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CHOGM Diary 2011, The Round Table, The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, December 2011.

CHOGM Diary 2011, The Round Table

The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, December 2011

Excerpt:

Not surprisingly, both among the delegates and in the briefing rooms and media centre, the focal point of interest relating to CHOGM 2011 was the Heads of Government response to the 106 recommendations for reform, contained in the report of the Eminent Persons Groups (EPG), made pubic - belatedly - by the Heads of Government oin the last day of the meeting. Over half the recommendations were accepted, the remainder treated as requiring 'further consideration'. Top of the list of acceptable recommendations were those relating to strengthening the functioning of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG), the group of nine rotating countries that was constituted in 1995 to scrutinise those countries that were considered to be in violation of the Commonwealth's political values. The main changes included giving clearer guidelines and time frames for engagement in situations where a member country has unilaterally abrogated its constitutions, suspended or prevented the parliament from functioning or unreasonable postponed national elections. As many Commonwealth watchers have long felt, this strengthened mandate is vital if the Commonwealth is to maintain its credibility as an institution that genuinely upholds democratic principles and the rule of law, as outlined in the 1991 Harare Declaration. 



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