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Annual 2017 Commonwealth Day Westminster Seminar

Education to support a Peace-Building Commonwealth

Date: 13 March 2017 | Time: 10:15 to 12:30 | Venue: Houses of Parliament, Committee Room 10, Palace of Westminster

Host: The Rt Hon Lord (Tom) McNally of Blackpool, CEC Parliamentary Patron


At a time of increasing instability and uncertainty in the world, the Commonwealth with its rich diversity of nations offers strength and hope for all its members.

This year’s Commonwealth theme, ‘A peace-building Commonwealth’ reaffirms the Commonwealth Charter principle that ‘international peace and security, sustainable economic growth and development and the rule of law are essential to the progress and prosperity of all’. This seminar will explore, with some examples, the role that education might play in peace building in countries and communities that have experienced conflict and/or are in the process of transformation.


The confirmed and invited speakers are as follows:

Peacebuilding challenges in an unpredictable world

Jonathan Cohen, Executive Director of Conciliation Resources (, an independent NGO working to prevent violence, resolve conflicts and promote peaceful societies

The role of education in peace-building and transformation

Professor Alan Smith, UNESCO Centre University of Ulster

The role of young people in peace-building

Achaleke Christian Leke Cameroon, Global Coordinator of Commonwealth Youth Peace Ambassadors Network and Chevening Scholar, University of Birmingham

Response and Reflections

Rev Ruth Scott, Anglican priest, author and broadcaster who has been involved in exploring the dynamics and complexities of transformative relationships across conflict divides

The CEC Commonwealth Day seminar will address the complex relationships between education and societies in transformation. All delegates will be encouraged to participate in the discussion.

Some of the questions that the seminar will address include:

  • How might education affect conflict and transformation?
  • Might differential access to education contribute to creating or exacerbating conflict?
  • Where (and what) might be examples of successful education interventions that facilitate peace building and transformation?
  • How might the Commonwealth generally and CEC specifically contribute?

The seminar will be of direct interest to:

  • Social and economic development specialists;
  • Policy makers and politicians;
  • Academics and researchers;
  • Students;
  • International educationists and training professionals.


We have a small favour to ask. The Council for Education in the Commonwealth is a small charity and organising seminars, lectures and events takes a lot of time, money and hard work.

If everyone who attends our events, who likes it, could make a small voluntary contribution of £20, this would enable us to organise more such events. If you wish to make a contribution, please click HERE

Download the seminar programme HERE, and to register your attendance, please click HERE

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