Not that use­less

Southasia - - EDITOR’S MAIL -

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

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