On 23 June the voters of the United Kingdom decide in a national referendum if they want to remain in the European Union (EU), a decision will have a profound global impact, both economically and politically, including on members of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF) outside of the UK and on the Commonwealth more generally.
Three months ago in January I outlined CLGF’s agenda for 2016. Since then we have already made important progress on key organisational objectives, such as establishing our new programme office for the Caribbean in Port of Spain, and appointment of a new CLGF Secretary-General. We have also scheduled the next meeting of the Commonwealth Sustainable Cities Network for July and participated in a number of important city and Habitat III related meetings, including through the Global Task Force of Local and Regional Governments and Cities Alliance, of which CLGF is a member
The theme of the 2016 Commonwealth Day, 14 March is ‘an inclusive Commonwealth’. The Commonwealth, composed of 53 highly diverse countries, both large and small, highly developed and least developed, island states and landlocked states, is by its very nature inclusive. Similar considerations apply to the people of the Commonwealth, which represent so many different cultures, faiths and political affiliations.