Peace and Democratic Society
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Members of the Commonwealth Commission on Respect and Understanding

Rt Hon. Lord John Alderdice (United Kingdom)
John, Lord Alderdice (United Kingdom) was from 1987 to 1998 leader of Northern Ireland’s cross-community Alliance Party, and played a key role in the negotiation of the 1998 Belfast Agreement. He was the first Speaker of the new Northern Ireland Assembly from 1998 until 2004, and was then appointed as one of four international monitoring commissioners overseeing security normalization in Ireland. He sits on the Liberal Democrat benches in the House of Lords, and since 2005 has been the elected President of Liberal International - the world-wide federation of liberal political parties. He runs the Centre for Psychotherapy in Belfast and is a Visiting Professor in Psychiatry and Joint Chairman of the Critical Incident Analysis Group at the University of Virginia, with a special interest in the psychology of terrorism and violent political conflict.
Professor Kwame Anthony Appiah (Ghana) is Laurence S. Rockefeller University Professor of Philosophy and the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University. He has published widely in African and African-American literary and cultural studies, and in 1992, Oxford University Press published In My Father’s House, which deals, in part, with the role of African and African-American intellectuals in shaping contemporary African cultural life. His most recent publications include The Ethics of Identity (2004) and Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers (2006).
Rt Hon. Adrienne Clarkson (Canada) is an accomplished journalist and until 2005 she served as the 26th Governor General of Canada: she was the first Chinese Canadian and second woman to hold this position. She was also the first (and thus far only) Governor General to be awarded the Order of Canada prior to taking office. Clarkson is well known for her work in broadcasting, having hosted and produced several shows for the CBC between 1964 and 1982.
Dr Noeleen Heyzer (Singapore) is the first executive director from the South to head the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the leading operational agency within the United Nations to promote women’s empowerment and gender equality. She played a critical role in the Security Council’s adoption of Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. Previously a policy adviser to Asian governments, in 1994–95 she played a key role in the preparatory process for the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, including organizing 1,000 NGOs in the Asia Pacific region to develop the first ever NGO Action Plan. Dr Heyzer has been a founding member of numerous regional and international women’s networks and has received several awards for leadership including the Dag Hammarskjöld medal in 2004.
Dr Kamal Hossain (Bangladesh) is a former Minister of Law and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh and is credited with being one of the principal authors of his country’s National Constitution. Co-patron (and formerly Chair), of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, and formerly UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Afghanistan, he has recently been highlighting the plight of Afghan refugees and the need for international aid.
Ms Elaine Sihoatani Howard (Tonga) is the Executive Director of Tonga National Youth Congress (Nuku’alofa, Tonga), and Chairperson of the Commonwealth Youth Programme – South Pacific Regional Youth Caucus (RYC) (Honiara, Solomon Islands). She was awarded: Winner – Best Original Research Presentation at International Development Conference of New Zealand 2004, and Overall University Winner, University of Auckland Postgraduate Research Exposition 2004.
Professor Wangari Muta Maathai (Kenya) is the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize (in 2004). An academic, Professor Maathai’s role as an environmental campaigner began in 1977 when she formed an organization – primarily of women – known as the Green Belt Movement – which mobilized poor women to plant some 30 million trees across Africa. Having been elected to parliament with an overwhelming 98 per cent of the vote in 2002, Professor Wangari Maathai was subsequently appointed by the president as Assistant Minister for Environment, Natural Resources and Wildlife in Kenya’s ninth parliament.
The Honourable Ralston Milton Nettleford OM (Jamaica) better known as Rex Nettleford, is a Jamaican scholar, social critic and choreographer. A former Rhodes Scholar he is currently a Vice Chancellor Emeritus of the University of the West Indies where he pursued a first degree in History before proceeding to postgraduate studies at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. As a creative artist he founded in 1962 the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica, which under his direction has done much to incorporate traditional Jamaican/Caribbean music and movement into a formal balletic repertoire. He is the author of several books including Mirror Mirror: Identity Race and Protest in Jamaica and in 1971 compiled, edited, annotated and introduced the speeches and writings of Norman Manley in Manley and the New Jamaica. Nettleford established himself as a serious public historian and social critic and was awarded the Order of Merit by the State in recognition of his cultural and scholarly achievements. He was later appointed an ambassador-at-large by his native Jamaica.
HE Mrs Joan Rwabyomere (Uganda) is High Commissioner of Uganda to the UK and Ireland. As a qualified lawyer, she has worked extensively in both business and government. Her positions have included being Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors, National Enterprises Corporation (1999–2000); Deputy-Director General, External Security (1996–1998); Minister of State for Agriculture (1995–1996); Director, Uganda Electricity Board (1989–1995); Chairman, Board of Directors, Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (1989–1995); Delegate to the EU–ACP Joint Assembly (1989–1995); and a Member of Parliament (1989–1996). Mrs Rwabyomere took up the position of High Commissioner to the UK having been High Commissioner of Uganda to Nigeria from 2001–2005. She has four children.
Mrs Lucy Turnbull (Australia) is an Australian businesswoman and former Lord Mayor of Sydney. For many years she worked as a commercial lawyer and in investment banking. She is a member of the board of the Redfern Waterloo Authority, which was established in 2005 to assist the NSW government to develop a comprehensive plan (social and spatial) for the Redfern–Waterloo area of Sydney, one of the most socioeconomically disadvantaged suburbs in Australia. From 1999–2004 she was a member of the Central Sydney Planning Committee. She chairs the Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal in Sydney, and is a member of the Board of Governors of the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, a respiratory and sleep research institute. She is a board member of Melbourne IT Limited, a publicly listed internet services company, and is a board member of several other private companies in the technology and financial services industries.

Other participants at the meetings:

Professor Shamit Saggar, Professor of Political Science, University of Sussex, and Visiting Professor, University of Toronto
Dr Sarah Ladbury, freelance social development consultant
Commonwealth Secretariat:
Rt Hon Donald McKinnon, Secretary-General
Mrs Florence Mugasha, Deputy Secretary-General
Mr Amitav Banerji, Director, Secretary-General’s Office
Mr Matthew Neuhaus, Director, Political Affairs Division
Ms Alexandra Jones, Director, Strategic Planning and Evaluation Division
Ms Daisy Cooper, Planning Officer, Strategic Planning and Evaluation Division
Ms Sabhita Raju, Political Affairs Officer, Good Offices, Political Affairs Division
The Commission is indebted to Shamit Saggar and Sarah Ladbury for their background papers which greatly assisted their discussions.