I warmly welcome the emphasis for the meeting on a Rules-Based World. This is particularly needed at a time when Presidents Trump and Putin behave erratically and sometimes illegally.
The commitment to human rights is very necessary. Nevertheless, much remains to be done, especially as regards organized crime, human trafficking, money laundering, cyber-crime and political violence. These points were underlined by the House of Lords Select Committee on International Relations (HL Paper 74), and the debate of 22 March 2018.
I urge the Heads of Government and the Commonwealth Peoples Forum to secure effective joint action on these issues – also on environmental needs such as the growing pollution of the oceans and de-carbonizing of the atmosphere.
Much detailed work is required on personal issues, for example, abolishing capital punishment, ending discrimination and persecution of religious and ethnic groups, or limiting forced marriages and female genital mutilation.
Personal freedom and democracy go hand in hand, but individual and collective liberty require constant vigilance. Better protection is needed for journalists and lawyers who defend human rights, of which the most important is the right to life.