Every two years, leaders of the Commonwealth meet to discuss current issues affecting the Commonwealth and its many diverse citizens. The meeting, known as the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), was last held in Malta in November 2015 and included People’s, Women’s, Youth and Business Fora. It is this biennial event that is emulated through Model Commonwealth Summits, or model CHOGMs.
The RCS has a historical track record in organising Model Commonwealth Summits, which was re-established in October 2015 with the Tower Hamlets Borough and Youth Councils and the Daneford Trust. The event was informed by the comprehensive chapter ‘Running a Commonwealth Youth Summit’ in the RCS Education Resource Pack Antigua to Zambia: Getting to Know Your Commonwealth. This provides step-by-step guidance on the entire process of organising a model CHOGM.
Model Commonwealth Summits operate much like a model UN scenario, with individuals acting as the heads of government of Commonwealth countries and engaging in discussions as their country would. Critically, country representatives in a Model Commonwealth Summit must reach a consensus on the issues discussed, adding a challenging element that is of great contemporary importance.This is a fun, active way of demonstrating how the Commonwealth works and allows students to actively participate in the learning process. It teaches presentation, research and critical thinking skills, as well as global awareness and cultural understanding. Some students are chosen for roles outside of country representation (including media, communique, and others), offering a diverse range of skill-building and appealing to a wide range of students.
Contact the Youth and Education team for more information about upcoming events or for information on how to organise a Model Commonwealth Summit in your area.
Model Commonwealth Summits 2016
The Royal Commonwealth Society was delighted to work with partners to organise two Model Commonwealth Summits in 2016 in the UK.
11-12 November: South Wales Youth Summit
In partnership with RCS Wales, Coleg Gwent and WE, the RCS hosted a two day Youth Summit for young people from across South Wales. The event explored contemporary issues and democracy in Wales and culminated in a Model Commonwealth Summit. Guest speakers included Chris Evans MP and Simon Weston CBE, and included a special video message from actor Michael Sheen.
The RCS, in partnership with RCS Bath, hosted a Model Commonwealth Summit at the Guildhall on Saturday, 3 December 2016. A diverse group of young people from across the UK (and indeed across the Commonwealth) took part in what proved to be a very in-depth and comprehensive discussion of Commonwealth issues.
A full report of both events will be featured in VOICES magazine, available in April 2017.