Government silent at Peoples Forum

Joseph, a human rights activist from Malaysia said after three days of deliberations, not one government minister who was among 700 participants at a forum on Wednesday asked a question, or made a comment about the way forward. Expressing his disappointment, Joseph, the advisor of the Capacity Building Programme in Malaysia said he was however unsure that their deliberations at the CPF over the last three days will be taken seriously by the various governments.

He said: “I am not too sure that this document will reach into the hearts of government or their foreign ministers.”

We got a little bit of taste when we had a chance to present this at a 10-minute interaction with them,” Joseph continued.

“Our Chair presented it for six to seven minutes, he shared about it and the room was silent; maybe they were just listening, but after that, there was not a single question.

I was a little bit shocked, because I thought this was six to seven hundred people, deliberating for three days, a lot of money spent by the foundations which is money from the governments and not a single comment, or question about the seriousness that came out of us discussing it. Then I wonder are the Heads of Governments really serious of our imput?”

Joseph questioned the presence of hundreds of delegates from around the world gathered in Trinidad for Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Port-of-Spain today. Then he quipped: “Why did they bring us here? Why did they allow this to happen ? He wondered if CPF was merely symbolism.

He noted the assemblies of Human Rights, Financial Crisis and Economic Development, Environment and Climate Change, Gender, Health and HIV & AIDS, Peace & Conflict, Deepening Democracy & Governance, Creativity & Innovation along with government ministers all met on Wednesday in a session.


"Government silent at Peoples Forum"

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