Trinidad and Tobago High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, His Excellency Garvin Nicholas has issued an ardent call for greater interaction among Commonwealth Associated Organisations and Civil Society Organisations with Ministers and the Commonwealth Secretariat.

The High Commissioner called for enhanced dialogue among the bodies during this year’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka. Representing Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Winston Dookeran at the Commonwealth Foreign Ministers Roundtable with Associated Organisations and Civil Society, H.C. Nicholas emphasised the important role played by these organisations in connecting government with the people.

High Commissioner Garvin Nicholas at CHOG

High Commissioner Garvin Nicholas at CHOG

The Roundtable discussion, chaired by Sri Lanka’s Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris, dealt at length with areas varying from cooperate opportunities to business infrastructure. Foreign Ministers and representatives from all Commonwealth countries participating in Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2013 were present. The Roundtable dealt with associated organisations such as the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) and the Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF) among others, as well as civil society bodies dealing with youth, human rights, climate change, et al.

During the Roundtable discussion, H.C. Nicholas welcomed the Civil Society Perspectives for a Commonwealth Post 2015 Development Agenda 2013 Outcome Document. H.C. Nicholas has consistently advocated for greater prominence to be given to the Development Agenda, which will address critical issues such as Women’s Political, Social and Economic Empowerment; Empowerment of Young People; Livelihoods, Decent Work and Social Protection; Health; Education; Food Security and Food Sovereignty; Governance and Diversity; Finance for Development; Global Environmental Justice, and Climate Change and Natural Resource Management.

The 2013 CHOGM concluded yesterday, November 17th after three days of intensive discussions on global developmental issues and policy settlements.