Not that useless
The cover stories in your November 2013 issue mainly criticized the Commonwealth. The writers held the view that the organization is not doing much in terms of economic and trade relations among the member countries. This may not be entirely true. A look at the past performance of the Commonwealth and the projects it has undertaken are a testament to the fact that it has delivered on a number of goals and has done some remarkable work in the fields of good governance, accountability and youth empowerment. Most of this work has been done in the African region and in poor countries. In Botswana, for example, a Commonwealth Africa Anti-Corruption Centre (CAACC) has been established. According to the Commonwealth website, “This is a flagship project that will provide a visible and tangible demonstration of the CW Secretariat’s commitment to support its members’ anti-corruption efforts.”
The organization has done substantial work in the field of women empowerment in African countries. The Gender Section of the Commonwealth Secretariat has produced Women’s Land Rights Handbooks for the women of Cameroon, Kenya, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. These handbooks focus on judicial and administrative processes by which women may acquire and realize their land rights. Similarly, the Commonwealth Youth Forum plays a significant role in inculcating a sense of responsibility in the youth of Commonwealth countries. These are but some achievements of the organization. It can be argued that many of the projects and goals set by the organization are intangible, but their success in the long run can’t be ruled out.
Manish Sharma Lalitpur, Nepal