CMAG’s modest achievementsPosted by AlexT - 01/12/09 at 01:12 pm
Krishnan Srinivasan, former Deputy Secretary-General (Political) of the Commonwealth, says that although the Commonwealth has made a start in committing to the Harare principles, it is difficult to see where the process will end.
In an article published in The Round Table in October 2003, Krishnan Srinivasan charts the rise of CMAG – the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group – formed in 1995 to monitor adherence to the values of the Harare Declaration.
While the group has met many times over the past years its achievements, even with a limited mandate, are extremely modest. The case of the Solomon Islands, is just one he mentions. Their Prime Minister Bartholomew Ulafa’alu was forced in 2000 to step down at gun-point and had to go through a charade of seeking a vote of confidence when his supporters were forcibly restrained from attending Parliament, yet the country was never suspended.
While the creation of the Group represents a notable development, its work in practice does not justify much optimism that the Commonwealth can become a values-based organisation.