The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) met for the 55th time this week to discuss developments in member states.
The group was formed in 1995 to be a custodian of fundamental political values of the Commonwealth. It is made up of a rotating group of foreign ministers, representing all regions of the Commonwealth, including the Foreign Minister of the Commonwealth Chair-in-Office, the host nation of the previous Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.
In 2011, Commonwealth Heads of Government endorsed a strengthened mandate for CMAG to play a more constructive role in supporting member countries’ adherence to Commonwealth values.
This week CMAG reaffirmed its support for home-grown solutions, including credible and inclusive dialogue and other peace processes, in resolving serious political challenges in member countries. The group encouraged the Secretary-General’s Good Offices to support such processes where requested. CMAG further acknowledged the value of regional oversight mechanisms and international support in such situations, including joint missions where appropriate.
The group also received an update from the Secretary-General on the ongoing membership processes for Maldives and Zimbabwe.
CMAG meetings are convened by the Commonwealth Secretary-General with the Commonwealth Secretariat providing secretarial support. The group may agree measures for collective action to deal with persistent or serious violations of Commonwealth values, including suspending membership of the Commonwealth or even recommending expulsion.
The meeting was chaired by Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Dr Monica Juma. The meeting was attended by Ministers and Representatives of Namibia, Ghana, Malaysia, Belize, Barbados, Australia, Samoa and the United Kingdom.