Download Interview Transcript. Biography: Major, John. 1943-. Born in UK. Member of Parliament (Conservative Party), 1979-2001. Parliamentary Private Secretary, 1981. Under-Secretary of State for Social Security in 1985. Minister of State for Social Security, 1986....
This Witness Seminar, Britain in the Commonwealth: The 1997 Edinburgh Commonwealth took place at Marlborough House, London, on Monday, 19th March 2018. Download full Witness Seminar Transcript. Session participants: Amitav Banerji then Deputy Conference Secretary,...
Download Interview Transcript. Biography: Downer, Alexander. 1951-. Born in Australia. Educated at Newcastle University (1975-1976). Australian Diplomatic Service, 1976-82. Political Adviser to Prime Minister JM Fraser, 1982-83. House of Representatives for Mayo,...
Download the transcript (12 Feb 2013) Biography – Abdul Minty. Born South Africa, 1939. Graduate University College London. Appointed the Honorary Secretary of the British Anti-Apartheid Movement (AAM) 1962-1995. He played an important role in lobbying the...
Download the transcript (12 Jan 2015) Biography – Dame Billie Miller was educated at Queen’s College in Barbados, King’s College, Durham University and the Council of Legal Education in England. She was the coordinator of CARICOM ministerial spokespersons with...
Download Interview Transcripts: Part One (9 March 2016) and Part Two (29 March 2016) Biography: Sharma, Kamalesh. 1941-. Born in India. Educated at St Stephen’s College, Delhi and University of Cambridge. Indian Foreign Service, 1965-2001. India’s Permanent...
Patricia Janet Scotland, Baroness Scotland of Asthal, (b.1955) is a British barrister and jurist who served as Attorney General for England and Wales from 2007 to 2010. Baroness Scotland had previously served as Attorney General for Northern Ireland (2007-10). Born in Dominica, she was elected as the sixth Commonwealth Secretary General at the Malta CHOGM in November 2015. In April 2016 she took up her post as the first female Commonwealth Secretary General.
Tan Sri Dr Rais Yatim (b.1942) is a Malaysian political figure who served the federal government in several ministerial positions from 1974 to 2013. He was Minister for Foreign Affairs (1986-87, 2008-09), Minister for Culture, Arts and Heritage (2004-08) and Minister for Information, Communication and Culture (1984-86, 2009-13).
Maja Daruwala is an Indian barrister and human rights advocate who has served as Executive Director of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) since 1996. Daruwala previously worked as Ford Foundation Programme Officer for South Asia.
Dr Cyrus Rustomjee (b.1961) is a South African economist and financial advisor who served as Director of the Economic Affairs Division, Commonwealth Secretariat, from 2009 to 2014. He was previously Chairperson of the Financial Services Board in South Africa (2003-09) and member of the G20 Secretariat during South Africa’s term as G20 Chair (2007).
Transparency International is a non-government organisation based in Berlin, Germany, which monitors and publicizes corporate and political corruption in international development. It was founded in 1993 and produces an extensive annual ‘Global Corruption Barometer’ and ‘Corruption Perceptions Index’.
Commonwealth Connects (CC) is an international network that allows accredited Commonwealth organisations and partners to collaborate and share knowledge in a secure online environment. Supported by the Commonwealth Secretariat, CC has been promoted as “a vehicle for technology and knowledge transfer in areas such as eGovernment, Telecommunications Regulation and related activities that have a bearing on national, social, and economic development.”
Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative
The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) is an international, non-governmental organisation established in 1987 to support the implementation of the Harare Declaration in the Commonwealth of Nations. It provides thematic human rights reports to every Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. In 1993, its headquarters moved from London to New Delhi, India.
Amartya Kumar Sen (b.1933) is an Indian economist and philosopher who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1998. He is Thomas W Lamont Professor and Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University, and previously served as Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, UK, and Chancellor of Nalanda University, India.
The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) was established in 1985 to coordinate economic, political and socio-cultural interaction across the South Asian region. Its eight member countries include: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. It is head-quartered in Kathmandu, Nepal.
The Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative is a debt reduction programme jointly coordinated by the IMF and the World Bank and launched in 1996. The initiative provides debt relief and low-interest loans to 39 countries around the world, 33 of which are located in sub-Saharan Africa.
Small Island Developing States
The Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are a group of developing countries recognised as a distinct group by the United Nations, initially at the UN Conference on Environment and Development in 1992. Group activity among the SIDS has been defined by the 1994 Barbados Programme of Action, which focuses on sustainable development.
Tun Musa bin Hitam (b.1934) was Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia from 1981 to 1986, serving under Mahathir bin Mohamad. From 1990-91 he was Malaysia’s Special Envoy to the United Nations and, in 1995, was appointed as Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG).
Marlborough House is a 17
th century mansion in the City of Westminster, central London, which has served as the headquarters of the Commonwealth Secretariat since 1953. Kevin Rudd
Kevin Rudd, b.1957, was twice Prime Minister of Australia (2007-10, 2013), leading a Labor Party government. He has also acted as Minister for Foreign Affairs (2010-12) under the leadership of Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
The London Declaration was a declaration on India’s continued membership in the Commonwealth of Nations following its transition to a republican constitution, issued at the 1949 Commonwealth Prime Ministers’ Conference. It is generally seen to mark the beginning of the ‘modern’ Commonwealth, accepting that countries which are not dominions are eligible to join.
Click here to read the Declaration. Pacific Islands Forum
The Pacific Islands Forum is an inter-governmental organization. Founded in 1971 as the South Pacific Forum, it aims to enhance cooperation between the countries of the Pacific Ocean.
Michael Frendo (b. 1955). Former Maltese politician. As a member of the Nationalist Party, he was Minister of Foreign Affairs 2004-08. He has also been a member and Chair of CMAG.
James Gordon Brown (b. 1951). British politician. He was Prime Minister and Leader of the Labour Party, 2007-10 and Chancellor of the Exchequer, 1997-2007.
Lawrence Gonzi (b. 1953). Maltese politician. He was leader of the Nationalist Party and Prime Minister of Malta, 2004-13. He was Chairperson-in-Office of the Commonwealth, 2005-07.
The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a mechanism of the United Nations Human Rights Council and was established in 2006. It periodically evaluates the human rights performance of UN member states.
Gayoom (Maumoon Abdul Gayoom)
Maumoon Abdul Gayoom (b. 1937). Maldivian politician. He was President of the Maldives, 1978-2008. In 2011 he formed the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM).
Millennium Development Goals
The Millennium Development Goals are a series of eight development goals adopted in 2000 following the United Nations Millennium Summit.
Jagdeo (Bharrat Jagdeo)
Bharrat Jagdeo (b. 1964). Guyanese politician and member of the PPP. He was President of Guyana, 1999-2011. In December 2011 his term of office came to an end, and he was succeeded by Donald Ramotar.
The Group of Eight (G8) was a forum for the governments of the eight leading industrialised countries of the world. It began in 1975 as the G6, and the following year became the G7 with the addition of Canada. From 1998 to 2014 it became the G8, reverting to being the G7 with the suspension of Russia as of March 2014.
The World Trade Organization. International organisation that aims to manage and organise liberalisation of international trade. Established in 1995, the WTO replaced the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade signed in 1947
The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. An international institution, founded in 1944, that funds development projects
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. A United Nations agency founded in 1946.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. Established in 1964 to promote to trade, investment and development opportunities in developing countries.
United Nations. Major international organisation, founded in 1945.
Manmohan Singh (b. 1932). Indian politician and economist, he served as Prime Minister from 2004 to 2014.
Kamalesh Sharma (b. 1941). Indian diplomat, Commonwealth Secretary-General from 2008-2016.
Southern African Development Community (SADC). An international organisation founded in 1992, and a successor to the Southern African Development Coordination Conference, founded in 1980. Goal to encourage socio-economic cooperation and integration among southern African states.
Sonny Ramphal (Shridath Ramphal)
Shridath Surendranath 'Sonny' Ramphal (b. 1928). Guyanese politician, second Commonwealth Secretary-General (1975-1990).
Nehru (Jawaharlal Nehru)
Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964) was an Indian politician and prominent leader in the Indian National Congress-led movement for independence from colonial rule. He served as India's first Prime Minister from 1947 to his death in 1964. Nehru was also a key figure in the Non-Aligned Movement, present at its founding in Belgrade in 1961.
Sir Donald McKinnon (b. 1939) is a New Zealand politician who served as Deputy Prime Minister for the National Party (1990-96), Foreign Minister (1990-99) and Secretary General of the Commonwealth of Nations (2000-08).
Thabo Mbeki (b.1942). South African politician. He has served as an African National Congress negotiator in the 1980s and 1990s, and as South African Deputy President (1994-1999) and President (1999-2008).
Latimer House Principles
Commonwealth principles on the relationship between the three branches of government that seek to promote good governance. Drafted in 1998 and endorsed by Commonwealth Heads of Government in 2003.
European Union. International organisation of European states. Known as the European Economic Community before 1993.
Eminent Persons Group. A group of well-known individuals chosen by the Commonwealth to research a specific issue. The 1985 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting appointed an EPG to report on apartheid in South Africa, published in 1986 as
Mission to South Africa. A second EPG was appointed in 2009 and tasked to produce a report on Commonwealth reform for 2011. CMAG
Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group. Established by Commonwealth Heads of Government in 1995, the CMAG upholds the terms of the Harare Declaration.
The Commonwealth Foundation is a Commonwealth organisation founded in 1965 to promote the growth of professional organisations and exchange of skills, and now pursuing a broader developmental agenda.
CFTC (Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation)
The Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation (CFTC) is an organisation administered by the Commonwealth Secretariat that delivers technical assistance to Commonwealth member countries. A mutual and voluntary fund, it was established in 1971.
Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. Every two years Commonwealth heads of government meet to discuss global and Commonwealth issues, with the aim of promoting common initiatives.
Caribbean Community. In 1972, Commonwealth Caribbean leaders at the Seventh Heads of Government Conference agreed to transform the Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA) into a Common Market and establish the Caribbean Community, of which the Common Market would be an integral part. The treaty establishing the Caribbean Community was signed at Chaguaramas on 4 July 1973.
David Cameron (b. 1966). British Prime Minister (2010-).
Emeka Anyaoku (b. 1933). Nigerian diplomat. Served as Head of the Commonwealth International Affairs Division (1973-1977), Assistant Secretary General (1977-1979); Deputy Secretary General (1979-1991); Secretary General (1991-2001).