The 60th meeting of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) was held virtually on 16 May 2022. Following the meeting, the Group released their Concluding Statement.
Concluding Statement of the 60th Meeting of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group
Virtual Meeting, 16 May 2022, 11.00 – 12.30pm GMT
1. The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) held its sixtieth meeting by video conference on 16 May 2022. The meeting was chaired by Ambassador Raychelle Omamo SC, EGH, Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Kenya. Ministers and Representatives of Australia, Barbados, Belize, Ghana, Malaysia, Namibia, Samoa, and the United Kingdom also participated in the virtual meeting.
2. The Group expressed their condolences to the Secretary-General on the loss of her brother on 16 May 2022. Condolences were also expressed on the loss of HE Mwai Kibaki, the third President of Kenya, on 22 April 2022, and on the loss of Hon. Samuel H. Basil, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, of Papua New Guinea, on 11 May 2022.
3. Ministers noted the ongoing challenges and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and that while some countries had begun to reopen, others were facing new or early waves of the pandemic. Ministers expressed sadness that more than one million Commonwealth citizens had died as a result of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, and noted that vaccines remained our single greatest weapon in the ongoing fight against COVID-19. Ministers noted that urgent and sustained international cooperation was the most effective way to address any outstanding challenges of vaccine equity.
4. Ministers noted the extraordinary geopolitical developments that had occurred since their last meeting, including global instability. Ministers emphasised the ongoing and vital importance of upholding the Commonwealth’s tightly held values of democracy, peace, security, justice, respect for international law, the advancement of the rule of law and the protection, respect, and fulfilment of human rights of all people.
5. Ministers welcomed the Secretariat’s ongoing efforts to strengthen reporting processes and mechanisms in accordance with the Group’s enhanced 2011 mandate and ensure that CMAG remained fit for purpose. The Group underlined that the Secretary-General’s Good Offices continued to play an important role in helping countries to address issues of concern and build confidence in CMAG, as this allowed members the time and opportunity to address issues of concern before matters were brought to the Group as a last resort.
6. The Group received an update from the Secretary-General on her Good Offices engagements, as well as technical support to enhance member governments’ efforts in strengthening their human rights, rule of law, and democratic processes. The Group welcomed the Secretariat’s initiative to host the Marlborough House Dialogues and commended the outcomes of these dialogues so far. The Group further welcomed the Secretariat’s renewed focus on Whole-of-Election-Cycle observation and management. Ministers congratulated the Secretary-General on her extensive Good Offices work and commended the Secretariat’s ongoing democracy work.
7. Ministers noted that the Commonwealth Heads of Governments Meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, June 2022, in the margins of CHOGM, will provide an opportunity for members to come together to reaffirm their commitment to the Commonwealth values, and creatively address the dynamic and pressing challenges facing the global community. They also requested early circulation of the draft quadrennial report to allow CMAG members to reflect on it and offer amendments accordingly.