COMMONWEALTH: Canada a Champion of … Everyone?

Delegates to December's Commonwealth summit can be forgiven if they are confused by Canada's rhetoric as a free trade booster and by the country's attempts to hold moral high ground as a champion of developing world issues, experts here say.

COMMONWEALTH: Caribbean NGOs Want Real Influence

As the Commonwealth gets set to shine a spotlight on civil society and governance, Caribbean NGOs say that much needs to be done to ensure that civil society's participation in helping to build societies goes beyond lip service..

EDUCATION-MALAWI: Making Universal Primary Schooling a Reality

When the Commonwealth heads of government gather in Nigeria next month for their bi-annual meeting, the agenda will probably be dominated by politics. But, if activist Julita Msanjama had her way, the leaders would spend most of their time discussing education.

COMMONWEALTH: Conscience Can Be Good For Business

The Commonwealth will set up a new global index to measure socially responsible investment at a business forum in Abuja next week.

PAKISTAN: Suspension from Commonwealth No Big Worry for Military

Pakistan's continued suspension from the 54-nation Commonwealth for failing to fully restore democracy four years after the coup by President Gen Pervez Musharraf is no cause for much concern for the military-backed government.

CHOGM: Paper Diet Feeds the Toothless

The Commonwealth hasn't done badly on human rights - on paper that is. The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Abuja will seek to transfer at least some of those rights on to the street where they are needed.

ECONOMY: Commonwealth to Play a Role in Trade Talks

The Commonwealth can play an important role in advancing the stalled Doha Development Round when World Trade Organisation officials meet in Geneva next month, says Commonwealth Secretary-General Don McKinnon.

DEVELOPMENT: Commonwealth Gives Growth a Democratic Push

The Commonwealth plans to make development and democracy a special theme at a meeting of heads of government in Abuja in Nigeria next month.

POLITICS: Zimbabwe Could Overshadow Commonwealth Agenda

Don McKinnon hopes that December's Commonwealth summit in Abuja, Nigeria will not be dominated by Zimbabwe, but it appears that circumstances might override that wish.

POLITICS: Ugandans Opt for Talks to End Rebellion

For 17 years, the government of President Yoweri Museveni has failed to crush the rebellion in northern Uganda, which has displaced up to a million people.

POLITICS-JAMAICA: New Constitution to Give British Queen the Boot

Jamaicans are moving closer to dropping the queen of England as their titular head of state and severing the country's last formal ties with its old colonial power.

POLITICS: Commonwealth Officials in Nigeria Ahead of the December Summit

Preparations are at top gears as Nigeria gets set to host heads of state and government of the Commonwealth summit in the capital Abuja on Dec. 5-8.

DEVELOPMENT-AFRICA: Leaders Appeal for Talks Not War

If Africa is to advance economically and socially, sincere dialoguing must replace armed conflict, strikes and dirty politics, delegates at a heads of state summit held in Swaziland this week agreed.

DEVELOPMENT-SWAZILAND: Gov’t, Critics Use Summit to Highlight Their Case

A growing reform movement, abetted by radical labour unions, is being heard louder than ever this week at the commencement of a British Commonwealth summit being held in Swaziland from Aug. 12 to Aug. 16.

LABOUR-SWAZILAND: Protest Marches to Coincide with Heads of State Summit

Former South African President Nelson Mandela will lead a global contingent of present and past heads of state at the British Commonwealth SMART Partnership Summit, or Global 2003, which will be held in Swaziland on Aug. 13.

DEVELOPMENT: Globalising Civil Struggle to Deepen Democracy

With a call to globalise civil resistance in order to put the brakes on the "hegemony of social fascism", Portuguese intellectual Boaventura de Sousa Santos inaugurated the third World Social Thematic Forum (WSTF) in Colombia.

DEVELOPMENT-AFRICA: Blueprint Polishes the Chains of Global Apartheid

With this year's Group of Eight (G-8) summit starting in Evian, France, this weekend, civil society critics are united on the belief that while the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) has good intentions, it will not break the chains of global capital.

CARIBBEAN: Jamaican Groups Reject Regional Court

While the region's governments are busy organising the inauguration of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), expected to take place in a blaze of colour and ceremony in a matter of months, Jamaican groups continue to press leaders here to reject the body.

HUMAN RIGHTS: Dangers Multiply for Defenders

In more than 80 countries citizens face grave danger if they try to create an association or trade union, investigate forced disappearances or arbitrary arrests, denounce torture or document human rights violations, say activists.

POLITICS-NIGERIA: Praying for a Peaceful Poll

Nigerians have turned to God to avert violence that may erupt during the country's general elections, which kick off Saturday.

RIGHTS: Women Demand Major Say in Africa’s Development

As African leaders and business executives gather in South Africa's commercial capital Johannesburg on Monday for a three-day dialogue within the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), African businesswomen say the "gender blind" blueprint needs a major overhaul to benefit women.

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