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 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...
On 5th October, Hon Julia Gillard, former Prime Minister of Australia (2010-2013) spoke at King’s College, London on the future of the Commonwealth. Gillard will be a Visiting Professor in the Policy Institute at King’s College. Read the transcript of her...
Download interview transcripts: Part One (18 March 2013); Part Two (22 May 2015) Biography: Segal, Hugh. 1950- . Educated at the University of Ottawa. Senior Aide to Ontario Premier Bill Davis in the 1970s and 80s. Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Brian Mulroney,...
Download Interview Transcript. Biography: Kirby, Michael, 1939-. Deputy President of the Australian Conciliation & Arbitration Commission, 1974-1975; inaugural Chairman of the Australian Law Reform Commission, 1975-84. Judge of the Federal Court of Australia,...
Download Interview Transcript: Part One (8 January 2013); Part Two (12 March 2013). Biography: Rifkind, Rt. Hon. Sir Malcolm. 1946- . KCMG 1997. PC 1986. Lectured at University of Rhodesia, 1967–68. Visiting Professor, Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities,...
William Jefferson Hague (b.1961) is a British political figure who served as Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs from 2010 to 2014 and Leader of the House of Commons from 2014 to 2015. Hague was previously Leader of the Conservative Party and Leader of the Opposition from 1997 to 2001.
ZIMCORD (Zimbabwe Conference on Reconstruction and Development)
The Zimbabwe Conference on Reconstruction and Development (ZIMCORD) was convened in Salisbury, 23-27 March 1981, in an attempt to encourage investment and assistance from the international community to the newly-established country. At the conference, thirty-one countries and twenty-six international organisations pledged $1.45 billion in economic aid to Zimbabwe.
Umkhonto we Sizwe
Umkhonto we Sizwe (‘Spear of the Nation’; abbreviated as MK) was the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC), operating from 1961 to 1990. MK was founded following the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre and represents a turn away from non-violent struggle in South Africa. Branded as a ‘terrorist’ organisation by both the South African government and the United States, its members included Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo, Chris Hani, Joe Slovo and Thabo Mbeki, among others..
Arthur Christopher Soames, Baron Soames, (1920-1987) was a British Conservative politician who served as the last Governor of Southern Rhodesia (1979-80). He served the Government of Harold Macmillan as Secretary of State for War and as Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, and also served as British Ambassador to France (1968-72) and European Commissioner for Trade and External Relations (1973-77).
Francis Pym, Baron Pym, (1922-2008) was a British political figure who served as Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1982-83) in the government of Margaret Thatcher. A member of the Conservative Party, Pym acted in other Cabinet posts including Defence Secretary (1979-81), Northern Ireland Secretary (1974) and Leader of the House of Commons (1981-82).
Patricia Francis is a Jamaican civil servant and former management consultant who served as Executive Director of the International Trade Centre in Geneva from 2006 to 2013. Francis was previously President of Jamaica Promostion Corporation, a member of Jamaica’s Cabinet Committee for Development and chaired the OECD’s Caribbean Rim Investment Initiative. In 2010-11, she was a member of the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group.
Dr Asma Jilani Jahangir (b.1952) is a Pakistani lawyer and activist who was a founding member of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. Jahangir played a prominent role in the Lawyers’ Movement against the actions of President Pervez Musharraf and, in 2010, was elected President of the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan. She was a member of the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group (2010-11), and serves the United Nations as Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions.
Sir Ronald Sanders (b.1948) is a Caribbean political figure and diplomat who has served as Public Affairs Adviser to the Prime Minister of Guyana (1973-76), Deputy Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Nations (1981-82), and High Commissioner to the United Kingdom for Antigua and Barbuda (1983-87,1995-2004). He was part of the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group (2010-11) and has held senior positions in UNESCO (1983-87) and as Ambassador to the World Trade Organisation.
Portcullis House is a British government building that opened in 2001 and provides offices for UK Members of Parliament and their staff. It is located directly beside the Palace of Westminster in London.
The Commonwealth Games is an international sporting event that takes place every four years and brings together athletes from across the Commonwealth of Nations. It began in 1930 as the British Empire Games, and is overseen today by the Commonwealth Games Federation.
‘Number 10’ refers to 10 Downing Street, the official residence of the British Prime Minister in London and the headquarters of the British Government.
Zimbabwe African People’s Union. A militant political organisation founded in 1961 that fought against white minority rule in Rhodesia. Merged with ZANU in 1987 to form ZANU-PF.
Zimbabwe African National Union. A militant political organisation founded in 1963 to campaign against white minority rule in Rhodesia. It won power in 1980, and in 1987 merged with ZAPU to form ZANU-PF.
Harold Wilson (1916-1995). British politician and Prime Minister (1964-1970, 1974-1976).
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. A United Nations agency founded in 1946.
United Nations. Major international organisation, founded in 1945.
Unilateral Declaration of Independence. Rhodesia’s 1965 declaration of independence without British agreement, intended to preserve white minority rule.
Oliver Tambo (1917-1993). South African politician and anti-apartheid campaigner.
The Millbrook Declaration (1995) is a Commonwealth policy programme, announced at the end of the New Zealand CHOGM. It was designed to uphold the Harare Declaration (1991).
Click here to read the Declaration in full. Hugh Segal
Hugh Segal (b. 1950). Canadian politician and a member of the 2010 Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group.
Sir Malcolm Rifkind (b.1946) is a British politician who served various ministerial roles in the governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major, including Secretary of State for Defence (1992-95) and Foreign Secretary (1995-97). From 2010 to 2015, Rifkind was Chair of the Parliament Intelligence and Security Committee.
Lord Renwick of Clifton (b. 1937). British diplomat. Head of Chancery, British Embassy, Washington, 1981-84; Assistant Under-Secretary of State, FCO, 1984-87; British Ambassador to South Africa, 1987-91, and to the United States, 1991-95. Author of 'Unconventional Diplomacy in Southern Africa' (Palgrave, 1997).
Sonny Ramphal (Shridath Ramphal)
Shridath Surendranath 'Sonny' Ramphal (b. 1928). Guyanese politician, second Commonwealth Secretary-General (1975-1990).
An informal term describing the countries of the pre-1945 Commonwealth: Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa.
Nkomo (Joshua Nkomo)
Joshua Nkomo (1917-1999). Zimbabwean nationalist and leader of ZAPU.
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.
John Major (b.1943). British politician, served, amongst other ministerial positions, as Foreign Secretary (1989) and Prime Minister (1990-1997).
Samora Machel (1933-1996). Mozambican soldier and politician, served as President (1975-1986).
A London mansion house, frequently used as the venue for decolonisation negotiations between the 1940s and 1970s. It was the site of the
Lancaster House Agreement in December 1979, for instance, which brought an end to white rule in Rhodesia. Michael Kirby
Michael Kirby (b.1939) is an Australian jurist who served as a Justice on the High Court of Australia between 1996 and 2009. He was President of the International Commission of Jurists (1995-98) and from 2009 to 2011 was a member of the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group.
King Charles Street
King Charles Street is a central London thoroughfare, home of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Paul Keating (b. 1944). Prime Minister of Australia (1991-1996).
Geoffrey Howe (b. 1926). Lord Howe of Aberavon. British politician, held various Cabinet positions in Margaret Thatcher’s government including Foreign Secretary (1983-1989).
The Harare Commonwealth Declaration of 1991 set out the Commonwealth's principles and values, including membership criteria.
Click here to read the Declaration in full. Gorbachev
Mikhail Gorbachev (b. 1931). Final leader of the Soviet Union (1985-1991).
The Gleneagles Agreement was approved by Commonwealth leaders in Gleneagles, Scotland in 1977, supporting an international campaign against apartheid.
Click here to read the Agreement in full. De Gaulle
Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970). French politician and resistance leader, served as President from 1959 to 1969.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office. British government department with responsibility for relations with other countries. Created in 1968 from the merger of the Foreign Office and the Commonwealth Office. Often called 'the Foreign Office'.
The 1982 war between the United Kingdom and Argentina over the disputed sovereignty of the Falkland Islands, also known as the Malvinas, situated in the South Atlantic.
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. Downing Street
London thoroughfare. Number ten is the official residence of the British Prime Minister.
Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group. Established by Commonwealth Heads of Government in 1995, the CMAG upholds the terms of the Harare Declaration.
A period of ideological tension from around 1945 to 1991 between capitalist nations led by the USA and communist nations led by the USSR.
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.
The Commonwealth Charter was agreed in December 2012. The Charter sets out the principal values and aspiration of the modern Commonwealth.
Click here to read the document in full. Prince of Wales (Prince Charles)
Prince Charles (b. 1948). Heir to the throne of the UK and the other territories for which the British monarch is also Head of State.
A British country house used by the Prime Minister.
P.W. Botha (Pieter Willem Botha)
Pieter Willem Botha (1916 –2006). South African politican, served as Prime Minister (1978-1984) and the first executive State President (1984 to 1989).
Roelof Botha (b. 1932).South African politician and Minister for Foreign Affairs (1977-1994).
A system of legally enforced racial segregation implemented and upheld by the National Party in South Africa from 1948 – 1994
African National Congress. A South African political party, founded in 1912, that opposed apartheid and has been South Africa’s governing party since 1994.
Margaret Thatcher (1926-2013). British politician and Prime Minister (1979-1990).
Mrs Thatcher (Margaret Thatcher)
Margaret Thatcher (1926-2013). British politician and Prime Minister (1979-1990).