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    Latest News
The Port of Spain Civil Society Statement to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (25 November 2009) can now be downloaded here.

    ACLALS and the Commonwealth
ACLALS was officially accredited to the Commonwealth in 2005. This accreditation gives ACLALS a "special Commonwealth status" in that it is now eligible to apply for continued funding from the Commonwealth Foundation, and is invited to participate in civil society consultations and The People's Forum of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings (CHOGM).

The Commonwealth Foundation is an intergovernmental organisation resourced by and reporting to Commonwealth Governments. It works to enhance the role of civil society organizations in governance, democracy, sustainable development and culture and diversity by strengthening their institutional and human capacity and creating opportunities and space for partnership, participation, advice and leadership. The Foundation was established by Commonwealth Governments in 1965 and is guided by the principles, values and priorities of the Commonwealth.

Membership of the Commonwealth Foundation is open to all Commonwealth member countries on agreement of a Memorandum of Understanding. Member countries pay an annual subscription on a sliding scale.

Becoming a member of the Commonwealth Foundation brings increased opportunities for interchanges between civil society and governments. The Foundation helps civil society to participate at Commonwealth ministerial meetings and other Commonwealth conferences. It also gives grants to help NGOs and members of professional associations to take part in advisory, exchange, training and study visits with the overall aim of building networks and capacity for dialogue. Cultural awards and prizes, such as the Arts and Crafts Awards, are an important part of the Foundation’s work. South African citizens will now be eligible to take part in these and many other schemes and projects.

The Commonwealth is rich in professional networks, with more than 80 such organisations covering professions as varied as parliamentarians, veterinarians and human rights activists. A full list is available here.

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