Queen Supports EPG In Commissioner For Democracy

PERTH, Australia — Head of the Commonwealth, Queen Elizabeth II, in opening the three-day Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth, Australia, on Friday, made an unusually pointed reference to the report by the Eminent Persons Group (EPG), which has recommended the creation of a Commonwealth commissioner for democracy, the rule of law and human rights.

”I wish heads of government well in agreeing further reforms that respond boldly to the aspirations of today and that keep the Commonwealth fresh and fit for tomorrow,” the Queen said. ”We should not forget that this is an association not only of governments but also of peoples.”

The EPG was established by Commonwealth leaders in 2009 to look at how the Commonwealth might be updated and made more relevant and has recently completed a report on the status and future of the organisation.

Women’s and youth empowerment; women’s political participation; intra-Commonwealth trade; HIV/AIDS; a Youth Corps and the need for greater co-ordination among the Commonwealth Secretariat, Commonwealth Foundation and Commonwealth Designated Organisations are key areas of focus in the report.