The work of civil society organisations such as the Anglican Alliance was highlighted as central to the success of proposals for development at the People’s Forum meeting in Sri Lanka earlier this month.
Priority areas for development included migrant workers and economic empowerment for women, as well as food security and gender equality, which have been marked as key areas for Alliance work.
The meeting called on the Commonwealth Heads of States and governments to ensure that all development policies and projects would be firmly grounded in a human-rights based approach, and that they would be inclusive, equal and just.
Over 500 representatives from civil societies attended the People’s Forum meeting from Commonwealth countries around the world.
This inclusive approach to development was urged forward by President Mahinda Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka, who inaugrated the meeting. He said, “The People’s Forum has always provided a space for pressing issues to be discussed, through a multi-stakeholder approach.”
William Swire, the Minister of State for the Foreign Office in the UK, also delivered an encouraging speech and called for closer relationship between Commonwealth governments and their people. He assured his readiness to listen and said that an ongoing debate between civil society and governmental leaders would be fundamental to democracy, accountability and good governance.
And news that the Anglican Alliance Commonwealth Foundation project would be used as an example of best practice and shared in South to South learning came in a monitoring and evaluation workshop, attended by Alliance facilitator Michael Roy at the meeting. The project is bringing advocacy tools and economic empowerment to women in the coastal regions of Bangladesh and will run throughout 2014.
For further reading from the Commonwealth People’s Forum:
CPF 2013 Outcome document Final – 131113.pdf
Keynote Lecture for CPF 2013 Dr Jemilah Mahmood.docx