The 53 member countries of the Commonwealth met in the UK last week. The Heads of Government Meeting was hosted by Queen Elizabeth in Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle. In these historic locations attendees set their priorities for a forward looking agenda "Towards A Common Future". Key issues discussed included gender equality and inclusion, strengthening democratic institutions and promoting peace, migration, trade, sustainable economic growth, climate change, vulnerable smaller states, education.
There is much work for the Commonwealth Leaders to achieve the goals they have set out but the meeting was seen as a positive step forward.
At Magool we are particularly pleased that there was a clear commitment for Heads and Commonwealth bodies to prevent and eliminate sexual and gender-based violence with specific reference to child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation as barriers to the development and the full realisation of girls’ and women’s human rights and to sustainable growth and development. It was also emphasised that support should be provided for already married girls, adolescents and women who have been affected by such practices.