Baroness Scotland of Asthal, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations
The Secretary-General will discuss The Commonwealth’s distinctive contribution to areas of pressing global concern, such as climate change, countering violent extremism, and eliminating violence against women and girls. She will describe how The Commonwealth’s hallmark characteristics of connectedness, consensus and goodwill are bringing ‘soul’ to international affairs.
From its beginnings in the late 19th century, The Commonwealth has evolved through an era of decolonisation and independence. It is bound by much more than governments, with deep links in education and civil society. Today it is home to 2.2 billion citizens, almost two thirds of them under the age of 30.
The Romanes Lecture is the annual public lecture of the University of Oxford. A most distinguished public figure from the arts, science or literature is invited by special invitation of the Vice-Chancellor. The lecture was created in 1891, following an offer by John Romanes of Christ Church to fund an annual lecture, and the first one was given in 1892 by William Gladstone. Other speakers in its 124 year history have included Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill, founder of the Royal Shakespeare Company Sir Peter Hall and politician Lady Violet Bonham Carter.