Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard will speak at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth People’s Forum (CPF) on 25 October 2011 in Perth, Western Australia. The ceremony marks the start of a three-day event where civil society from around the Commonwealth will gather to discuss and debate key issues facing Commonwealth People.

The Forum culminates in a round table dialogue between civil society representatives and Foreign Ministers as part of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. Premier of Western Australia, The Hon.

Colin Barnett and Commonwealth Secretary-General H.E. Kamalesh Sharma will also attend the opening ceremony.

The Forum continues to be an established and crucial part of the interface between governments and civil society, creating opportunities for dialogue on priority issues in the Commonwealth.

The CPF provides a platform for people around Australia and the wider Commonwealth to come together to discuss development issues affecting not only themselves, but many of the Commonwealth’s 2 billion citizens. Over 250 accredited delegates from around the world are expected to attend the Forum to debate topics including climate change, human rights and economic development with an overarching theme “Driving Change for a Dynamic Commonwealth.” These delegates will be joined by a further 250 people from the local community to celebrate the opening of the Forum.

Commonwealth Foundation Director, Danny Sriskandarajah said “We’re delighted that Prime Minister Gillard will open the Commonwealth People’s Forum and have no doubt that her views will guide us through the discussions that follow. The CPF is an immense opportunity for civil society to make an impact on the agenda for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and also for leaders to hear and listen to the voice of Commonwealth people. We’re thrilled that the Prime Minister’s attendance makes the link between the two meetings clear.”