Commonwealth Local Government Forum

CLGF at CHOGM 2018

24 April 2018

As Commonwealth leaders came together for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) last week in London, so too did a rich and diverse mix of interested people from around the Commonwealth to attend specially convened forums. Taking place from 16 to 18 April, the four forums focused on Business, People, Women and Youth; each one covering a range of subjects of key importance to Commonwealth citizens, and following CGOGM’s overall theme of Towards a common future.


Women in leadership

As part of the Commonwealth Women’s Forum (CWF), CLGF partnered with the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association to organise a panel discussion on Women in leadership. Chaired by CLGF Patron Rt Hon Helen Clark, former New Zealand Prime Minister and UN Administrator, the keynote speech was given by Sunkarie Kabba-Kamara, Mayor of Makeni, Sierra Leone, and discussions continued with the expert panellists Hon Councillor Buumba Malambo, of Mogoba Ward, Zambia; Hon Angela Thoko Didiza MP, CWF Chairperson of the Africa Region; Councillor Bev Esslinger, Chair of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Standing Committee on International Relations; and Hon Maria Browne MP, Minister of Housing, Lands and Urban Renewal, Antigua and Barbuda. Summing up proceedings with the concluding statement was Sarah Childs, Profession of Politics and Gender, Birkbeck University.  


As well as Women in leadership, the CWF looked at women, peace and security; women’s economic empowerment; women and climate change; and ending violence against women and girls. This will link into the work of CLGF's Commonwealth Women in Local Government Network, launched last November in Malta which aims to support women across the Commonwealth in public life.   


Business and People's Forums

CHOGM also afforded CLGF the opportunity to participate in other forums. Secretary-General Greg Munro took part in the Commonwealth Business Forum, along with CLGF Board Member, Darrell Bradley and the Governor from Lagos. Facilitated by the CWEIC, they explored the subject of cities, economic development and inward investment; recognising that, even though the challenges are very different for a small city like Belize and the huge metropolis of Lagos, the success of both urban settings is dependent on creativity and partnerships. This will feed into the work of CLGF's Commonwealth Sustainable Cities Network, focusing on the exchange of good practice between cities across the Commonwealth.


Deputy Secretary-General Lucy Slack chaired a round table debate on decentralised governance in the People’s Forum, taking some interesting questions from the room and those received via the app about how we can promote more participatory democracy and increase citizen involvement in decision making.


Outcome statement

Each forum produced an outcome statement that was presented to meetings of the Heads of Government and the Foreign Ministers. CLGF Deputy-Secretary Lucy Slack was invited to report back on behalf of the Commonwealth Women’s Forum (CWF).


Read more about the Outcomes of the Commonwealth Women’s Forum.


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Asia Pacific Urban Forum outcomes

  CLGF has committed to be part of the Penang Platform for Sustainable Urbanisation, an important new body which aims to tackle the rapid expansion of cities in the Asia Pacific region.

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