption. 

Philippa Drew CB is a Trustee of the Kaleidoscope Trust, a UK based organisation which works to uphold the human rights of LGBT people internationally and which acts as the Secretariat of The Commonwealth Equality Network (TCEN) a network of 45 LGBT organisations from around the Commonwealth; a Trustee of the Human Dignity Trust (also UK) which supports legal action to decriminalise homosexuality; and s Stonewall Ambassador "We're here to let all lesbian, gay, bi and trans people, here and abroad, know they're not alone." From 2013 to 2016 she was Chair of the Doughty Street Group of organisations concerned with the persecution of LGBT people outside the UK. She volunteers for a day a week at Cancerkin, a cancer support charity at the Royal Free Hospital, London. In 2006, after a 34 year career in the Home Office, Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Philippa retired from the FCO as Director, Global Issues with responsibility among other issues for human rights, climate change, sustainable development, the UN and the Commonwealth. 

Cecilia Aransiola is a Human Rights Lawyer, member of the Commonwealth Youth Gender Equality Network, Associate Fellow of The Royal Commonwealth Society and a Women Deliver Young Leader. Cecilia is also a Chevening Scholar at the University of Nottingham and a One Young World Peace Ambassador. 

To RSVP email: eventsteam@thercs.org 

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