The British Council in the Commonwealth

Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, Edinburgh

Events organised by the British Council

- The British Council Exhibition 'Eyes on the horizon, feet on the ground'

The exhibition was first mounted at the Commonwealth Conference of Education Ministers' Parallel Convention in Botswana in July 1997. It is an interactive exhibition demonstrating creative ways of teaching and learning with new technology. The exhibition communicates ideas through hands-on experience showing how computers, CD-ROMs, multimedia, video-conferencing, clockwork radios, speech-recognition software and a wide range of new technologies are changing the face of education in the Commonwealth today. For CHOGM there was also a continuous programme of video-conferencing to schools around Britain, Australia and Southern Africa, arranged in collaboration with a charity Interaid, ICL and BT.

- The British Council Stand, The Commonwealth Centre Exhibition

The stand presented the work of The British Council in Commonwealth countries and in areas of interest to the Commonwealth. The British Council Web pages, providing information on the range of British Council activities and initiatives worldwide, and also on developments taking place in Britain, were demonstrated. The stand was visited by HRH The Prince of Wales, HRH The Princess Royal, and numerous Heads of Government and senior officials from around the Commonwealth.

Events Supported by The British Council

- The Commonwealth in Concert

This concert of artists from around the Commonwealth formed part of the official cultural programme for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and was attended by HRH The Prince of Wales. The Council was involved as partner and co-presenter with the Prince's Trust.

- Commonwealth Conference on Sports and Development

The first ever Commonwealth Conference on Sport and Development was organised by the UK and Scottish Sports Councils and sought to enhance the role and importance of sport in national development. The aim of the Conference, entitled 'Building a Nation through Sport' was to demonstrate to policy makers that they can achieve their policy objectives through sport. The Conference was be chaired by The Rt. Hon. David Mellor QC. Speakers include the UK Minister of Sport and the Ministers of Sport from South Africa and Trinidad and Tobago. The audience included Ministers of Sport and key sports ambassadors.

- Commonwealth Youth Forum

The Youth Forum brought together 114 young people from fifty-seven countries with a similar number of young people from throughout UK to take part in a youth CHOGM debate. Groups met throughout UK over a ten day period and then came together in Edinburgh during CHOGM. The Prince of Wales attended an informal session at which a Final Communique was presented.

This was the biggest gathering of representative Commonwealth youth ever seen, and the biggest international youth work project ever attempted by UK youth organisations working collaboratively throughout the four home nations. It provided an important dimension to CHOGM, consulting young people to capture their vision for the Commonwealth in the 21st century. The Forum was organised by the Commonwealth Youth Exchange Council and Scottish Youth Organisations, and supported by The British Council's Youth Exchanges Council.

- 'Women and Decision Making'

The British Council participated in and supported speakers to this Conference organised by the Women's National Commission, the official advisory committee to the British Government. The main themes of the conference were: women in politics, women in senior management, and equal opportunities in the workplace. The chair and speakers included three British government ministers - Baroness Symons, Joan Ruddock and Henry MacLeish. The British Council funded the participation of women speakers from South Africa and India.

- 'Running, Reporting and Researching Africa'

This was the culminating event of Scotland Africa 1997, and The University of Edinburgh's contribution to Scotland Africa 97 and to CHOGM. The Council office in Kenya supported a three-week visit from Kenyan journalist Kwende Opanga to observe and report on Scotland and to make a presentation to the conference. He was based at The Scotsman.

- Cultural Milieu for CHOGM

At the request of FCO, The British Council co-ordinated the non-official cultural programme in Edinburgh leading up to and during CHOGM, in collaboration with partners including the City of Edinburgh, the Scottish Arts Council and Visiting Arts. An extensive and varied programme was developed. The British Council also supported a number of events including Market Theatre of Johannesburg at the Royal Lyceum and a series of Scottish Concerts at the Assembly Rooms and Usher Hall.


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Produced in Britain by the British Council
© The British Council 1997

The British Council, registered in England as a charity no. 209131, is the United Kingdom's
international network for education, culture and development services.

  Produced in the United Kingdom by The British Council © 1999. The British Council is the United Kingdom's international organisation for educational and cultural relations. Registered in England as a Charity.