At a meeting in advance of the biennial summit of Commonwealth leaders in London Dr Carl Wright discussed the synergies and areas of potential cooperation between the UN and the Commonwealth. He based his discussion on the four main themes decided for the Commonwealth summit ‘Towards a Common Future’.
A fairer future: the promotion of democracy, good governance, the rule of law and human rights. As such, this echoes much in the UN Charter and many key UN declarations.
A more secure future: issues such as violent extremism, trafficking and cyber-crime. The Commonwealth has the benefit of shared legal traditions and structures. Carl felt that action to prevent extremism and promote tolerance could be done most effectively at city level by city mayors.
A more prosperous future: the promotion of trade and investment among Commonwealth countries to aid economic growth and prosperity.
A more sustainable future: some Commonwealth leaders are concerned about climate change and implementation of the Paris Agreement, since their counties are small and rising sea levels spell disaster. Sustainability actually covers the 17 SDGs set out in the 2030 UN Agenda for sustainable development.
It is disappointing that the UK Government, given its focus on Brexit, has done little to promote the 2030 Agenda domestically compared to other EU countries. Finally, Carl believed that the 2030 UN Agenda could be implemented more effectively by localising implementation of the SDGs, that is, by local government.
Trevor Evans, UNA Harpenden