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Amartya Sen to chair Commonwealth on Friday

The commission was constituted "to explore initiatives to promote mutual understanding and respect among all faiths."

india Updated: Nov 30, 2006 16:32 IST

Nobel laureate Amartya Sen will chair the first Commonwealth meet on respect and understanding on Friday, Commonwealth Secretariat sources said in London.

The 10-member Commission on Respect and Understanding, formed by Commonwealth secretary-general Don McKinnon and led by Sen, focuses on the root causes of conflict, the breakdown of understanding within and between communities, and its implications for policy-makers.

The commission was constituted in response to a request by the Commonwealth heads of government at a 2005 meeting "to explore initiatives to promote mutual understanding and respect among all faiths and communities in the Commonwealth".

McKinnon said, "The commission's role is to look at the communities that work well in the Commonwealth - those that really manage respect and understanding.

"We have experience in the Commonwealth of successfully bringing diverse cultures and communities together in positive ways, and we want to replicate these successes across our 53 member states and beyond."

The group's report will be presented to heads of government for consideration at their next summit in Kampala, Uganda, in November next year.

Besides Sen, members of the commission include Lord John Alderdice, member of the House of Lords and facilitator in the Northern Ireland peace process in Britain, and Adrienne Clarkson, former governor-general of Canada.

First Published: Nov 30, 2006 16:32 IST