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Commonwealth Debate

@ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm
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This House Believes The Commonwealth Should Have No Future

A pointless colonial relic or a unifying force? Comprising almost 2.5 billion people from 54 member states and with a formal history stretching back over seventy years, in recent years the value of the Commonwealth of Nations has been questioned. The lack of clear direction or unified policy within the Commonwealth exposes a tension between its vision and the complexities of modern international relations. At a time of international mistrust and instability, what role, if any, should the Commonwealth play on the world stage? Will its actions always be haunted by its imperial past or could it be a force for unity despite its sometimes divided members?
Robert Guest
Robert Guest is The Economist’s foreign editor. He covered Africa for seven years, based in both London and Johannesburg. He is the author of ‘The Shackled Continent’, a book exploring the roots of poverty in Africa, as well as how the continent can prosper in the future. Regularly invited on CNN and BBC, he has also worked as US editor and Washington correspondent. Before joining The Economist, he was the Tokyo correspondent for the Daily Telegraph.
Professor Yasmin Khan

Yasmin Khan is a Historian of British India and Associate Professor of History at Kellogg College, Oxford whose work focuses on the Decolonisation, British Indian history, the Second World War and the end of Empire. Her book ‘The Great Partition: The Making of India and Pakistan’ won the Gladstone Prize from the Royal Historical Society. She has written for the Guardian newspaper and appeared on Channel 4 News and BBC radio.


Lord Marland
Businessman and politician, currently working as the Chairman of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council. His previous positions include Chairman of the Commonwealth Business Council and Minister for the Department of Energy and Climate Change.
His Excellency Bede Corry
Bede Corry is the New Zealand High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and has previously served as deputy secretary for Australia, Africa, Middle East and Europe. As the first diplomat from New Zealand to the UK, he is a key actor in preserving and extending the relationship between his country and the UK.
Rt. Hon. The Lord Boateng
Lord Boateng is a British Labour Party politician, who was the MP for Brent South from 1987- to 2005. In May 2002, he became the UK’s first bBlack member of the Cabinet when he was appointed as Chief Secretary to the Treasury. He also served as the British High Commissioner to South Africa for 4 years, strengthening where he contributed to build close diplomatic relations with the country. He was introduced as a member of the House of Lords on 1 July 2010.
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Time: 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Event CategoryDebates