Category: People’s Forum

31 Oct by CHOGM


The CPF is the Commonwealth People’s Forum, the largest gathering of Commonwealth civil society to come together every two years to debate and discuss the issues that affect them. These issues are then distilled into a communiqué and presented to Commonwealth Foreign Ministers at the Commonwealth heads of Government Meeting which takes place directly after the CPF. When is the 2009 CPF? Sunday 22 – Thursday 26 November Where will the CPF take place? The Cascadia Hotel and Conference Centre is the host venue for the CPF. The CPF Opening Ceremony will be hosted at Queen’s Hall. A help desk for CPF delegates will be operational at the Cascadia Hotel. How often is the CPF organised? Every two years, to coincide with the biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). Why have a CPF?
  • To raise the visibility of civil society in the Commonwealth;
  • To create partnerships in the quest for development and democracy and strengthen links between Commonwealth civil society organisations;
  • To create opportunities for dialogue between civil society and government ministers on priority issues in the Commonwealth; and
  • To provide opportunities for that dialogue to be raised and addressed at the CHOGM.
What is the theme? The CPF theme is the same as that of the CHOGM: Partnering for a More Equitable and Sustainable Future. Who attends the CPF?
  • Civil society
  • Civil Society Organisations / Non Governmental Organisations
  • Heads of government
  • Ministers
  • CHOGM delegates
  • Private sector representatives
  • Youth
  • Members of the public
What is the role of the CHOGM National Secretariat? The CHOGM National Secretariat and Commonwealth Foundation work together closely to coordinate and resource the CPF. The Secretariat provides the infrastructure required to stage a successful CPF, such as venues, audio visual equipment, transport and security. Overall, the Secretariat has responsibility for coordinating the CHOGM and all its parallel events. What is the Civil Society Steering Committee? The Civil Society Steering Committee is a group made up of civil society, CHOGM National Secretariat and Commonwealth Foundation representatives. The Committee regularly meets to provide input into the development of the CPF. The Committee is hosted by the Office of the Prime Minister and Chaired by Ms Beverly Beckles; CEO of the National Centre for Persons with Disabilities. How many people can attend the CPF? There is capacity for 500 delegates at the CPF. How many CPF delegates will come from outside of Trinidad and Tobago? Approximately 1 in 5 delegates are expected to attend from outside the host country; however this number is difficult to predict. How do I get involved? You can register to attend the CPF online at from August 5 2009 – October 15 2009. Registration will close earlier if all the assemblies reach capacity before then so don’t delay! The number of participants is determined by the room size and is on a first come, first served basis. While you may only select one assembly for registration purposes, delegates are able to attend others should space permit. If you do not have access to the online form, you can register at the office of the Local Host – Professional Centre, Unit 105/106 Fitz Blackman Drive, South Woodbrook, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago phone 627 4807. You can also register at the National Centre for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD), 7-21 New Street, San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago phone 652 4880/657 3525. What happens after I register? Whether you register directly through the on-line system or using a paper form, you will receive an email from CF Events confirming your registration. This email includes details on how to pay the registration fee. You do not need to follow this up. Instructions regarding collection of registration passes will be communicated closer to the CPF. What is the registration fee? A registration fee of $100TT for host country delegates applies when paid prior to the CPF. If paid at the CPF, the fee increases to $120TT. The fee for delegates from outside of the host country is $100US or $120US if paid at the CPF. Who collects my fee and what does it cover? The fee is collected by the Commonwealth Foundation and is payable in three ways – directly to the Commonwealth Foundation, through the Local Host or at the CPF. The fee goes towards covering the considerable cost of catering for CPF delegates. How do I collect my registration pass? Passes will be issued by the CHOGM National Secretariat. Delegates who register prior to October 15 will receive their registration passes in time for the CPF. Delegates registering in special circumstances after October 15 will be redirected to onsite registration centres in Port of Spain upon their opening to obtain their pass. Where are the Learning Journeys going to? Five Learning Journeys will be travelling to projects across Trinidad and Tobago. Learning Journeys provide opportunities for CPF delegates to share experiences with colleagues from civil society in the host country. Learning Journeys will take place on Thursday 26 November 2009. Those listed below are confirmed and more details about them will be available closer to the CPF. CPF delegates can register for a Learning Journey upon arrival at the CPF on a first come first served basis. There is capacity for 150 delegates to attend the Learning Journeys.
  • Tobago: civil society networking opportunity hosted by Soroptimists International followed by visit to Buccoo     Reef with Buccoo Reef Trust
  • Civil society networking opportunity with Toco-based groups hosted by Toco Foundation
  • National Centre for Persons with Disabilities, Indian Caribbean Museum and TT Agri Business Association
  • Just Because Foundation and Export Centre
  • Santa Rosa Amerindian Community
If you miss out on a Learning Journey, you could attend a skills building workshop at the People’s Space, continue networking with your new civil society contacts, go shopping or book a private tour. What transport is provided? Complimentary transportation will be provided as follows:
  • To / from Piarco airport to CHOGM hotels from November 19-28
  • To / from CPF venue and other CPF venues where required
  • To / from Learning Journeys
What is the People’s Space? An exciting aspect of the 2009 CHOGM is the People’s Space, taking place in the Queen’s Park Savannah. The People’s Space will be an open, interactive area and a hive of activity. Cultural performances, film, workshops and hands on activities will be central to the People’s Space. The People’s Space – is a free space, quite literally, for The People. Visitors to the People’s Space do not need to be registered delegates. When will the People’s Space take place? You can participate in the People’s Space from Monday 23 to Sunday 29 November, 2009.