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1922 Committee - The 1922 Committee is a grouping of Conservative Members of Parliament which provides a venue for backbenchers to discuss views on policy and party direction independent of their frontbench colleagues. The Committee’s name references the 1922 general election, when a large group of new Tory MPs joined the government for the first time.
1961 Conference - A Commonwealth Prime Ministers’ Conference, dominated by debate over South Africa’s membership of the Commonwealth because of its apartheid policies.
1962 border war - A month-long conflict between India and China, fought in the Himalayas.
95 summit - The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting held in Auckland, New Zealand.
AAM - The Anti-Apartheid Movement (AAM), originally known as the Boycott Movement, was a British activist organisation founded in 1959 to oppose white minority rule in South Africa. It continued to run until 1994, supporting economic and academic sanctions of South Africa and cooperating with other international organisations like the UN.
- Synonyms: Anti-Apartheid Movement
- Synonyms: Anti-Apartheid Movement
ABC countries - Within the Commonwealth, Australia, Britain and Canada.
Abdou Diouf - Abdou Diouf, b.1935, was the President of Senegal from 1981 to 2000. A protégé of Léopold Sédar Senghor, he served under Senghor as Prime Minister between 1970 and 1980. From 2003 to 2014 Diouf was Secretary-General of La Francophonie.
- Synonyms: Diouf
- Synonyms: Diouf
Abdul Minty - Abdul Minty (b. 1939). South African diplomat.
Abdul Razak Hussein - Tun Abdul Razak Hussein (1922-1976) was the Second Prime Minister of Malaysia (1970-76) and was responsible for setting up Barisan Nasional, the ruling coalition of political parties that has held power in Malaysia into the twenty-first century.
- Synonyms: Razak
- Synonyms: Razak
Abdullah Badawi - Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (b.1939) is a Malaysian politician who succeeded Dr. Mahathir Mohamad to become the 5th Prime Minister of Malaysia, serving this office between 2003 and 2009. Until 2006, he also acted as Secretary General of the Non-Aligned Movement, replacing Fidel Castro in this post in 2003. From 2009-11, Badawi served as Chair of the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group.
- Synonyms: Abdul Badawi
- Synonyms: Abdul Badawi
Abdulsalami Abubakar - General Abdulsalami Alhaji Abubakar (b.1942) is a Nigerian military and political figure who succeeded General Sani Abacha as President of Nigeria, serving from 1998 to 1999. Under Abubakar, Nigeria adopted a new constitution and facilitated multi-party elections, transferring power to the democratically-elected Olusegun Obasanjo in May 1999.
Abe Bailey Scholar - The Abe Bailey Scholarship was established following the death of Sir Abraham ‘Abe’ Bailey, a South African diamond tycoon and politician. The Scholarship comes in the form of a travel bursary and is awarded to university students and young academics (under the age of 25) in South Africa to allow them experience of the United Kingdom.
Abeid Karume - Abeid Amani Karume (1905-1972) was a Zanzibari political figure who served as the first President of Zanzibar from 1964 to 1972. During this period Karume was also Vice President of Tanzania, under President Julius Nyerere.
Aberdeen Principles - Commonwealth principles on good practice for local democracy and good governance, agreed in 2005.
- Synonyms: Aberdeen Agenda, Aberdeen
- Synonyms: Aberdeen Agenda, Aberdeen
Abidjan Peace Accord - The Abidjan Peace Accord was signed in 1996 by the Sierra Leone People’s Party government of Ahmad Tejan Kabbah and the Revolutionary United Front rebel group led by Foday Sankoh. The treaty was designed to end the Sierra Leone Civil War - which had begun in 1991 - but ultimately the Accord failed and a military coup was staged by Johnny Paul Karoma of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council in 1997.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission - An Australian government organisation intended to represent the interests of Aborigines and Torres Strait islanders. Established in 1990 and abolished in 2005.
Abraham Ordia - Abraham Ordia (d.1995) was a Nigerian sports administrator and official who helped found the Supreme Council for Sport in Africa (SCSA), acting as its president from 1969 to 1983. Ordia was also Secretary General of the Nigeria Olympic Committee for twenty years and, in 1976, was appointed Vice-President of the International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education.
Abu Hassan Omar - Tan Sri Dato’ Abu Hassan Omar (b.1940) is a Malaysian political figure who served as his country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1987 to 1991. He was Chief Minister of Selangor, Malaysia, from 1997 to 2000.
Abu Sayeed Chowdhury - Abu Sayeed Chowdhury (1921-1987) was a Bengali jurist and politician who served as second President of Bangladesh from 1972 to 1973. He had previously served as Vice-Chancellor of Dhaka University and was later a member of the UN Sub-Committee on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, as well as Chairman of the UN Human Rights Commission.
Acheampong - Ignatius Acheampong (1931-1979). Ghanaian soldier and military Head of State (1972-1978).
ACP Group - The African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States (ACP Group) was created in 1975 by the Georgetown Agreement and, as an organisation, devotes its attention to sustainable development, poverty reduction and integration with the world economy. It includes 48 countries from Sub-Saharan Africa, 16 from the Caribbean and 15 from the Pacific.
ActionAid - ActionAid is an international non-profit, non-governmental organisation which focuses on the elimination of poverty and the elevation of poor and marginalised communities around the world. It was established in 1972 and is currently headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa. ActionAid’s mission areas include: women’s rights, education, food rights, democratic governance, emergencies and conflict, climate change and youth.
ACU - Association of Commonwealth Universities. An organisation that links universities in Commonwealth counties. Originally founded in 1913, the current name was adopted in 1963.
Ade Adefuye - Adebowale Ibidapo ‘Ade’ Adefuye (b.1947) is a Nigerian historian and diplomat who was appointed his country’s Ambassador to the United States in 2010. Adefuye was previously Professor of History at the University of Lagos and subsequently acted as Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Jamaica (1987-91) and Deputy High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (1991-94). He was Deputy Director of Strategic Planning for the Commonwealth Secretariat from 1994 to 2008.
Adi Koila Nailatikau - Adi Koila Nailatikau (b.1953) is a Fijian political figure, diplomat and lawyer. She was elected to the Fijian House of Representatives in 1999 and became Minister of Tourism, serving until the George Speight-led coup in 2000. Adi Koila is the daughter of former Fijian Prime Minister Ratu Mara and the wife of President of Fiji Ratu Epeli Nailatikau.
Adi Litia Cakobau - Adi Litia Qalirea Cakobau is a Fijian political figure who served in her country’s Senate from 2001 to 2006, and previously in Cabinet as Minister for Women (1987). Cakobau is the daughter of Ratu Sir George Cakobau, Fiji’s Governor General from 1973 to 1983.
Adnan Khashoggi - Adnan Khashoggi (b.1935) is a Saudi Arabian businessman and international arms dealer who, in the 1980s, was considered one of the richest men in the world. Khashoggi famously brokered deals between American arms firms and the Saudi government. He was also implicated in the Iran-Contra affair.
- Synonyms: Khashoggi
- Synonyms: Khashoggi
Adwoa Coleman - Adwoa Coleman has acted as a senior official in the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) and was the OAU’s signatory to the 1999 Lomé Accord for Sierra Leone. She was the OAU’s representative on the ground in both Abidjan and Freetown, and also served in the organisation’s Political Office as Chief of Research and Early Warning.
African Development Bank - The African Development Bank (AfDB) was founded in 1963 as a multilateral finance institution working to support the economic development and social progress of countries in Africa. It is headquartered in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, and includes some 78 member states.
- Synonyms: AfDB
- Synonyms: AfDB
African National Congress - African National Congress. A South African political party, founded in 1912, that opposed apartheid and has been South Africa’s governing party since 1994.
African Union - The successor organisation to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) from 2002. It aims to promote greater cooperation and unity between member states.
Agence de Coopération Culturelle et Technique - L’Agence de Coopération Culturelle et Technique (ACCT) was the precursor organisation to the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie. Founded in 1970, the ACCT encompassed 21 states and governments bound by French linguistic and cultural ties. In 2005, la Charte de la Francophonie created La Francophonie out of ACCT, with some 57 states included as members.
- Synonyms: ACCT
- Synonyms: ACCT
Ahmad Tejan Kabbah - Ahmad Tejan Kabbah (1932-2014) was a Sierra Leonean politician and President of the country from 1996-97 and 1998-2007. Kabbah spent most of his career as an international civil service, particularly with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). His retirement from the UNDP in 1992 coincided with his entry into politics in Sierra Leone, participating in efforts to restore constitutional rule following the military coup of 1992.
Ahmed Ben Bella - Ahmed Ben Bella (1918-2012) was an Algerian political figure who served as the first President of an independent Algeria from 1963 to 1965. Ben Bella was a founding member of the Organisation Spéciale, an underground revolutionary organisation working to fight French colonial rule in Algeria. In 1954 he helped establish the Front de Libération Nationale, the leading anti-colonial organisation in Algeria and a dominant party in post-colonial political life.
Ahmed Sékou Touré - Ahmed Sékou Touré (1922-1984) was a Guinean politician who served as the first President of Guinea from 1958 to 1984. A leading nationalist figure in the anti-colonial struggle against France, Sékou Touré would declare his Parti démocratique de Guinée (PDG) the only legal party in Guinea in 1960.
Ainsley Gotto - Ainsley Gotto (b.1946) is an Australian public figure who was appointed Private Secretary for Prime Minister John Gorton in 1968. Gotto attracted controversy for the influence she reputedly wielded over the Prime Minister. She has subsequently worked in the private sector and served as National President for the Australian chapter of Women Chiefs of Enterprises International.
Airey Neave - Airey Middleton Sheffield Neave (1916-1979) was a British political figure and former army officer who served as Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1974-79) under Edward Heath and then Margaret Thatcher. Neave was assassinated in 1979 by an Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) car bomb planted at the House of Commons in London.
Akbar Khan - Akbar Khan is a British diplomat and lawyer who served as the Principal Legal Counsel to the Commonwealth Secretary-General from 2009 to 2012, leading the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Legal Division. In 2012 he was appointed a Member of the World Economic Forum Global Council on the Rule of Law.
Akinjide Osuntokun - Dr Akinjide Osuntokun (b.1942) is a Nigerian academic and diplomat who served as his country’s Ambassador to Germany from 1991 to 1995. He was previously Special Adviser to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Director of the Nigeria Universities Office in the US and Canada. Dr Osuntokun has taught History and International Relations at Universities in Barbados, Jos and Maduguri, as well as the University of Lagos, where he is Professor Emeritus.
Alan Brooks - Alan Brooks (1940-2008). British anti-apartheid campaigner.
Alan Coren - Alan Coren (1938-2007) was an English writer and satirist who served as editor of Punch magazine from 1978 to 1987. He wrote humour columns for The Times, the Daily Mail, The Observer, Tatler and the Sunday Express.
Alan Wall - Alan Wall is an Australian elections manager and adviser who has held senior positions in the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), working in Kosovo, Nepal, Azerbaijan and Indonesia. Wall has been a Senior Advisor to Democracy International (2005-10) and served with the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Technical Assistance Group during the 1994 South African elections. He was associated with the Australian Electoral Commission from 1985 to 1994.
Albert Luthuli - Inkosi Albert John Luthuli (1898-1967) was a South African educator and political figure. As President of the African National Congress from 1952 to 1967, he led opposition to apartheid in South Africa and became the first African to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
Albert Lutuli - Inkosi Albert John Lutuli (1898-1967) was a South African educator and politician who served as President of the African National Congress from 1952 to 1967. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1961, the first recipient from outside Europe and the Americas.
- Synonyms: Lutuli
- Synonyms: Lutuli
Alec Cairncross - Alec Cairncross (1911-1998). British economist and civil servant.
Alec Douglas-Home - Alec Douglas-Home (1903-1995). British politician, Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations (1955-1960), Prime Minister (1963-1964), and Foreign Secretary (1970-1974).
Alex Latim - Alex Latim was a leading figure in Uganda’s Democratic Party in the period after independence. As leader of the opposition from 1964-71, he was involved in attempts to oust Prime Minister (and later President) Milton Obote through democratic and parliamentary measures.
Alex Salmond - Alexander Elliot Anderson Salmond (b. 1954). Scottish Politician, leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) and currently the First Minister of Scotland.
Alexander Bustamante - Sir Alexander Bustamante (1884-1977) was a Jamaican political figure who served as the first Prime Minister of Jamaica (1962-67). Bustamante was a prominent leader in Jamaica’s anti-colonial movement, associated with labour activism and trade union organisation. He was imprisoned in the 1940s for subversive activities.
Alexander Downer - Alexander Downer (b. 1951). Australian politician, served as Foreign Minister from 1996 to 2007.
Alexis de Tocqueville - Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) was a French political thinker who wrote influential volumes on democracy and revolution in both the French and American contexts. He is considered a representative of classical liberalism and an important precursor to the disciplines of sociology and political science.
- Synonyms: Tocqueville
- Synonyms: Tocqueville
Alfred Nzo - Alfred Nzo (1925-2000). Secretary General of the ANC (1969-1991) and South African Minister of Foreign Affairs (1994-1999).
Ali Bhutto - Ali Bhutto (1928-1979). Pakistani politician, served as President (1971-1973) and Prime Minister (1973-1977).
Alistair Campbell - Alistair Campbell (b. 1957). British journalist, Tony Blair’s Director of Communications and Strategy (1997-2003).
Alister McIntosh - Sir Alister Donald Miles McIntosh (1906-78). New Zealand diplomat and New Zealand’s first Secretary of Foreign Affairs.
Alister McIntyre - Sir Meredith Alister McIntyre (b.1932) is a Grenadian economist and development planner who played a key role in the movement toward Caribbean integration as Secretary General of CARICOM from 1974-77 and Vice Chairman of the West Indian Commission. During his international career, McIntyre also served as Director of the Commodities Division, UNCTAD, Deputy Secretary General of UNCTAD, and Assistant Secretary General at the United Nations in New York. From 1988 to 1998 he was Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies, and later acted as Chief Technical Advisor to the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery.
All India Radio - Major Indian radio network, founded in 1930.
Allan Boesak - Allan Boesak, b.1946, is a South African Dutch Reformed Church cleric and anti-apartheid activist. In 1985 he won the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award along with Winnie Mandela and Beyers Naude.
Alliance of Small Island States - The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) is an intergovernmental organization established in 1990 to coordinate Small Island Developing States activity, especially with regard to global warming.
- Synonyms: AOSIS
- Synonyms: AOSIS
Alliance Party - The Alliance Party was a Fijian political party that ruled from 1966 to 1987 when it was beaten by a coalition led by Timoci Badavra.
Allison Ayida - Allison Akene Ayida was a Nigerian civil servant in the post-independence period, serving as Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Economic Development.
Allister Sparks - Allister Sparks (b.1933) is a South African writer and journalist who edited the influential Rand Daily Mail during the 1970s, having previously worked for the paper as a columnist in the 1960s. He was also editor of the Sunday Express and acted as correspondent for the Washington Post, The Observer, and NRC Handelsblad. Sparks has written a number of books on South Africa’s transition from apartheid, including Tomorrow is Another Country (1996). He founded the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism in South Africa in 1992.
Amara Essy - Amara Essy (b.1944) is an Ivorian diplomat who has acted as Permanent Representative of Cote d’Ivoire to the United Nations (1981-90) and as his country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs (1994-99). He was President of the 49th Session of the UN General Assembly (1994-95) and was 7th Secretary-General of the Organisation of African Unity, overseeing its transformation into the African Union (2001-03).
Amartya Sen - 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.
American Embassy in Beirut - The American Embassy in Beirut was attacked on Saturday, 23 October 1983. 241 US Marines were killed. This followed an earlier suicide bomb attack on the Embassy, on 18 April 1983, in which 63 were killed, including 17 Americans.
Amitav Banerji - Amitav Banerji is a career diplomat from India who became Director of the Political Affairs Division (PAD), Commonwealth Secretariat, in 2009. Previous to this post he had served as Chief of Staff to the Secretary-General, 2000-09, as well as Special Adviser in PAD from 1990 to 2000.
Amnesty International - Amnesty International (AI) is an international, non-profit, non-governmental organisation which devotes its work to preventing and ending grave abuses of human rights, as well as demanding justice for those whose rights have been violated. It was established in London in 1961, and in 1977 won the Nobel Peace Prize for its campaigns against the use of torture. Currently, AI is headquartered in London, England.
ANC - African National Congress. A South African political party, founded in 1912, that opposed apartheid and has been South Africa’s governing party since 1994.
Andrew Gilligan - Andrew Gilligan (b. 1968). British journalist. His allegedly partial reporting of the causes of the Iraq war led to his resignation from the BBC in 2004.
Andrew Jackson Young - Andrew Jackson Young (b.1932) is an American diplomat and political figure who served as United States Ambassador to the United Nations from 1977 to 1979. Young was active in the 1960s Civil Rights Movement and a supporter and friend of Martin Luther King Jr.
- Synonyms: Andy Young
- Synonyms: Andy Young
Andrew Parker Bowles - Brigadier Andrew Parker Bowles (b.1939) is a senior British military figure who served as Director of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps from 1991 to 1994. He was aide-de-camp to the Governor General of New Zealand (1965-67) and Senior Military Liaison Officer to Christopher Soames as Governor of Rhodesia, 1979-80.
Andrew Peacock - Andrew Peacock (b. 1939). Australian politician. Member of the Liberal Party, which he led 1983-85 and 1989-90.
Andrew Williams - Andrew Williams, Professor of International Relations at the University of St Andrews, acted as Editor for ‘Round Table: the Commonwealth Journal of International Studies’ from 2004 to 2008.
- Synonyms: Andy Williams
- Synonyms: Andy Williams
Andries Treurnicht - Andries Treurnicht (1921-1993). South African politician, National Party MP from 1971. In 1982, along with 22 other MPs, he quit the party to found the Conservative Party of South Africa, which he led until his death.
Anglo-Boer War - The war between Britain and Afrikaner settlers fought in southern Africa between 1899 and 1902, culminating in a costly British victory.
Anguilla crisis - 1967 and 1969 rebellions in Anguilla, in response to the 1967 British incorporation of Anguilla into a new dependency with Saint Christopher and Nevis. In 1971 Anguilla left Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla and assumed the status of a British Overseas Territory.
- Synonyms: tensions over St Kitts, Nevis and Anguilla
- Synonyms: tensions over St Kitts, Nevis and Anguilla
Anji Hunter - Anji Hunter (b. 1955). British publicist, Tony Blair’s Director of Government Relations (1997-2001).
Antarctic Treaty System - The Antarctic Treaty System (ATS) is a series of agreements designed to regulate the continent’s place in international relations, on the basis that it has no native human population. The main treaty was opened for signature in 1959 and was the first arms control agreement established during the Cold War. The Antarctic Treaty Secretariat, based in Buenos Aires, oversees the mandate to allow scientific investigation and ban military activity on the continent.
Anthony Barber - Anthony Barber (1920-2005). British politician, who served in a variety of ministerial positions including as Chancellor of the Exchequer (1970-1974). He also served on the Commonwealth Eminenet Persons Group on South Africa (1985-1986).
Anthony Crosland - Charles Anthony Crosland (1918-1977) was a British Labour politician who served as Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1976-77) in the government of James Callaghan. Crosland had previously served the government of Harold Wilson as Minister of State for Economic Affairs (1964-65), Secretary of State for Education and Science (1965-67), President of the Board of Trade (1967-69) and Secretary of State for Local Government and Regional Planning (1969-70).
Anthony Eden - Anthony Eden (1897-1977). British politician, served as Foreign Secretary (1935-1938, 1940-1945, 1951-1955) and Prime Minister (1955-1957).
Anthony Gubbay - Anthony Ray Gubbay (b.1932) is a Zimbabwean judge who served as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe from 1990 to 2001. He was previously a Supreme Court judge (1983-90), a High Court judge (1977-83) and an advocate in private practice from 1974.
Anthony Siaguru - Anthony Siaguru (1946-2004). Papua New Guinea lawyer and diplomat.
Anti-Apartheid Act - The American Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986. Legislation passed by Congress against the will of President Reagan that imposed sanctions on South Africa.
Anti-Apartheid Committee at the UN - The United Nations General Assembly established the United Nations Special Committee against Apartheid was established in 1962.
Anti-Apartheid News - Newsletter of the British-based Anti-Apartheid Movement.
Antony Duff - Sir Arthur Antony Duff (1920-2000) was a British civil servant and intelligence officer who served as Director General of MI5 from 1985-88. A submarine commander in the Second World War, Duff later joined the Foreign Office and served in Cairo, Paris, Bonn, and Kuala Lumpur. He was Ambassador to Nepal in 1964, and then High Commissioner in Kenya. From 1979-80, he was Deputy Governor to Lord Soames in Southern Rhodesia and played a crucial role in negotiations for Zimbabwe’s independence.
Anwar Ibrahim - Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (b.1947) is a Malaysian politician and leading figure in the opposition People’s Justice Party. He was Leader of the Opposition in Malaysia from 2008 to 2015. Ibrahim was previously a member of the ruling UMNO; he acted as Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia (1993-98) and Finance Minister (1991-98).
ANZAC - Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.
ANZAC Day - 25th April. A day of remembrance held in Australia and New Zealand.
ANZUK Force - A joint Australian-New Zealand-United Kingdom military force formed to defend the Pacific region (1971-1974).
Apartheid - A system of legally enforced racial segregation implemented and upheld by the National Party in South Africa from 1948 – 1994
APEC - Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) was established in 1989 and is a forum seeking to promote free trade and economic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.
APHEDA - Australian People for Health, Education and Development Abroad (APHEDA) is the overseas agency of the Australian Council of Trade Unions. Established in 1985, APHEDA defines its work in terms of justice, solidarity and self-reliance as opposed to charity. It is also known as Union Aid Abroad.
Archbishop of Canterbury - Head of the worldwide Anglican communion.
Archibald Nedd - Sir Archibald Nedd was a Grenadian legal scholar and jurist who served as Chief Justice of Grenada from 1979 to 1986.
Ariston Chambati - Ariston Chambati (1935-1995) was a Zimbabwean political figure, diplomat and public servant who was appointed his country’s Finance Minister in 1995. Chambati had previously been Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany (1980-82). As a leading member of ZAPU, he had taken part in the 1976 Geneva and 1979 Lancaster House negotiations over the creation of Zimbabwe out of Rhodesia. Chambati had served as a Research Officer in the International Affairs Division, Commonwealth Secretariat, from 1971 to 1972.
Arnold Smith - Arnold Smith (1915 –1994). Canadian diplomat, the first Commonwealth Secretary-General (1965–1975).
Arthur Bottomley - Arthur George Bottomley, Baron Bottomley (1907-95). British Labour politician and later a life peer. He was Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations (1964-66) and Minister of Overseas Development (1966-67).
Arthur Chaskalson - Arthur Chaskalson (1931-2012) was a South African jurist who served as President of the Constitutional Court of South Africa (1994-2001) and Chief Justice of South Africa (2001-05). Chaskalson was a human rights lawyer in apartheid-era South Africa, participating in the 1963 Rivonia Trial as part of the defence team.
Arthur Philip - Arthur Philip (1738-1814). British naval officer and first governor of the colony of New South Wales in Australia (1788-1795).
Article 19 - Article 19 is an international, non-profit, non-governmental organisation which focuses its work on human rights, particularly the defence and promotion of freedom of expression and freedom of information. Established in 1987, its name refers to Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which establishes the right to freedom of opinion and expression. The organisation is based in London, England.
Aruna Roy - Aruna Roy (b.1946) is an Indian political figure and social activist who founded the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathana (Workers and Peasants Strength Union) in 1987. Roy has been a leading campaigner in the Right to Information movement in India, and was appointed in 2004 to the National Advisory Council.
Ascension Island - A British Overseas Territory in the South Atlantic Ocean, used by the British military as a staging post during the 1982 Falklands War.
ASEAN - The Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Formed in 1967, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations is a political and economic organization of Southeast Asian countries.
Asian Development Bank - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is a regional financial institution with headquarters in Metro Manila, Philippines. Established in 1966, its stated aim is to facilitate economic development in Asia. It counts 67 countries as members, with 48 of these from within Asia and the Pacific region.
- Synonyms: ADB
- Synonyms: ADB
Asian financial crisis - The 1997 Asian financial crisis was a period of economic collapse following the much-celebrated ‘Asian economic miracle’ of the late 1980s and 1990s. The crisis was provoked by the collapse of the Thai bhat due to severe financial overextension and a real estate bubble, triggering a chain reaction across South East Asia of slumping currencies, devalued stock markets and the withdrawal of foreign capital. Indonesia, South Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong, Laos, Malaysia and the Philippines were among the most affected countries.
Asma Jahangir - 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.
Aso Rock Statement - The Aso Rock Statement on Multilateral Trade was issued by Commonwealth Heads of Government at their meeting in Abuja, Nigeria, in 2003. The Statement affirms a commitment to a “transparent, rule-based multilateral trading system”, advocating increased trading opportunities as “the most potent weapon to combat poverty” and attaching the highest priority to delivering the Doha Development Agenda. Click here to read the Statement in full.
Association of Commonwealth Universities - Association of Commonwealth Universities. An organisation that links universities in Commonwealth counties. Originally founded in 1913, the current name was adopted in 1963.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee - Atal Bihari Vajpayee (b. 1924). Indian Statesman. As a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party, he was briefly Prime Minister in 1996, and again 1998-2004.
- Synonyms: Vajpayee
- Synonyms: Vajpayee
Attahiru Jega - Professor Attahiru Muhammadu Jega (b.1957) is a Nigerian academic who was appointed Chairman of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission in 2010. He also serves as Vice-Chancellor of Bayero University, Kano, and is a former President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Auckland CHOGM meeting - The Commonwealth Heads of Government met in Auckland, New Zealand in 1995. The CHOGM was dominated by events in Nigeria, country was suspended from the Commonwealth.
AusAID - The Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) was the main government agency responsible for managing Australia’s overseas aid program from 1974 to 2013. In 2013, it was integrated into the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, after the Abbott Government announced it wished to align aid work with diplomatic policy.
Australian Council of Trade Unions - The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) is a national trade union body representing forty-six affiliated unions. It was established in 1927 in Melbourne, though it was not until 1981 that the ACTU successfully integrated unions for white collar workers and government employee bodies, thus becoming the ‘peak’ workers' organisation in the country.
- Synonyms: ACTU
- Synonyms: ACTU
AWB - The Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (Afrikaner Resistance Movement). A far right South African political party, founded in 1973.
Azim Hussain - Azim Hussain (1914-2007) was an Indian diplomat who served as Deputy High Commissioner to the United Kingdom in the late 1950s and early 1960s and Ambassador to Egypt and Lebanon in the 1960s. From 1970 to 1978, he was Deputy Secretary General of the Commonwealth, managing the transition from Arnold Smith to Shridath Ramphal as Secretaries General in this period.
Aziz Pahad - Aziz Pahad (b. 1940). South African politician and anti-apartheid activist, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs (1994-).
Babangida - General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, b.1941, was the military ruler of Nigeria from 1985 until 1993, having come to power in a coup against Muhammadu Buhari.
Baganda - An ethnic group indigenous to the Buganda kingdom in Uganda.
Bandung - The 1955 conference in Bandung, Indonesia, was a major meeting of Asian and African nations that condemned colonialism.
Banyoro - The people of Bunyoro, a kingdom that forms part of Uganda.
Barack Obama - Barack Obama (b.1961) is an American political figure who was elected President of the United States in 2009. Obama was previously United States Senator from Illinois (2005-08) and had taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago from 1992 to 2004.
Barbara Ward - Barbara Mary Ward, Baroness Jackson of Lodsworth, (1914-1981) was a British economist and writer who spent her career as an adviser to policy makers in the UK, the United States and within the United Nations. An early advocate of ‘sustainable development’, Ward founded the International Institute for Environment and Development, acting as its President (1973-80) and then Chairman.
Barend du Plessis - Barend du Plessis (b.1940). South African politician, was a member of the National Party and Minister of Education and Training (1983-84) and Minister of Finance (1984-1992).
Barisan Sosialis - Barisan Sosialis was a political party in Singapore founded in 1961 and dissolved in 1988. A prominent opposition party in the 1960s and 1980s, Barisan Sosialis followed a left-wing programme in favour of a united independent and democratic Malayan nation, eventually merging with the Workers’ Party of Singapore.
Baroness Val Amos - Valerie Ann Amos, Baroness Amos (b. 1954). British politician and diplomat. A member of the Labour Party, she was the first black woman to sit in the UK Cabinet. In 2010 she became Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator at the United Nations.
Basil D’Oliveira - Basil D’Oliveira (1931-2011). South African-born cricketer who played for England. England’s 1968 tour to South Africa was cancelled because of D’Oliveira’s inclusion in the squad.
BBC - British Broadcasting Corporation. Broadcasting organisation semi-autonomous from the British government, originally founded in 1922.
BBC World Service - The branch of the British Broadcasting Corporation dedicated to broadcasting overseas. Founded in 1932 as the Empire Service.
BEA - British European Airways. British airline, merged with BOAC in 1974.
BEE - Black Economic Empowerment. A South African government policy, formulated in 2001, of affirmative action favouring black entrepreneurs.
Beefeaters - The Yeoman Warders of the Tower of London, often considered symbolic of London or Britain
Beeld - Beeld is a South African Afrikaans-language daily newspaper established in 1974.
Begum Zia - Begum Zia (b. 1945). Bangladeshi politician and Prime Minister (1991-1996, 2001-2006).
Belize Enterprise for Sustainable Technology - The Belize Enterprise for Sustainable Technology (BEST) is a Belmopan-based civil society body which focuses on economic issues among poor communities in Belize, specifically working to encourage community-based enterprise and micro-enterprise initiatives. It was founded in 1985.
Ben Bernake - Ben Bernake (b.1953) is an American economist who served as Chairman of the United States Federal Reserve from 2006 to 2014. Bernake had previously been Chair of the Department of Economics at Princeton University (1996-2002) and Member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (2002-05).
Ben Gethi - Ben Gethi was head of Kenya’s General Service Unit, a paramilitary wing of the army and police, from 1967 to 1978. He was then appointed Police Commissioner by Daniel Arap Moi in 1978, before being fired and detained in 1982 following the abortive August coup.
Ben Muda - Dr Muhammad Ben Muda is a senior Malaysian diplomat who acted as Advisor to the Commonwealth Business Council from 2006 to 2012. He has also served as Chairman of the ASEAN-UK Business Forum and Founder-member of the Malaysia-Europe Forum (MEF), in addition to his diplomatic experience in South Korea, the Former USSR, and Namibia.
Ben Mwabueze - Ben Mwabueze (b. 1931). Nigerian lawyer and politician.
Ben Nwabueze - Professor Ben Nwabueze (b.1932) is a Nigerian educator, legal scholar and administrator who was appointed Minister of Education and Youth Development in 1993. He has been a member of the Constitution Drafting Committee for Zambia (1973), the Constitution Committee for Nigeria (1986) and a Constitutional Adviser to the Government of Kenya (1992).
Benazir Bhutto - Benazir Bhutto (1953-2007). Pakistani Prime Minister from 1988 to 1990 and from 1993 to 1996.
Benjamin Mkapa - Benjamin Mkapa (b.1938) is a Tanzanian politician who served as the third President of Tanzania from 1995 to 2005. He previously served under President Ali Hassan Mwinyi as Minister for Information and Broadcasting (1990-92) and Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education (1992-95).
- Synonyms: Ben Mkapa
- Synonyms: Ben Mkapa
Bereng Seeiso - Prince Seeiso Bereng Seeiso (b.1966) is a diplomat and member of the Lesotho royal family, the House of Moshesh. He previously served as the Lesotho High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.
Berg Report - The Berg Report is the shorthand name for a 1981 document published by the World Bank called ‘Accelerate Development in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Plan for Action’. Authored by the American economist Elliot Berg, the Report endorsed a move away from state-run economies in favour of free market policies in Africa. Berg was highly critical of African government bureaucracies and levels of corruption in the continent, advocating a smaller role for government in the economy and a greater degree of involvement from private industry. The Report followed the 1980 Lagos Plan of Action.
Berhanu Dinka - Berhanu Dinka (1935-2013) was an Ethiopian diplomat who served as Ambassador for his country to Dijbouti, Canada and the United States. He was Ethiopia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in the 1980s, and in 1992 joined the UN as an official. He was Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations to Sierra Leone from 1995 to 1997, working also in the Great Lakes Region of Central Africa (1997-2002) and Burundi (2002-04).
Berlin Wall - The breaching of the Berlin Wall that divided East and West Berlin in November 1989 was a major milestone in the ending of the Cold War.
Bernard Coard - Bernard Coard (b.1944). Grenadian revolutionary politician who served as Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister from 1979 to 1983. His attempted coup in 1983 helped to precipitate the US invasion of Grenada.
Bertha Wilson - Bertha Wrenham Wilson (1923-2007) was a Canadian jurist who served as Puisne Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada from 1982 to 1991. Nominated by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, she was the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada. Wilson later served as Commissioner of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (1991-96).
Bertrand Russell - Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) was a British philosopher, writer and political activist. He is considered one of the founders of analytic philosophy and is recognised as one of the twentieth century’s premier logicians. Russell was an anti-war activist, an anti-imperialist and a pacifist campaigner, a vocal proponent of nuclear disarmament and a critic of totalitarianism.
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.
- Synonyms: Jagdeo
- Synonyms: Jagdeo
Biketawa Declaration - The Biketawa Declaration was issued in 2000 by the leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum to establish a framework for responding to crises in the region. It was prompted in part by the 2000 Fijian coup d’etat and ongoing ethnic tensions in the Solomon Islands. The Declaration, announced during the 31st Summit of Pacific Islands Forum Leaders at Kirbati in October 2000, has led to new regional peacekeeping efforts and stabilization operations.
Bill Clinton - William Jefferson ‘Bill’ Clinton (b.1946) is an American political figure who served as 42nd President of the United States (1993-2001). Clinton remains active in politics as an adviser to the Democratic Party, and also oversees the William J Clinton Foundation and its work on the prevention of AIDS and global warming. In 2009, he was United Nations Special Envoy to Haiti.
Billie Miller - Dame Billie Antoinette Miller, b. 1944, is a Barbadian politician and member of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP). Beginning her political career in 1976, she served in a variety of cabinet positions before being appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1994. In 1999 she headed the Ministry of Foreign Trade. Miller was Chairperson of the Executive of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and Vice-Chairperson of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group.
Billy Hughes - Billy Hughes (1962-1952) Prime Minister of Australia from 1915 to 1923.
Binaisa - Godfrey Lukongwa Binaisa (1920-2010) was a Ugandan lawyer who served as President of Uganda between 1979 and 1980. Binaisa had served as Uganda’s Attorney General under Milton Obote from 1962 to 1968, and went into exile in 1971 following Idi Amin’s coup. He was member of the US-based Uganda Freedom Union during the 1970s.
Bingham Report - The Bingham report was published in 1978, following a request by the British Foreign Secretary. It investigated allegations of the evasion of sanctions against Rhodesia by oil companies.
Bishakha Mukherjee - Bishakha Mukherjee is an economist who served the Commonwealth Secretariat as an Economic Adviser from 1985 to 2006. Mukherjee contributed significantly to the development of the Commonwealth Private Investment Initiative, an umbrella private equity fund facilitating the set up of regional funds across the Commonwealth. Following her time in the Secretariat, Mukherjee acted as Senior Adviser at Aureos Capital (2006-13) and Head of Institutional Relations at the Acumen Fund (2013-15).
Bisho massacre - A South African massacre of 1992. Twenty-eight African National Congress supporters, and one soldier, were killed by troops of the independent Ciskei homeland.
Bishop Muzorewa - Bishop Muzorewa (1925-2010). Briefly Prime Minister of Zimbabwe Rhodesia from June-December 1979, following the Internal Settlement, an agreement between Muzorewa and then Prime Minister of Rhodesia, Ian Smith. Muzorewa was defeated in elections following the Lancaster House agreement.
BJ Vorster - Balthazar Johannes 'John' Vorster (1915-1983). South African politician, served as Prime Minister (1966-1978) and State President (1978-1979).
- Synonyms: John Vorster
- Synonyms: John Vorster
BJP - The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is one of the two largest political parties in Indian national politics, along with the Indian National Congress. It was founded in 1980 and grew out of opposition to the Congress-led ‘Emergency’ suspension of democratic rule in the late 1970s. The BJP is closely aligned with the right-wing Hindu nationalist organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
Black Consciousness Movement - A South African anti-apartheid movement informed by Christianity, that emerged in the 1960s.
Black Sash Movement - The Black Sash Movement was founded in South Africa in 1955 as a non-violent white women’s movement against apartheid. It campaigned for the end of apartheid from within white communities, holding regular demonstrations and acting as volunteer advocates for black communities affected by racist legislation.
BMATT - The British Military Advisory Training Team (BMATT) is an arm of the UK Ministry of Defence and co-ordinates security co-operation programmes within developing or post-conflict countries.
BOAC - British Overseas Airways Corporation. British airline, merged with BEA in 1974.
Bob Hawke - Bob Hawke (b. 1929). Australian Prime Minister (1983-1991).
Bob Marley - Bob Marley (1945-1981). Jamaican musician.
Bob Menzies - Sir Robert Menzies (1894-1978). Australian politician, served as Prime Minister from 1939 to 1941, and from 1949 to 1966.
- Synonyms: Robert Menzies
- Synonyms: Robert Menzies
Boipatong massacre - The Boipatong massacre took place on 17 June 1992, when around 40 people in the South African township of Boipatong were killed by supporters of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP). After the massacre, the African National Congress abandoned the Congress for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA) negotiations, accusing the government and South African police force of being complicit in the massacre. It was alleged that the raid formed part of the South African Defence Force's Operation Marion. The ANC resumed negotiations in September 1992.
Bola Ontiri - Bola Ontiri is a Nigerian economist who has served as policy advisor to the Commonwealth Secretariat and the United Nations. Ontiri contributed to the formation and operation of the Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS) and was also involved in preparing an economic blueprint for the emergence of Zimbabwe as independent state.
Bongo - Omar Bongo Ondimba (1935-2009) was President of Gabon from 1967 until his death in 2009. Bongo led the single-party state as head of the Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG) until 1990, when he bowed to public and international pressure to introduce multi-party politics in the early 1990s. He was, however, re-elected as President in the 1993, 1998 and 2005 elections.
Bophuthatswana - An quasi-independent state established within apartheid-era South Africa as a homeland for the Tswana people, that was a legal entity from 1977 to 1994.
Bougainville Agreement - The 1967 Mining (Bougainville Copper Agreement) Act was passed by the Australian Territory of Papua New Guinea to implement an agreement made with Bougainville Copper Limited regarding the development of certain mineral deposits in Bougainville. The Agreement was renegotiated with the emergence of Papua New Guinea as an independent state in 1974.
Bouteflika - Abdelaziz Bouteflika (b. 1937). Algerian politician who acted as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1965 to 1978. He assumed office as President of Algeria in 1999.
Boutros Boutros-Ghali - Boutros Boutros-Ghali (b. 1922). Egyptian politician and diplomat. He was Secretary-General of the United Nations (1992-96) and Secretary General of La Francophonie (1997-2002).
- Synonyms: Boutros-Ghali
- Synonyms: Boutros-Ghali
Brad Morse - Frank Bradford Morse (1921-1994) was an American politician who served as Under-Secretary General of the United Nations (1972-76) and Administrator of the UN Development Programme (1976-86). Morse was also a Member of the US House of Representatives for Massachusetts from 1961 to 1972.
Bram Fischer - Abram Louis Fischer (1908-1975) was a South African lawyer and anti-apartheid activist. Commonly known as ‘Bram’ Fischer, he is famous for defending African National Congress leaders in the 1963-64 Rivonia Trial. Fischer was himself later convicted for his involvement with the South African Communist Party, serving eleven years in prison.
Brand Fourie - Brand Fourie (1917-2008). South African politician. Secretary of Foreign Affairs during the 1970 and early 1980s. From 1982 to 1985 he was South African Ambassador to the United States.
Brandt Report - The Brandt Report (1980) was the outcome of an independent commission chaired by the former German Chancellor Willy Brandt. It reported on issues of international development, suggesting that a gulf in living standards existed between a global north and south.
- Synonyms: Brandt Commission
- Synonyms: Brandt Commission
Bretton Woods Institutions - Shorthand for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), now part of the World Bank. These were established in July 1944 as outcomes of the Bretton Woods Conference.
Brian Barder - Brian Barder (b.1934) is a British diplomat who served as British High Commissioner to Nigeria (1988-91) and Australia (1991-94) and Ambassador to Ethiopia (1982-86) and Poland (1986-88). As Assistant Head of the West African Department in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the 1970s, he was closely involved with the civil war over Biafra in Nigeria.
Brian Mulroney - Brian Mulroney (b. 1939). Canadian politician, leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada (1983-93) and Prime Minister of Canada (1984-93).
Brian Urquhart - Sir Brian Urquhart (b.1919) is a British political figure and writer who served as Under-Secretary General of the United Nations from 1971 to 1985.
British Commonwealth - The term used to describe the Commonwealth until 1949, reflecting British pre-eminence within it.
British Overseas Territories - British Overseas Territories are territories that remain under the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom even if they are not a formal part of it. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, all of which have their own internal leadership but share the British Monarch as head of state. These include: Akrotiri and Dhekelia, Anguilla, Bermuda, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn Islands, Saint Helena, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, and Turks and Caicos Islands.
Bruce Mackenzie - Bruce Mackenzie (1919-1978) was a Kenyan political figure who acted as Minister of Agriculture during the presidency of Jomo Kenyatta. His support for Mossad agents during Operation Entebbe – the successful effort to rescue Israeli hostages from a high-jacked plane receiving protection in Uganda in 1976 – is popularly held to explain his death by assassination in 1978.
Brundtland Commission - The Brundtland Commission – officially the World Commission on Environment and Development – was a UN initiative set up in 1983 to address concerns about the deterioration of the human environment and natural resources. It was chaired by the former Prime Minister of Norway, Gro Harlem Brundtland, and issued an influential report in 1987 entitled ‘Our Common Future’.
Buganda - A kingdom within Uganda.
Burke Trend - Burke St John Trend, Baron Trend, (1914-1987) was a British civil servant who acted as Cabinet Secretary from 1963 to 1973, in the governments of both Harold Wilson and Ted Heath. Trend had spent most of his career in the Treasury and was later Rector of Lincoln College, Oxford.
Bush House - London headquarters of the BBC World Service from 1941 to 2012.
Buthelezi - Mangosuthu Buthelezi (b. 1928). South African politician, founded the Inkatha Freedom Party in 1975, and served as South African Minister of Home Affairs from 1994 to 2004.
C Odumegwu Ojukwu - C Odumegwu Ojukwu (1933-2011) was a Nigerian military officer who led the breakaway Republic of Biafra from 1967 to 1970. Ojuwku was thus a key protagonist of the Nigerian civil war. Following its resolution, he spent thirteen years in exile before being pardoned in 1982 and returning to Nigeria to lead the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
CA/B - Commonwealth Advisory Bureau. An independent think tank and advisory service for the Commonwealth.
Cabinet Office - A department of the British government, founded in 1916. The Cabinet Office supports the work of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet, which comprises senior ministers that lead government departments.
Cal Best - James Calbert Best (1926-2007). A Canadian diplomat, and Canada’s first black High Commissioner. In 1975 he was seconded to the Commonwealth Secretariat.
Caltex - Caltex was founded in 1936 as the California Texas Oil Company, and is currently one of the major international brand names of Chevron Corporation. Operating across some 60 countries in Asia, the Middle East and Southern Africa, it is particularly dominant in the Australian market. In South Africa, Caltex owns a major refinery in Milnerton, Cape Town, and a manufacturing plant in Durban. Caltex was frequently criticised for its South African operations during the apartheid era.
Canaan Banana - Canaan Sodindo Banana (1936-2003) was a Zimbabwean political figure and Methodist minister who served as President of Zimbabwe from 1980 to 1987. Banana was also a diplomat for the Organisation of African Unity and headed the Department of Religion at the University of Zimbabwe.
Canadian International Development Agency - The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) was the primary organisation administering Canada’s foreign aid programmes in developing countries. It was established in 1968 under Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and reported to the Parliament of Canada through the Minister for International Cooperation. In 2013, CIDA was dissolved by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and its functions incorporated into the Department of Foreign Affairs.
- Synonyms: CIDA
- Synonyms: CIDA
Canadian International Development Agency - Canadian International Development Agency. Established in 1968, it was responsible for administering foreign aid to developing countries. In 2013 it was merged with the Department of Foreign Affairs, becoming Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development.
- Synonyms: CIDA
- Synonyms: CIDA
Canadian Labour Congress - A organisation that links Canadian unions , founded in 1956.
Canadian Security Intelligence Service - The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) is the Canadian government agency responsible for collecting, analysing and reporting intelligence on Canada’s national security situation, as well as conducting security operations inside the country and abroad. It was established in 1984 by an Act of Parliament and is headquartered in Ottawa.
- Synonyms: CSIS
- Synonyms: CSIS
Caprivi Strip - A part of Namibia, bordered to the south by Botswana, and to the north by Angola and Zambia.
Caribbean Basin Initiative - The Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) was an American tariff and trade program initiated in 1983 with several Central American and Caribbean countries. It was established by the 1983 Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act, though its effectiveness was reduced with the establishment of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994, which gave Mexico a distinct advantage in trade with the United States.
Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility - The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) Project was established in 2007 and runs under the umbrella of the World Bank. It is the first multi-country ‘risk pool’ in the world. As an insurance instrument, it aims to provide a better mechanism for dealing with catastrophic risks in the Caribbean region, providing financial liquidity quickly when a policy is triggered.
Caribbean Court of Justice - The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) is a judicial institution located in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, which serves as the main court of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). The CCJ oversees the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, the founding document of CARICOM, and hears appeals from all member states.
- Synonyms: CCJ
- Synonyms: CCJ
Caribbean Development Bank - The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) was established in 1969 and is headquartered in Bridgetown, Barbados. As a financial institution, it assists Caribbean countries in the development of social and economic programs in the region.
Caribbean Natural Resources Institute - The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) is a regional technical institute that was first established in 1989, evolving out of a 1976 Rockefeller Brothers Fund project at the University of Michigan. Headquartered in Trinidad and Tobago, CANARI promotes and facilitates participatory approaches to natural resource governance in the Caribbean.
- Synonyms: CANARI
- Synonyms: CANARI
Caribbean Single Market and Economy - The Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) is a development strategy first articulated by heads of government in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) at their July 1989 meeting in Grenada. It promotes economic integration in the region, widening membership to CARICOM and increased links with global trading and economic systems.
CARIBCAN - The Caribbean-Canada Trade Agreement (CARIBCAN) was established in 1986 by the Parliament of Canada to promote trade and investment between Canadian markets and the Commonwealth Caribbean. It gives preferential duty-free access to the Commonwealth Caribbean and facilitates knowledge exchange and technological assistance.
CARICOM - 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.
Carnation Revolution - Portuguese revolution in 1974 that toppled the dictatorial government, bringing democracy.
Carolyn McMaster - Carolyn McMaster is a Canadian diplomat and development expert who spent much of her career supporting Canadian government projects in sub-Saharan Africa. From 1990 to 2000, she was Deputy Head of the Southern African Task Force, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. She was later head of the Commonwealth Section (2000-203) and then Deputy High Commissioner to New Zealand (2003-07).
Carter Center - The Carter Center in an NGO that aims to advance human rights. It was founded by the former US President, Jimmy Carter, and his wife, Rosalynn Carter, in 1982.
Caspar Weinberger - Caspar Weinberger (1919-2006). US Secretary of Defence (1981-1987).
Cassam Uteem - Cassam Uteem (b.1941) is a Mauritian politician who served as President of Mauritius from 1992 to 2002. In 2014, Uteem was appointed Special Envoy and Head of the United Nations Electoral Observation Mission in Burundi. He is also a member of the Global Leadership Foundation.
Catherine Ashton - Catherine Ashton, Baroness Ashton of Upholland (b. 1956). British politician and member of the Labour Party. In 2009 she became the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy in the European Union.
Causeway railway - A railway linking Singapore and Malaysia, originally built in 1923.
CCFMSA - The Commonwealth Committee of Foreign Ministers on Southern Africa (CCFMSA) was established at the 1987 Vancouver CHOGM and tasked with facilitating international efforts to combat South Africa’s apartheid system. The Committee was comprised of the Foreign Ministers of Australia, Canada, Guyana, India, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Canadian Secretary of State for External Affairs Joe Clark was appointed Chairperson.
Central African Federation - The political union between Southern Rhodesia, Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland from 1953 to 1963. Intended to become independent as a single state, the Federation broke up due difference over the political power of the white minority.
Central Asian Research Centre - British research organisation, founded in 1953.
Chama Cha Mapinduzi - Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) is the leading political party in Tanzania, established in 1977 following the merger of Julius Nyerere’s Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) and the Afro-Shirazi Party. Since the restoration of a multi-party system in 1992, CCM has consistently won general elections in Tanzania, including a 2005 landslide of 80 per cent of the popular vote.
Chanak in 1922 - A crisis which saw British troops guarding a neutral zone around the Dardanelles threatened by Turkish forces. The British response revealed tensions between British and Canadian governments.
Chandrika Kumaratunga - Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga (b.1945) is a Sri Lankan political figure who served as President of Sri Lanka from 1994 to 2005. She is the daughter of former Prime Ministers Solomon Bandaranaike and Sirimavo Bandaranaike. Kumaratunga was leader of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party until 2005.
Charles Clarke - Charles Rodway Clarke (b.1950) is a British politician who served as Home Secretary from 2004 to 2006 in the government of Tony Blair. Clarke was previously Secretary of State for Education and Skills (2002-04) and Minister without Portfolio (2001-02).
Charles Gunawardena - Charles Gunawardena was a Sri Lankan journalist and diplomat who served the Commonwealth Secretariat as Director of Information in the 1980s. He had previously handled information and press relations for Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry and as a diplomat in London and New Delhi.
Charles Njonjo - Charles Njonjo (b. 1920). Kenyan politician. He was Attorney General of Kenya, 1963-79 and Minister of Constitutional Affairs, 1980-83.
Charles Taylor - Charles McArthur Ghankay Taylor (b.1948) was a Liberian political figure who acted as President of Liberia from 1997 until 2003. Trained as a guerrilla fighter in Libya in the 1980s, he led the National Patriotic Front of Liberia in the First Liberian Civil War (1989-96). As a result of his involvement in the Sierra Leone Civil War (1991-2002), Taylor was accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Losing control of Liberia during the Second Civil War, he went into exile in Nigeria in 2003 and was later detained by UN authorities before being sentenced to 50 years in prison by the Special Court for Sierra Leone.
Charlottetown Accord - The Charlottetown Accord was an agreement proposed by the Canadian federal and provincial governments in 1992 to amend the Constitution of Canada and secure the support of the Quebec government for that document. Proposing a number of major reforms to Federal institutions like the Supreme Court and Canadian Senate, the Accord also recognised Quebec as a distinct society and devolved much authority to the provinces. It was defeated in a national referendum on 26 October 1992.
Chatham House Rules - A rule that allows for comments from a meeting to be freely quoted, but not ascribed to an individual.
Cheddi Jagan - Cheddi Berret Jagan (1918-97). Guyanese politician and member of the People’s Progressive Party. He was President of Guyana, 1992-97.
Chequers - A British country house used by the Prime Minister.
Cheryl Carolus - Cheryl Carolus (b. 1958). South African politician. She was South African High Commissioner in London, 1998-2001.
Cheryl Dorall - Cheryl Dorall is a Malaysian journalist who served the Commonwealth Secretariat in London as Deputy Director of Media and Information Services from 1989 to 2001. She was subsequently communications consultant to the Caribbean Development Bank and the UN Economic Commission for Africa, and is Secretary of the Commonwealth Journalists Association UK branch (2008- ).
Chet Crocker - Chester Crocker (b.1941) is an American diplomat who, as President Ronald Reagan’s Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs (1981-1989), was influential in the negotiations for Namibian independence and in articulating a policy of “constructive engagement” toward apartheid South Africa.
Chief Justice Bandaranaike - Shirani Bandaranaike (b. 1958). Appointed Chief Justice of Sri Lanka in May 2011. She was impeached by Parliament and removed from office in January 2013.
Chinmaya Gharekhan - Chinmaya Gharekhan is a retired Indian diplomat who served as India’s Ambassador to Vietnam (1975-76) and to the United Nations in Geneva (1977-80). Gharekhan was the Indian Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs from 1981 to 1986 and his served both the UN and the Government of India as Special Envoy to the Middle East.
CHOGM - 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.
CHOGRM - Commonwealth Heads of Government Regional Meetings (CHOGRMs) had their origins in a series of talks between the Australian and Indian Governments under the Prime Minsisters Malcolm Fraser, Moraji Desai, and Indira Gandhi.
Chris Child - Chris Child is a British political figure who served as Head of the Democracy Section in the Commonwealth Secretariat Political Affairs Division. He had previously worked in the office of the Leader of the British Labour Party and was Trade Union and Local Groups Officer of the Anti-Apartheid Movement (AAM), UK, from 1976-82. He was also Deputy Secretary of the AAM.
Chris Fismer - Chris Fismer (b. 1956). South African politician, served as a minister in Nelson Mandela’s government (1995-1996).
Chris Hani - Chris Hani (1942-1993) was a prominent figure in the South African anti-apartheid movement, acting as leader of the South African Communist Party (SACP) and Chief of Staff for the African National Congress’ armed wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe. Hani was assassinated outside his home in Boksburg on 10 April 1993.
Chris Heunis - Chris Heunis (1927-2006). South African politician who held various ministerial positions from 1978 to 1989, including Minister for Constitutional Development (1982-1989).
Chris Laidlaw - Chris Laidlaw (b.1943). New Zealand politician and diplomat. Assistant to Sonny Ramphal.
Chris Liebenberg - Christo Ferro Liebenberg (b.1934) is a South African banker who served as Minister of Finance from 1994 to 1996 in the Government of National Unity led by Nelson Mandela. Liebenberg had previously worked for Nedcor Bank from 1952 to 1994.
Chris Patten - Christopher Francis Patten, Baron Patten of Barnes, (b.1944) is a British public servant who served as the final British Governor of Hong Kong (1992-97) and as Chairman of the BBC Trust (2011-14). Patten, who chaired the Conservative Party from 1990 to 1992, was appointed Chancellor of the University of Oxford in 2003.
Christine Lagarde - Christine Madeleine Odette Lagarde (b. 1956). French politician and lawyer. She was France’s Trade Minister, 2005-07. She is currently Managing Director of the IMF (2011-).
- Synonyms: Mrs Lagarde
- Synonyms: Mrs Lagarde
Christine Mulinda-Matovu - Christine Mulinda-Matovu is a Ugandan policy advisor and development expert who worked as Deputy Director, Legal and Constitutional Affairs, and Head of the Human Rights Unit at the Commonwealth Secretariat from 1994 to 2001. Mulinda-Matovu was later Country Representative for Action on Disability and Development (2003-08) and Executive Director for Women’s Dignity (2008-12).
Christopher Soames - 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).
- Synonyms: Governor Soames
- Synonyms: Governor Soames
Chuks Ihekaibeya - Columbus Chukwujindu ‘Chuks’ Ihekaibeya (1942-2014) was a Sudanese civil servant who served the Commonwealth Secretariat as Chief Programme Officer, Political Affairs Division, and as Special Assistant to Secretary General of the Commonwealth Chief Emeka Anyaoku.
CIA - Central Intelligence Agency. A major American intelligence gathering organisation, founded in 1947.
Claire L’Heureux Dubé - Claire L’Heureux Dubé (b.1927) is a French-Canadian judge who served as Puisne Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada from 1987 to 2002.
Clare Hollingworth - Clare Hollingworth (b.1911) is a British journalist who reported on the Second World War from Poland and, in subsequent decades, on conflicts in Palestine, Algeria, China, Aden and Vietnam.
Clare Short - Clare Short (b. 1946). British politician and member of the Labour Party. She was Secretary of State for International Development, 1997-2003.
CLGF - Commonwealth Local Government Forum. A Commonwealth quasi-governmental organisation composed of members involved in local government in Commonwealth countries.
- Synonyms: Commonwealth Local Government Association
- Synonyms: Commonwealth Local Government Association
Clyde Sanger - Clyde Sanger (b. 1928). Canadian writer and journalist.
CMAG - Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group. Established by Commonwealth Heads of Government in 1995, the CMAG upholds the terms of the Harare Declaration.
CND - The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) was formed in Britain in 1957 and advocates the global abolition of nuclear weapons and tighter international regulations around the arms trade. It is one of the foremost pacifist movements in Europe.
CODESA - The Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA) is the name for a series of multi-party negotiations on the ending of apartheid in South Africa, hosted in 1991 and 1992. CODESA I took place in December 1991, nearly two years after the unbanning of political parties and the release of Nelson Mandela. CODESA II began in May 1992, though negotiations collapsed following the Boipatong massacre in June.
Coetzee - Kobie Coetsee (1931-2000). South African politician who served in a number of positions including Minister of Justice (1980-1993) and President of the Senate (1994-1997)
Cohen - Herman Cohen (b. 1932). American diplomat, served as Assistant secretary of State for African Affairs (1989-1993).
Cold War - A period of ideological tension from around 1945 to 1991 between capitalist nations led by the USA and communist nations led by the USSR.
Colin Ball - Colin Ball (b.1943) is a British writer and civil servant who served as Director of the Commonwealth Foundation from 2000 to 2004. Ball had previously worked as a VSO volunteer in Malaysia (1961-2), a teacher in the UK, Ghana and Nigeria (1960s), and as a civil servant within the Home Office and Department of Employment, UK (1970s). He also founded a not-for-profit research organisation called the Centre for Employment Initiatives.
Colin Legum - Colin Legum (1919-2003). South African journalist and anti-apartheid activist.
Colin Powell - Colin Powell (b. 1937). American soldier and politician, served as Secretary of State (2001-2005).
Colleen Lowe Morna - Colleen Lowe Morna is a Zimbabwe-born journalist specialising in issues of gender and development. She joined the Commonwealth Secretariat as a Senior Researcher on the Africa desk in 1991, later serving as Chief Programme Officer of the Commonwealth Observer Mission to South Africa. She has acted as an advisor on gender and institutional development to the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Assistance, and was the founding CEO of the South African Commission on Gender Equality.
Colombo Plan - The Colombo Plan for Cooperative Economic and Social Development in Asia and the Pacific is a regional organisation that was established in 1950 out of a Commonwealth Conference of Foreign Ministers in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It includes around 27 member countries and activities are coordinated by a Consultative Committee, a Council and a Secretariat. The Colombo Plan focuses primarily on human resources development and technical assistance.
Colonial Office - The British government department responsible for colonial territories. Merged with the Commonwealth Relations Office to become the Commonwealth Office in 1966.
COMECON - The Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON) was an organisation composed of socialist states from around the world and led by the Soviet Union between 1949 and 1991. A response to the formation of the Organisation for European Economic Co-Operation in Western Europe, COMECON was intended by Moscow to strengthen international socialist alliances at an economic level.
Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe - The Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) of Zimbabwe is an organisation committed to facilitating development of the country’s agricultural sector. It was founded in 1980 with the independence of Zimbabwe, though the organisation traces its history back to 1892 and the establishment of the Rhodesian Farmers and Landowners Association.
Commissioner for Democracy - Establishing a Commissioner for Democracy, the Rule of Law, and Human Rights was one of the recommendations made by the Eminent Persons Group in their report to the 2011 CHOGM.
Committee of 24 - The United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization, or the Committee of 24, was created in 1961 to oversee and implement UN policy around the granting of independence to colonial countries and peoples. The Committee is a successor to the Committee on Information from Non-Self-Governing Territories and, as its name suggests, includes twenty-four countries as members.
Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau - The Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau International (CABI) is an international, not-for-profit organisation focused on problems of agricultural development and the environment. It was established in 1910 and today includes 48 member countries, with projects ongoing in more than 70. CABI specialises in commodities, invasive species and scientific communication.
- Synonyms: CABI
- Synonyms: CABI
Commonwealth Associated Organisation - Quasi-governmental Commonwealth organisations, a category of Commonwealth organisation created in 2002.
Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management - The Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management (CAPAM) is a forum intended to facilitate exchange of knowledge and practice in public service management and renewal. It also focuses on citizen-centred service delivery and leadership development. CAPAM was established in 1994, emerging in part out of the priorities set in the 1991 Harare Declaration.
- Synonyms: CAPAM
- Synonyms: CAPAM
Commonwealth Broadcasting Association - An organisation that brings together public service broadcasters of Commonwealth countries, founded in 1945.
Commonwealth Business Council - The Commonwealth Business Council (CBC) was formed at the 1997 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Edinburgh, United Kingdom, with an aim to promote global trade and investment across the Commonwealth of Nations. Acting as a bridge between governments and the private sector, the CBC promoted the liberalisation of services and regional economic integration. Dissolving in 2014, its final Director General was Peter Callaghan.
Commonwealth Chairperson-in-Office - The Commonwealth Chairperson-in-Office (CIO) is one of the main leadership positions in the Commonwealth, typically held by the host chairperson of the most recent Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). The position was created after the 1999 CHOGM in Durban, South Africa, meaning the first CIO was President Thabo Mbeki.
Commonwealth Charter - 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.
Commonwealth Connects - 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 Day - The second Monday in March, marked by a multi-faith service in Westminster Abbey and a message delivered by Elizabeth II.
Commonwealth Development Corporation - The Commonwealth Development Corporation or ‘CDC Group’ is a development-oriented financial institution overseen by the Department for International Development, UK Government. Founded in 1948 in London, the CDC’s investment portfolio focuses on emerging markets in Asia, Africa and Latin America, with a particular emphasis on South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
Commonwealth Election Observer Mission (Zimbabwe) - A Commonwealth Observer Group that was sent to monitor the 1980 elections upon the independence of Zimbabwe. The group was made up from statesmen from different Commonwealth countries.
Commonwealth Expert Group on Democracy and Development - The Commonwealth Expert Group on Democracy and Development was established at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Coolum, Australia, in 2002. The group, chaired by the Indian politician (and later Prime Minister) Manmohan Singh, was tasked with identifying ‘how democracies might best be supported in combating poverty’. The resulting report – ‘Making Democracy Work for Pro-Poor Development’ - was presented at the 2003 CHOGM in Abuja.
Commonwealth Foundation - 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.
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.
- Synonyms: CFTC
- Synonyms: CFTC
Commonwealth Games - 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.
Commonwealth Human Ecology Council - The Commonwealth Human Ecology Council (CHEC) is an international development charity based in the UK and founded in 1969. CHEC focuses in its work on the promotion of sustainable solutions for the preservation and use of natural resource, looking particularly at the relationship between ecosystems and human societies.
- Synonyms: CHEC
- Synonyms: CHEC
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.
Commonwealth Institute - A Commonwealth educational organisation that was operative between 1962 and 2000. It was originally founded in 1887 as the Imperial Institute.
Commonwealth Journalists Association - (CJA) A group linking journalists from Commonwealth countries, founded in 1978.
Commonwealth Lawyers Association - The Commonwealth Lawyers Association (CLA) was established in 1986 in Jamaica, emerging from the Commonwealth Legal Bureau (established in 1968) and linked to the Commonwealth & Empire Law Conferences first organised in London in 1955. The CLA aims to facilitate exchange between legal professionals, academics and students across the Commonwealth on issues of legal education, professional ethics and approaches to the rule of law.
Commonwealth Magistrates and Judges Association - Founded in 1970, the Commonwealth Magistrates and Judges Association acts as a network for judicial officers in the Commonwealth. The work of its Secretary General, Executive Committee and General Assembly is directed to promoting the independence of the judiciary and advancing education in law, justice and the prevention of crime.
Commonwealth Network of Information Technology for Development - The Commonwealth Network of Information Technology for Development (COMNET-IT) is an independent international foundation headquartered in Valletta, Malta. Established in 1995 by the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Government of Malta, COMNET-IT has supported IT-related policy development and championed the development of the Commonwealth Action Programme for the Digital Divide.
- Synonyms: COMNET-IT
- Synonyms: COMNET-IT
Commonwealth of Learning - The Commonwealth of Learning (COL) is an international organisation promoting and developing learning and distance education resources in association with Commonwealth member states. Headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, the COL was founded at the 1987 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. It has since become one of the world leaders in distance education provision. .
Commonwealth of Nations - The official name of the Commonwealth since 1949, before which it was known as the British Commonwealth of Nations.
Commonwealth Organisations Committee on Zimbabwe - A committee of Commonwealth organisations founded in 2009 to engage with Zimbabwean representatives and civil society organisations.
Commonwealth Parliamentary Association - A Commonwealth organisation that promotes good governance. Founded in 1911 as the Empire Parliamentary Association, and renamed in 1948.
Commonwealth Police Development Task Force - The Commonwealth Police Development Task Force (CPDTF) is an initiative supported by Commonwealth member governments and charged with providing technical and financial assistance to community safety programmes in post-conflict situations. The CPDTF arrived in Sierra Leone in 1998, led by British detective Keith Biddle, and provided professional expertise and training programmes as part of the restructuring of the Sierra Leone police after that country’s Civil War.
Commonwealth Policy Studies Unit - The Commonwealth Policy Studies Unit (CPSU) was a think-tank established in 1998 within the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London, and devoting its work to issues of globalisation, democracy, civil society and human rights. In 2011, it was rebranded as the Commonwealth Advisory Bureau (CA/B), but in 2013 its functions were incorporated into the wider work of the Institute.
Commonwealth Prime Minister’ Conferences - Biennial meetings of Commonwealth prime ministers held between 1944 and 1969. From 1971, the meetings were termed Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings.
Commonwealth Private Investment Initiative - The Commonwealth Private Investment Initiative (CPII) was launched by the Secretariat in 1995 to promote emerging markets and small economies to commercial investors. Four regional funds were established for Africa, the Caribbean, the Pacific and South Asia. The CPII sought to challenge conventional notions of risk in South-South and North-South partnerships, promoting development among member countries. The initiative was renewed in 2005 with ‘CPII2’.
Commonwealth Secretariat - The Commonwealth Secretariat is the principal inter-governmental body of the Commonwealth, responsible for promoting cooperation between members. Founded in 1965.
- Synonyms: ComSec
- Synonyms: ComSec
Commonwealth Smart Partnership - The Smart Partnership initiative was adopted by Commonwealth heads of state at the 1995 CHOGM and is linked to the Commonwealth Partnership for Technology Management (CPTM) and other technical assistance programmes. Its inaugural summit was hosted by Mahathir bin Mohamad at Langkawi in Malaysia. See also the ‘Langkawi International Dialogue’ (LID).
Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation - The Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation is the main Commonwealth membership organisation in the field of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), supporting its members through research and consultancy, training and capacity development, and regular events and conferences. Founded in 1966 and based in London, the CTO currently focuses on issues of regulation, mobile broadband, cybersecurity, youth and ICT, skills development, and disability access.
Commonwealth Trade Union Council - The Commonwealth Trade Union Council (CTUC) was established in 1979 to coordinate activities between trade unions in Commonwealth countries. In 2004, it was renamed the Commonwealth Trade Union Group (CTUG) and in 2007 boasted a combined membership of 30 million.
- Synonyms: CTUC
- Synonyms: CTUC
Commonwealth Veterinary Association - The Commonwealth Veterinary Association (CVA) was founded in 1967with the aim of promoting standards of education, ethics and service in the veterinary profession across the various member countries of the Commonwealth.
Communications Division - A department dealing with publicity and press in the Commonwealth Secretariat.
Congress House - The London building housing the offices of the Trades Union Congress.
Congress of the People - The Congress of the People was a meeting held in Kliptown, South Africa, in June 1955. During the Congress, the ‘Freedom Charter’ – stating the core principles of the anti-apartheid movement – was officially adopted by the South African Congress Alliance. The second day of the meeting was broken up by police.
Connie Mulder - Connie Mulder (1925-1988). South African politician. Stood against PW Botha for the leadership of the National Party in 1978.
Constand Viljoen - Constand Viljoen (b.1933). South African soldier and politician.
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women - The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) is an international treaty adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1979. It considers issues of women’s rights in the public sphere, economic and social rights, right to equality in marriage and other questions of non-discrimination and sex stereotypes. CEDAW has been ratified by 189 states.
- Synonyms: CEDAW
- Synonyms: CEDAW
Convention on the Future of Europe - The Convention on the Future of Europe, also known as the European Convention, was established in 2001 by the European Council in order to produce a draft constitution for the European Union. A draft treaty was finished in July 2003 and signed by 25 member states of the European Union in 2004. In 2005, the document was rejected by French and Dutch voters. The Treaty of Lisbon was created to replace the Constitutional Treaty.
Coolum CHOGM - The 2002 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting held in Colum, Queensland, Australia.
COSATU - The Congress of South African Trade Unions. A South African federation of trade unions, founded in 1985.
Cosby Show - The Cosby Show was an American television sitcom that ran from 1984 until 1992. It starred the comedian Bill Cosby and followed the comedic exploits of the upper middle-class African-American Huxtable family living in Brooklyn, New York.
Council for Assisting Refugee Academics - The Council for Assisting Refugee Academics (CARA) is a British charity which supports the relocation of academics unable to continue their work in their countries of origin due to persecution or conflict. It was founded in 1933 to assist Jewish academics fleeing Nazi Germany. In 2014, it was renamed the Council for At-Risk Academics; before 1999, it was known as the Society for the Protection of Science and Learning (SPSL).
- Synonyms: CARA
- Synonyms: CARA
Coventry Four - Four South African men arrested in Coventry in the UK in 1984 and charged with conspiring to break the arms export ban to South Africa. The affair clouded diplomatic relations between Britain and South Africa.
Cranley Onslow - Cranley Onslow, Baron Onslow of Woking (1926-2001). British Conservative politician. Minister of State at the Foreign Commonwealth Office from 1982 to 1983 and Chairman of the 1922 Committee from 1984 to 1992. Father of Commonwealth Oral Histories interviewer Dr Sue Onslow.
CRD - Conservative Research Department. A branch of the British Conservative Party concerned with formulating policy, founded in 1929.
Creation of Bangladesh - Bangladesh became independent in 1971 following the defeat of Pakistani forces trying to retain the territory as part of Pakistan.
CRO - Commonwealth Relations Office. The British government department responsible for relations with the Commonwealth from 1947 to 1966.
Cuban Missile Crisis - Cold War crisis of 1962 sparked by the Soviet Union basing nuclear missiles in Cuba.
CUF - Civic United Front. Liberal Tanzanian political party formed in 1992.
Cuthbert Obwangor - Cuthbert Obwangor (1920-2012) was a founding member of the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) along with Milton Obote, Grace Ibingira, Felix Onama, Mathias Ngobi and others. He acted as UPC Treasurer from its establishment in 1960 until 1967. He also served the post-independence Obote government variously as Minister of Cabinet Affairs, of Economics, of Regional Administration and of Justice and Law.
Cyril Ramaphosa - Cyril Ramaphosa (b. 1952). South African politician and trade union leader.
Cyrus Rustomjee - 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).
Cyrus Vance - Cyrus Vance (1917-2002). American politician and diplomat, served as Secretary of State (1977-1980) and as a United Nations envoy (1991-1993).
- Synonyms: Secretary Vance
- Synonyms: Secretary Vance
Daily Times - Malawian newspaper that has existed in various forms since 1895.
Daisy Cooper - Daisy Cooper (b.1981) is a British civil servant and political campaigner who served as Strategic Planning Officer for the Commonwealth Secretariat (2006-10), Strategic and Technical Advisor to the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group (2010-11) and Director of the Commonwealth Advisory Bureau (2011-13), formerly the Commonwealth Policy Studies Unit. Cooper has worked for the Voluntary Service Overseas (2013) and the Hacked Off Campaign for a Free and Accountable Press (2013- ). In 2010 she was a Parliamentary Candidate for the Liberal Democrats in Suffolk, England.
Dame Silvia Cartwright - Dame Silvia Cartwright, b.1943, was the 18th Governor-General of New Zealand. In this office from 2001-2006, she served under the Helen Clark government and was succeeded by Sir Anand Satyanand.
Daniel arap Moi - Daniel arap Moi (b.1924). President of Kenya (1977-2002).
Daniel Patrick Moynihan - Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927-2003) was an American political figure who served as his country’s Ambassador to the United Nations (1975-76) and India (1973-75). He was later United States Senator from New York (1977-2001).
Daniel Patrick O'Connell - Daniel Patrick O’Connell (1924-1979) was a New Zealand-born barrister and academic who served as Chair in International Law at the University of Adelaide in the 1960s and Chichele Professor of Public International Law at the University of Oxford from 1972 to 1979.
Danville Walker - Danville Walker was Director of Elections and head of the Electoral Office of Jamaica from 1997 to 2008. In 2004, he acted as chief executive officer of the Office of National Reconstruction in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan.
Datuk Noor Farida - Datuk Noor Farida Ariffin is a distinguished Malysian diplomat who served the Commonwealth Secretariat as Director of the Women and Development Programme (1988-1993). Farida has held numerous positions in the Administrative and Diplomatic Service in Malaysia and, in 2000, was appointed Ambassador to the Netherlands, a position she held until 2007.
- Synonyms: Datuk Farida Ariffin
- Synonyms: Datuk Farida Ariffin
David Anderson - David Anderson (1920-1989) was a political advisor influential in the establishment of post-colonial Civil Service administrations in Ghana, Tanzania and Kenya in the period immediately after independence. In the 1960s and 70s, he supported the work of the Ford Foundation and European Economic Community in Africa. In 1978, he became Deputy Secretary-General of the Commonwealth and Managing Director of the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation (CFTC), retiring from this post in 1983.
David Blake - David Blake is a British archivist and librarian who was Library Services Manager at the Commonwealth Secretariat from 1998 to 2008. He was previously Librarian for the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London, (1993-98) and following his time in the Secretariat became Head of Library and Archives for the Society of Friends (2010- ).
David Caffin - David Caffin was a New Zealand diplomat who worked as Special Assistant to Commonwealth Secretary General Arnold Smith in the 1970s. Caffin was later Permanent Delegate of New Zealand to UNESCO (1980-81) and High Commissioner to Samoa (1981-83).
David Cameron - David Cameron (b. 1966). British Prime Minister (2010-).
David Gillmore - David Gillmore, Baron Gillmore of Thamesfield (1934-1999), was a British diplomat who served as Permanent Undersecretary at the Foreign Office from 1991 up to his retirement in 1994. In 1983, he was appointed High Commissioner in Malaysia, having served previous posts in Moscow and Vienna.
David Gore-Booth - Sir David Alwyn Gore-Booth (1943-2004) was a British diplomat who served as Britain’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia (1993-96) and High Commissioner to India (1996-98).
David Kelly - David Kelly (1944-2003). British civil servant. He committed suicide after it emerged that he had briefed the BBC journalist Andrew Gilligan over the British government’s controversial assessment of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction.
David Lange - David Lange (1942-2005). New Zealand politician and member of the Labour Party. He was Prime Minister of New Zealand, 1984-89.
David Malone - Dr David M Malone (b.1954) is a Canadian diplomat and writer who served as Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations (1992-94) and High Commissioner to India (2006-08). He has also held influential positions in Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (1994-98, 2004-06), and was President of the New York-based International Peace Academy (1998-2004).
David McDowell - David McDowell (b.1937) is a New Zealand diplomat who served as Special Assistant to the Commonwealth Secretary General Arnold Smith from 1969 to 1972. McDowell was later New Zealand’s High Commissioner to India, Nepal and Bangladesh (1983-85) and Permanent Representative to the United Nations (1985-88). From 1994 to 1999 he was Director-General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
David McIntyre - William David McIntyre (b. 1932). New Zealand historian. He is a specialist in the history of the Commonwealth.
David Owen - David Anthony Owen, Lord Owen, (b. 1938) is a British political figure who served as Foreign Secretary from 1977 to 1979. In 1981, Owen left the Labour Party to found the Social Democratic Party (SDP), which he led from 1983 to 1987.
David Steel - Sir David Steel (b.1938), Baron Steel of Aikwood, is a British political figure with a long career in Scottish politics. From 1976 to 1988, he was leader of the Liberal Party in the UK. From 1966 to 1970, he was President of the Anti-Apartheid Movement in the UK and later, in 1994, was an observer at South Africa’s first democratic elections. In 1999, he was Chairperson of the Commonwealth Observer Mission to South Africa’s second elections.
Davos - A town in eastern Switzerland, home to the annual meetings of the World Economic Forum since 1971.
Dawda Jawara - Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara (b.1924) is a Gambian politician who served as his country’s first Prime Minister (1962-70) and, following the Gambia’s establishment as Republic, as President from 1970 to 1994. Jawara led the People’s Progressive Party until he was overthrown in a military coup in 1994.
De Gaulle - Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970). French politician and resistance leader, served as President from 1959 to 1969.
Decision of South Africa to leave the Commonwealth - South Africa left the Commonwealth in 1961 after being condemned for its apartheid policies and facing expulsion.
Defiance Campaign - The Defiance Campaign against Unjust Laws was a national action implemented by the African National Congress in South Africa, December 1951. The Campaign called for non-cooperation with those laws considered unjust and discriminatory in the apartheid state, advocating instead full democratic rights for every person, irrespective of the colour of their skin. Some 8,500 people were imprisoned during the demonstrations which followed in 1952.
Delhi in 1983 - The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting was held in New Delhi in 1983.
Deng Xiao Ping - Deng Xiao Ping (1904-97). Chinese politician and an important figure in moving China towards a market economy after the death of Mao.
Denis Greenhill - Denis Arthur Greenhill, Baron Greenhill of Harrow, (1913-2000) was a British diplomat and politician who served as Permanent Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Head of the Diplomatic Service from 1969 to 1973. Greenhill had held diplomatic appointments in the United States and was Britain’s special envoy to Rhodesia in 1972 and 1976.
Denis Thatcher - Sir Denis Thatcher (1915-2003). British businessman and husband of Margaret Thatcher.
- Synonyms: Sir Denis
- Synonyms: Sir Denis
Dennis MacShane - Dennis MacShane (b. 1948). British politician, Minister for Europe from 2002 to 2005.
Dennis Worrall - Dennis Worrall (b. 1935). South African diplomat and academic.
Department for International Development - The Department for International Development (DFID) is the British government department in charge of administering overseas aid, defining its object as the elimination of world poverty and the promotion of sustainable development.
- Synonyms: DFID
- Synonyms: DFID
Derek Auret - Derek Auret is a South African civil servant who spent two decades in the Foreign Service from the 1970s to 1990s. He was Special Envoy with the rank of ambassador to the United Nations, Deputy Director-General of Foreign Affairs in the Middle East, and Chief Director for the Americas, Middle and Far East and Australaisa. Auret was also involved in negotiations around the independence of Namibia and Rhodesia/Zimbabwe. He was later chairman of the Western Cape Provincial Public Service Commission.
Derek Fatchett - Derek Fatchett (1945-1999). British politician, junior minister at the Foreign Office (1997-1999).
Derek Ingram - Derek Ingram (b. 1925). British journalist and writer with a particular interest in Commonwealth issues.
Deroop Maraj - Deroop Maraj was a Guyanese political figure who served as Minister without Portfolio, Department of External Affairs, Guyana. He was a leading member of the People’s National Congress in its early years.
Desmond Hoyte - Hugh Desmond Hoyte (1929-2002) was a Guyanese political figure who served as his country’s Prime Minister (1984-85) and then President (1985-92). Hoyte had previously been Finance Minister (1970-72) and Economic Development Minister (1974-80).
Desmond Tutu - Desmond Mpilo Tutu (b.1931) is a South African social and political activist and former Anglican bishop who rose to prominence during the fight against apartheid. Tutu received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 and was the first black Archbishop of Cape Town (1986-1996),
Devendra Agochiya - Devendra Agochiya. Worked for the Youth Affairs Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat, as the regional director for Asia, and later as head of the Division.
Diana Delamere - Diana Caldwell, Lady Delamere (1913-87). Kenyan landowner and member of the Happy Valley Set.
Die Burger - Die Burger is a South African Afrikaans-language daily newspaper established in 1914.
Dieter Grimm - Dieter Grimm (b.1937) is a German jurist and academic who served as Justice on the Federal Constitutional Court from 1987 to 1999. He has lectured at the Max Planck Institute in Frankfurt (1967-79), Bielefeld University (1979-87), New York University (1996-2000) and Humbolt University, Berlin (2000- ).
Dilma Rousseff - Dilma Vana Rousseff (b.1947) is a Brazilian politician who was elected President of her country in 2011. Rousseff had previously served as Chief of Staff to President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (2005-10) and Minister of Mines and Energy (2003-05)
Disraeli - Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881). British Prime Minister (1868, 1874-1880).
Dom Mintoff - Dominic ‘Dom’ Mintoff (1916-2012) was a Maltese political figure who led Malta’s Labour Party from 1949 to 1984, serving as Prime Minister of the island country from 1955 to 1958 (as a British colony) and again from 1971 to 1984 (as an independent state).
Dominions - States that were under British sovereignty, but which became increasingly autonomous, especially from the 1930s, and are now independent nations. Former dominions include Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa.
Don Brice - Donald Courtney Brice (b.1930) is a Jamaican public servant and diplomat who served as Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Jamaica, from 1984 to 1990. Brice had previously held posts in the Jamaican High Commission in London (1962-66) and in the Ministries of Trade and Industry (1967-76), Foreign Affairs (1977-80) and Tourism (1981-83). He was later Director General of the West Indian Commission Secretariat (1990-92) and Chairman of the Technical Working Group of the Establishment of the Association of Caribbean States (1993-95).
Don Jamieson - Donald Campbell Jamieson (1921-1986) was a Canadian politician and diplomat who served as his country’s Secretary of State for External Affairs (1976-79) and as High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (1983-85).
Don McKinnon - 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).
Don Oliver - Donald H Oliver (b.1938) is a Canadian politician and lawyer who served as Conservative Senator for Nova Scotia from 1990 to 2013. Oliver was the Conservative Party’s Director of Legal Affairs from 1972 to 1988.
Donald Bradman - Sir Donald Bradman (1908-2001) was an Australian cricketer who also acted as an influential administrator, selector and writer for three decades after his retirement from the game in 1949. He is widely held to be one of the greatest Test batsmen in history and is regarded as an Australian national icon.
Dorienne Rowan Campbell - Dorienne Rowan Campbell (formerly Doreinne Wilson-Smillie) is a Jamaican-Canadian development consultant who served as the first Director of the Commonwealth Secretariat’s division of Women’s Issues and Development from its establishment in 1981. She later helped start the Gender and Development Centre of the University of the West Indies.
- Synonyms: Wilson-Smillie
- Synonyms: Wilson-Smillie
Douglas Hurd - Lord Hurd of Westall (b.1930), British politician prominent during the governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major. Minister of State, Foreign & Commonwealth Office (1979-1983), where he acted as Minister for Europe, that office's inaugural holder; Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1984-85); Home Secretary (1985-59); and Foreign Secretary (1989-95).
Downing Street - London thoroughfare. Number ten is the official residence of the British Prime Minister.
Dr Kenny Anthony - Dr Kenny Anthony (b. 1951). Saint Lucian politician and leader of the Saint Lucia Labour Party. He is the incumbent Prime Minister of Saint Lucia (2011-), a post he also held 1997-2006.
Dr Kwarteng - Kwasi Kwarteng (b. 1975). British politician and historian.
Dudley Thompson - Dudley Thompson (1917-2012) was a Jamaican politician and diplomat who practised law in Tanganyika and Kenya and across the Caribbean. Thompson was a member of the Jamaican Senate (1962-78) and House of Representatives (1978-83). He was Minister of State for Foreign Affairs under Prime Minister Malcolm Manley from 1972 to 1977, and served as Ambassador or High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ghana, Namibia and Sierra Leone.
Duncan Sandys - Duncan Sandys (1908-1987). British politician, Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations (1960-1962) and Secretary of State for the Colonies (1962-1964).
Durban Summit - The 1999 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, held in Durban.
Durham Report - The Durham Report (1838) was a document exploring uprisings that occurred in Lower and Upper Canada in 1837. It recommended the union of the two Canadas.
Dwight Venner - Sir Kenneth Dwight Venner is a Vincentian economist and financial advisor who was appointed as Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank in 1989. Venner was previously Director of Finance and Planning in the St Lucian Government (1981-89) and Lecturer in Economics at the University of the West Indies (1974-81).
East African Community - The East African Community (EAC) was founded in 1967 to strengthen ties between five countries in the African Great Lakes region - Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda - via a common market, a common customs tariff and a range of public services. Disagreements among the members caused the group to dissolve in 1977, but the EAC was reformed in 2000. A new customs union was established in 2005.
- Synonyms: EAC
- Synonyms: EAC
East Asia Economic Caucus - The East Asia Economic Caucus (EAEC) was a proposed regional free trade zone suggested in 1990 by Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad. The EAEC was a response to the absorption of ASEAN into the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, offering a forum that would be free of influence from North America and Australia. The proposal was never put into action.
ECOMOG - The Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) was a multilateral armed force established to facilitate cooperation between countries on security efforts in the West African region. ECOMOG forces were mobilised to intervene in the Civil War in Liberia in 1990 and remained in the country until 1998. They were also deployed in Sierra Leone in 1997 and Guinea-Bissau in 1999.
Economic Cooperation among Developing Countries - The promotion of ‘Economic Cooperation among Developing Countries’ (ECDC) is a central principle of the Group of 77 countries, providing the focus for a number of conferences and collaborative activities, notably the 1981 Caracas Programme of Action on ECDC and the 1986 Cairo Declaration.
- Synonyms: ECDC
- Synonyms: ECDC
Economic Partnership Agreement - Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) aim to facilitate free trade between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP Group). They involve the progressive removal of trade barriers between participating countries.
ECOSOC - United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is a principal organ of the United Nations and coordinates the economic and social work of more specialized UN agencies.
ECOWAS - Economic Community of West African States. An international organisation founded in 1975.
Ed Dommen - Edward Dommen is a Swiss economist who spent his career as a researcher for the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). He also served as president of the Scientific Committee of the Geneva International Academic Network (GIAN).
Edinburgh Games - The 1986 Commonwealth Games held in Edinburgh, boycotted by a large number of African, Asian and Caribbean states due to Thatcher’s refusal to support a sporting boycott of apartheid South Africa.
Edson Zvobgo - Edson Zvobgo (1935-2004) was a Zimbabwean political figure who acted as the Patriotic Front’s spokesperson at the Lancaster House negotiations in 1979 and founded the party ZANU-PF. Zvobgo served several cabinet positions in the government of Robert Mugabe, including Minister of Local Government and Housing (1980-82), Minister of Justice (1982-85) and Minister of Parliament and Constitutional Affairs (1985-92).
Edward Bloustein - Edward J Bloustein (1925-1989) was an American legal scholar and University administrator who served as President of Rutgers University from 1971 to 1989. He was previously Editor-in-Chief of the Cornell Law Review, a lecturer in the New York University School of Law (1961-65), and President of Bennington College (1965-71).
- Synonyms: Professor Bloustein
- Synonyms: Professor Bloustein
Edward du Cann - Edward du Cann (b.1924) is a British political figure who was a Member of Parliament from 1956 to 1987. He was Chairman of the Conservative Party from 1965 to 1967 and Chairman of the 1922 Committee from 1972 to 1984.
Edward Heath - Edward Heath (1916 –2005). British politician and Prime Minister (1970-1974).
- Synonyms: Ted Heath
- Synonyms: Ted Heath
Edward Scott - Archbishop Edward Scott (1919-2004) was the Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada from 1971 to 1986. He was a member of the seven-person Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group sent to investigate apartheid in South Africa in 1985. In 1988, he was awarded the Pearson Prize Medal.
Edward Seaga - Edward Seaga (b.1930). Jamaican politician and Prime Minister (1980-1989).
Edwin Ogebe Ogbu - Edwin Ogebe Ogbu (b.1926) was a Nigerian diplomat who served as his country’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York from 1968 to 1975. In this position, Ogbu was Chairman of the UN Special Committee Against Apartheid (1972-75). He also served simultaneously as High Commissioner of Nigeria to Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago and Guyana (1970-74).
EEC - European Economic Community. An international organisation of European states, founded in 1957. Renamed the European Union in 1993.
Eleni Stamiris - Eleni Stamiris is a Greek policy advisor and consultant who served as Director of Gender and Youth Affairs in the Commonwealth Secretariat from 1993 to 1999. She was previously Director of the Mediterranean Women’s Study Institute (1981-90) and later Director of the United Nations International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (1999-2001).
Elephant Hills - A hotel and resort in Zimbabwe.
Elizabeth II - Elizabeth II (b. 1926). Head of State of the United Kingdom and 15 other countries, and Head of the Commonwealth (from 1952).
Elizabeth of Toro - Princess Elizabeth of Toro (b.1936) is a Ugandan politician and diplomat who is the Batebe of the Kingdom of Toro. She was the first East African woman to be called to the English bar and, in 1974, served briefly as Minister of Foreign Affairs under Idi Amin. Under Yoweri Museveni, Elizabeth has served as Ambassador to the United States, Germany, and the Vatican and High Commissioner to Nigeria.
Elspeth Howe - Elspeth Howe, Baroness Howe of Idlicote, (b.1932) is British political figure who served as Deputy Chairman of the Equal Opportunities Commission from 1975 to 1979, and later Chair of the Broadcasting Standards Commission.
Emeka Anyaoku - 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).
Emmanuel Akwetey - Dr Emmanuel O Akwetey is a Ghanaian academic and political commentator who served as founding Executive Director of the Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG) in Ghana. IDEG was established in 2000. Akwetey was a member of the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group (2010-11) and has also worked with the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) and the UNDP.
Emmanuel Lumu - Dr Emmanuel B Lumu was Uganda’s first Minister of Health following independence from Britain in 1962. He was MP for Kyadondo North.
Empire Service - BBC radio network for the British Empire, founded in 1932. A predecessor of the BBC World Service.
English Speaking Union - A British educational charity with a number of international branches, founded in 1918.
Enoch Dumbutshena - Enoch Dumbutshena (1920-2000) was a Zimbabwean judge who served as Chief Justice of his country from 1984 to 1990. He was Zimbabwe’s first black judge and a member of the International Commission of Jurists.
EPG - 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.
Ephraim Akpata - Ephraim Ibukun Akpata (b.1927) is a Nigerian jurist who served as the first Chairman of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). In this position, Justice Akpata oversaw the 1998/99 elections process that ushered in Nigeria’s Fourth Republic and democratic rule in the country.
Eric Gairy - Sir Eric Matthew Gairy (1922-1997) was a Grenadian politician who served as the first Prime Minister of Grenada (1974-79). Gairy was also head of Government in pre-Independence Grenada, acting as Chief Minister (1961-62) and Premier (1967-74). He was overthrown in a coup led by Maurice Bishop in 1979.
- Synonyms: Gairy
- Synonyms: Gairy
Eric Williams - Eric Williams (1911-1991). Trinidadian historian and politician, Chief Minister of Trinidad and Tobago (1956-1959), Premier (1959-1962), and Prime Minister (1962-1981).
Erika Theron - The Erika Theron Commission was appointed to study the position of the non-white South African population, and to make recommendations as to how their position could be improved. The subsequent Report was published in June 1976.
- Synonyms: Theron Commission, Theron Report
- Synonyms: Theron Commission, Theron Report
Errol Barrow - Errol Walton Barrow (1920-1987) was a Barbadian politician who served as Prime Minister of Barbados from 1966 to 1976. He had previously served as Premier of Barbados from 1961 to 1966, becoming the country’s first Prime Minister upon independence. Barrow was leader of the Democratic Labour Party.
Eschel Rhoodie - Eschel Mostert Rhoodie (1933-1993) was a South African civil servant who acted as Secretary of the Department of Information between 1972 and 1977. In 1978-79, he was implicated in the ‘Muldergate Scandal’ involving Minister of Information Connie Mulder, which led to the resignation of BJ Vorster as State President. Mulder and Rhoodie had gained support from Vorster for a corrupt ‘propaganda war’ to defend the apartheid government from its critics.
EU - European Union. International organisation of European states. Known as the European Economic Community before 1993.
Eugene TerreBlanche - Eugène Terre’Blanche (1941-2010). Right-wing South African political activist, and founder of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging, a political and paramilitary organisation.
Eugenia Charles - Eugenia Charles (1919-2005). Dominican politician and Prime Minister (1980-1995).
European Development Fund - Established in 1957 by the Treaty of Rome, and launched in 1959, today the EDF provides European Union development funding in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries.
Falklands War - 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.
Farooq Leghari - Farooq Leghari (1940-2010) Pakistani politician and President (1993-1997).
Farooq Sobhan - Farooq Sobhan (b.1940) is a Bangladeshi diplomat who served as Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh from 1995 to 1997. He was previously Ambassador to China (1987-90), and High Commissioner to Malaysia (1984-87) and India (1992-95). Sobhan was candidate for the position of Commonwealth Secretary General in 1999.
FBIS - Foreign Broadcast Information Service. The branch of the CIA that monitored foreign broadcasts. Originally founded in 1941, the Foreign Broadvast Information Service came under the purview of the CIA in 1947, and in 2005 it was incorporated into the Open Source Center.
FCO - 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'.
Fearless and Tiger Talks - Talks between UK Prime Minister Harold Wilson and Prime Minister of Rhodesia Ian Smith in December 1966 and October 1968. They are named after the two Royal Navy ships that hosted the talks.
Federation of Malaysia and Singapore - A federal state that briefly united Malaysia and Singapore form 1963 to 1965.
Fenech Adami - Edward Fenech Adami (b.1934) is a Maltese politician who served as Prime Minister of Malta from 1987 to 1996, and again from 1998 to 2004. He subsequently served as President of Malta from 2004 to 2009. Adami is associated with the Maltese Nationalist Party.
Fernand Braudel - Fernand Braudel (1902-1985) was a French historian famous for his association with the Annales School, a group of historians emphasising the role of large-scale socioeconomic factors in their analysis of history. His most influential book was La Méditerranée et le Monde Méditerranéen à l’Epoque de Philippe II (1949).
Fidel Castro - Fidel Castro (b. 1926). Cuban revolutionary leader and politician, leader of Cuba from 1959 to 2008.
Field Marshall Smuts - Jan Christiaan Smuts (1870-1950). South African statesman and military leader. He was Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa, 1919-24 and 1939-48.
Fifth Brigade - Unit of the Zimbabwean army formed in 1981 and trained by North Korean soldiers. It became notorious for atrocities committed in Matabeleland, and was abolished in 1988.
Fiji double coup - The Fiji Coups of 1987 saw, first, in May, the overthrow of the elected government, and second, in September, the end of the Fijian monarchy, and the proclamation of Fiji as a republic. Both coups were led by the military.
Financial Action Task Force - An inter-governmental body set-up in 1989 by a G-7 summit held in Paris in 1989. The aim was to establish standards of legal, regulatory and operational measures for battling money laundering and terrorist financing.
First Gulf War - The invasion of Kuwait by Iraq, and its subsequent ejection by a United States-led coalition (1990-1991).
Five Eyes alliance - The ‘Five Eyes’ alliance refers to an intelligence grouping established in 1941 by the multilateral UKUSA Agreement on cooperation in signals intelligence. It includes Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.
FLNKS - The Front de Libération Nationale Kanak et Socialiste (FLNKS), also known as the Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front, is an alliance of political parties in New Caledonia founded in 1984 and working for the independence of the country from France.
Flora MacDonald - Flora MacDonald (b. 1926). Canadian politician and member of the Progressive Conservative party. She was Secretary of State for External Affairs (1979-80) and has worked with the Commonwealth of Learning and Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative.
FO - Foreign Office. The department of the British government with responsibility for relations with foreign countries, formed in 1782. Since 1968, it has been formally known as the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, although it is still often informally referred to as the Foreign Office.
Foday Sankoh - Foday Saybana Sankoh (1937-2003) was leader of the Revolutionary United Front in Sierra Leone from 1991-2000, coordinating armed rebellion against the Joseph Momoh-led All People’s Congress Government and a major protagonist in the decade-long Sierra Leonean Civil War. Sankoh died in 2013 awaiting trial for crimes against humanity in a UN-backed court.
Food and Agricultural Organisation - The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) is a specialised agency of the United Nations that focuses its work on eliminating hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition in both the developed and developing world. Established in Quebec City, Canada in 1945, it is now based in Rome, Italy and brings together 194 member states to share knowledge and debate policy.
- Synonyms: FAO
- Synonyms: FAO
Forbes Burnham - Linden Forbes Burnham (1923-1985) was a Guyanese politician who served as leader of Guyana from 1964 until his death, holding the titles of Premier (1964-66), Prime Minister (1966-80) and President (1980-85) over his long career. Burnham was founder and leader of the People’s National Congress.
Fourth Committee - The United Nations Fourth Committee or Special Political and Decolonization Committee is a group within the UN General Assembly originally established to oversee the granting of independence to formerly colonial territories. The committee now deals with questions of Palestinian refugees, human rights, peacekeeping, mine action and public information, among other matters.
France-Albert Rene - France-Albert Rene (b.1935). President of Seychelles (1977-2004).
Francis Nwokedi - Francis Nwokedi was a Nigerian diplomat who served as Permanent Secretary to his country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was later Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary General on the Congo.
Francis Pym - 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).
Francis Vallat - Professor Sir Francis Vallat (1912-2008) was a French-born British lawyer who served as Legal Adviser for the UK Foreign Office from 1945 to 1968. During this time he also served as Legal Adviser to the UK’s Permanent Delegation to the UN (1950-53) and was later Director of International Law Studies at King’s College London (1968-1976).
Francistown - City in eastern Botswana.
Francois Mitterand - Francois Mitterand (1915-1996) was a French political figure who served as his country’s President from 1981 to 1995. He was previously First Secretary of the Socialist Party (1971-81) and held a variety of ministerial roles, including Minister of Justice (1956-57).
Francois Pienaar - Jacobus Francois Pienaar (b.1967) is a South African rugby player, best known for his role as Captain of the World Cup-winning South African rugby team in 1995.
Frank Corner - Frank Henry Corner (1920-2014) was a New Zealand diplomat who served his country as Ambassador to the United Nations (1961-67) and the United States (1967-72). He was later New Zealand’s Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs from 1972 to 1980.
Frank Walcott - Frank Walcott (1916-1999). Barbadian trade unionist, diplomat and politician.
Franz Joseph Strauss - Franz Joseph Strauss (1915-1988). German politician, head of the Christian Social Union (CSU). He served in the federal government as a minister from 1953 to 1969 and then as Minister-President of Bavaria, Federal Republic of Germany, from 1978-1988.
Fred Phillips - Sir Frederick Albert Phillips (1918-2011) was a politician and jurist from Saint Kitts and Nevis who served as Governor of Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla from 1967 to 1969.
Frederick Chiluba - Frederick Chiluba (1943-2011). Zambian politician and President (1991-2002).
Frederick Wills - Frederick Wills (d.1992) was a Guyanese lawyer and diplomat who served as his country’s Foreign Minister from 1975 to 1978. Wills has previously acted as Guyana’s Justice Minister under President Forbes Burnham.
Freedom Front - A South African political party founded in 1994, which seeks self-determination for Afrikaners.
Freedom of Information Act - A British law, passed in 2000, that established the right of public access to information held by the state, but also established a number of exemptions.
FRELIMO - FRELIMO (Mozambique Liberation Front) was formed in 1962 as a Mozambican liberation movement. Since independence in 1975 it has been the ruling political party in Mozambique.
French nuclear testing at Mururoa - French testing of nuclear weapons at Mururoa atoll in the southern Pacific between 1966 and 1996 sparked international protest.
French Revolution - A 1789 uprising that saw the overthrow of the French monarchy and ultimately the execution of the king.
Frene Ginwala - Frene Ginwala (b.1932). South African politician, Speaker of the National Assembly (1994-2004).
FRG - The Federal Republic of Germany (1949-1990) was the name for the NATO-aligned West Germany during the period of the Cold War. The Warsaw Pact-aligned East Germany was known as the German Democratic Republic (GDR).
Front de Libération Nationale - The Front de Libération Nationale (FLN) is a socialist political party in Algeria which acted as the main revolutionary body in the war for Algeria’s independence from France. The FLN was founded in 1954 by Ahmed Ben Bella, who became a principal protagonist in post-independence struggles for power along with Houari Boumédiène.
- Synonyms: FLN
- Synonyms: FLN
Front Line States - A group of southern African states formed in 1970, which campaigned for democratic majority rule in South Africa.
Fuwad Thowfeek - Fuwad Thowfeek served as Elections Commissioner in the Republic of Maldives before being dismissed by the Supreme Court in 2014 on charges of contempt of court. Thowfeek had disbanded eight political parties with less than 3000 members despite the Supreme Court asking him not to go ahead with the move.
FW de Klerk - FW de Klerk (b. 1936). South African politician and State President (1989-1994).
G15 - The Group of 15 (G15) was established at the 1989 Non-Aligned Movement Summit meeting in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, and brings together countries from Latin America, Africa and Asia to coordinate cooperation in the areas of investment, trade and technology.
G20 - Inaugurated in 1999, the Group of Twenty brings together finance ministers and central bank governors from 20 major economies.
G7 - The group of 7 nations deemed the most industrialised, first formed in 1975 originally with 6 members.
G8 - 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.
- Synonyms: G-8
- Synonyms: G-8
Gaddafi - Muammar Gaddafi (1942-2011). Libyan revolutionary and national leader from 1969 to 2011.
Gamani Corea - Dr Gamani Corea (1925-2013) was a Sri Lankan economist and diplomat who served as Secretary-General of UNCTAD from 1974 to 1984. Corea was previously Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the EEC, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, as well as Senior Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Ceylon.
Gang of Four - A faction of Chinese Communist Party officials - Jiang Qing, Zhang Chunqiao, Yao Wenyuan and Wang Hongwen - who came to prominence during the Cultural Revolution.
Gareth Evans - Gareth Evans (b. 1944). Australian politician, Foreign Minister from 1988 to 1966.
Garret FitzGerald - Garret FitzGerald (1926-2011) was an Irish politician who served twice as the Taoiseach of Ireland (1981-82, 1982-87). He had previously served as his country’s Foreign Minister (1973-77) and was leader of Fine Gael between 1977 and 1987.
Gaspari Oda - Gaspari Oda was an influential political figure in the early years of Ugandan independence, representing the Democratic Party (DP) as an MP in Parliament.
GATT - The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. A multilateral agreement managing international trade, agreed in 1947 and succeeded in 1995 by the World Trade Organisation.
Gavyn Davies - Gavyn Davies (b. 1950). British economist, Chairman of the BBC from 2001 to 2004.
Gemini News Service - The Gemini News Service, founded in 1967 by Derek Ingram, was a pioneering independent news service specialising in the field of international and development journalism. The service prioritised 'on the ground' reportage, focusing much of its work on Commonwealth countries. The news agency closed in 2002; its records are collected in The Guardian News & Media Archive, London.
General Garba - Major General Joseph Garba (1943-2002) was a Nigerian military figure, politician and diplomat who participated in the 1975 coup against General Yakubu Gowon and subsequently served as his country’s Foreign Minister (1975-78). In this position he acted as President of the United Nations Security Council in 1978. Garba later served as Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations (1984-89) and, in 1989, was elected President of the UN General Assembly.
General Gowon - General Yakubu 'Jack' Dan-Gumma Gowon (b. 1934). Nigerian soldier and military Head of State (1966-1975).
- Synonyms: Gowon
- Synonyms: Gowon
General Lule - Yusu Kironde Lule (1912-1985) was leader of the Uganda National Liberation Front (UNLF) in the 1970s and was installed as provisional President of Uganda following the ousting of Idi Amin in 1979. His brief period in power ended when the National Consultative Commission replaced him with Godfrey Binaisa that same year.
- Synonyms: Yusuf Lule
- Synonyms: Yusuf Lule
General McNaughton - General Andrew GL McNaughton (1887-1966) was a Canadian diplomat and soldier. A distinguished army officer in both the First and Second World Wars, McNaughton later chaired the UN Atomic Energy Commission (1946-58) and was Canada’s Ambassador to the UN (1948-49). He chaired the Canadian Section of the International Joint Commission from 1950 to 1962.
General Walls - Lieutenant General George Peter Walls (1927-2010) was a Rhodesian military figure who served as Commander of the Rhodesian military from 1977 to 1980. Following the independence of Zimbabwe, Walls lived in exile in Eastern Cape, South Africa.
- Synonyms: Peter Walls
- Synonyms: Peter Walls
General Zia - Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq (1924-88). Pakistani soldier and politician. As Chief of Army Staff he declared martial law in 1977, deposed then Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and became President of Pakistan, 1978-88.
Geneva Accord - A 1988 agreement between the governments of Angola, Cuba and South Africa about the withdrawal of foreign troops from the Angolan civil war.
Geoffrey Howe - Geoffrey Howe (b. 1926). Lord Howe of Aberavon. British politician, held various Cabinet positions in Margaret Thatcher’s government including Foreign Secretary (1983-1989).
- Synonyms: Lord Howe
- Synonyms: Lord Howe
Geoffrey Kariithi - Geoffrey Kariithi (1925-2012) was a prominent Kenyan political figure who acted as Head of the Civil Service under Jomo Kenyatta’s post-independence government. He was later an Assistant Minister for Daniel Arap Moi.
Geoffrey Wilson - Sir Geoffrey Wilson (1910-2004) was a British public servant and diplomat who held influential positions in the Foreign Office in the 1950s and with the World Bank from 1958 to 1966. Wilson was later Deputy Secretary (1966-68) and Permanent Secretary (1968-70) of the UK’s Ministry of Overseas Development, and in 1971 was appointed chairman of the Race Relations Board. From 1977 to 1983 he was chairman of Oxfam.
Georg Meiring - General Georg Meiring (b.1939) was a South African military figure who served as the first Chief of the South African National Defence Force from 1994 to 1998. He was also the last Chief of the South African Defence Force (SADF) from 1993 to 1994.
George Bush - George Walker Bush (b. 1946). President of USA (2001-2009).
George Cadle Price - George Cadle Price (1919-2011) was a Belizean political figure who served as First Minister and Premier of British Honduras/Belize (1961-1981) and, following independence in 1981, twice as Prime Minister of Belize (1981-84 and 1989-93). He is considered the ‘Father of the Nation’ in Belize and was associated with the People’s United Party in the country.
- Synonyms: George Price
- Synonyms: George Price
George Chambers - George Michael Chambers (1928-1997) was a Trinidadian political figure who served as Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago from 1981 to 1986, Chambers was Political Leader of the People’s National Movement from 1981 to 1987.
George HW Bush - George Herbert Walker Bush (b.1924) is an American political figure who served as President of the United States from 1989 to 1993. A Republican, he had previously served as Vice President under Ronald Reagan (1981-89) and was Director of the Central Intelligence Agency(1976-77).
George Magezi - George Magezi was a Uganda People’s Congress leader in Bunyoro, western Uganda, and an influential political figure during Uganda’s transition to independent rule (1958-1962).
George Speight - George Speight (b. 1957). Businessman. He was a key instigator of the 2000 Fijian coup.
George Thomson - George Thomson, Baron Thomson of Monifieth (1921-2008). British politician, and a member of the Labour Party, Social Democratic Party and the Liberal Democrats. He was Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs, 1967-68.
George W Bush - George Walker Bush (b.1946) is an American political figure and businessman who served as President of the United States from 2001 to 2009. He was previously Governor of Texas (1995-2000), and before entering politics was involved in the American oil industry.
Georges Simenon - Georges Simenon (1903-1989) was a Belgian novelist who published nearly 200 novels during his writing career. He lived in France for much of his life, with periods also spent in the United States, Canada and Switzerland.
Gerald Hensley - Gerald Hensley, b.1935. Former New Zealand diplomat who served as Special Assistant to the Commonwealth Secretary General when the Secretariat was established in 1965. He later served various positions under the Robert Muldoon and David Lange governments in New Zealand, including Secretary of Defense. In 2000, Hensley chaired the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group in its work in Papua New Guinea.
Gerry Helleiner - Professor Gerry Helleiner is a Canadian economist and political advisor associated with the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto. From 1991 to 1999, he was Research Director of the Group of 24 caucus at the IMF and World Bank, and has chaired the Boards of the North South Institute in Ottawa and the International Food Policy Institute (IFPRI) in Washington. He has taught in Canada, Nigeria, Tanzania, the United States, and the UK.
Gibraltar referendum - A referendum over the future of Gibraltar held in 1967. Over 99% of votes favoured British sovereignty.
Gill Marcus - Gill Marcus (b.1949) is a South African politician and banker who served as Governor of the South African Reserve Bank from 2009 to 2014. Marcus had previously been Deputy Governor under Tito Mboweni from 1999 to 2004.
Gilligan affair - A controversy over the reporting of BBC journalist Andrew Gilligan, that led to his resignation in 2004.
Girija Shankar Bajpai - Sir Girija Shankar Bajpai (1891-1954) was an Indian diplomat and civil servant, holding influential positions in both the British colonial and post-independence administrations. Appointed to the Viceroy’s Executive Council in 1940, he became India’s First Secretary General, Ministry of External Affairs, following the transfer of power in 1947, holding this position until 1952.
Giscard d’Estaing - Valéry Giscard d’Estaing (b.1926) is a French political figure who served as President of the French Republic from 1974 to 1981. He had previously served as Minister of Economy and Finance (1969-74) and Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs (1962-66). D’Estaing is a proponent of a United States of Europe and a member of the French Constitutional Council.
Gleneagles Agreement - 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.
Glenys Kinnock - Glenys Kinnock (b. 1944). British politician, served as a minister from 2009 to 2010.
Global Environment Facility - The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is a partnership formed between 183 countries and a variety of international institutions, civil society organisations and private sector bodies to address global environmental issues. Established in 1991, the GEF is now the world’s largest public funder for projects aiming to improve the global environment.
Goa Declaration - The Goa Declaration was a statement on International Security made by Commonwealth Leaders from Fort Aguada, Goa, India, in 1983. In the Declaration, the leaders condemned the extension of nuclear arsenals in the context of the Cold War and called for resources to be devoted to development partnerships rather than weaponry. A copy is available online via the Margaret Thatcher Foundation Archive.
Goebbels - Joseph Goebbels (1897-1945). German politician who was Minister of Propaganda (1933-1945) in Hitler’s government.
Goldstone Commission - A South African government Commission appointed in 1991 to inquire into political violence.
Gonzi - 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.
Gorbachev - Mikhail Gorbachev (b. 1931). Final leader of the Soviet Union (1985-1991).
Gordon Brown - 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.
Gordon Goundrey - Gordon Goundrey (1923-2006) was a Canadian development economist and diplomat who spent twenty-two years as an adviser to the United Nations, retiring in 1982 as Assistant Secretary General in the Office for Special Political Questions. Goundrey worked frequently with the technical assistance arm of the Commonwealth Secretariat and, throughout his career, led approximately 120 missions to Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific. He was appointed Professor of Economics at Newfoundland’s Memorial University in 1953.
Gordon Goundry - Professor Gordon Goundry is a Canadian economist who served the Commonwealth Fund for Technical co-operation as the Head of the Technical Assistance Group (TAG). Goundry later worked in the United Nations as Assistant Secretary-General in the Office for Special Political Questions and Joint Coordinator of Special Economic Assistance Programmes.
Gough Whitlam - Edward Gough Whitlam (1916-2014) was the 21st Prime Minister of Australia, serving from 1972 to 1975.
Govan Mbeki - Govan Archibald Mvuyelwa Mbeki (1910-2001). South African politician and anti-apartheid activist. He is the father of the former South African President Thabo Mbeki.
Grace Ibingira - Grace SK Ibingira was a leader in the Uganda People’s Congress during the country’s post-independence period, appointed as Minister of Justice in 1962. He was Secretary-General of the UPC from 1964 and, during the 1966 Constitutional Crisis, was arrested with other members of the Obote Cabinet.
Grantley Adams - Grantley Adams (1898-1971). A Barbadian politician, served as Prime Minister of Barbados (1953-1958) and Prime Minister of the West Indian Federation (1958-1962).
Great Trek - The migration of Afrikaner farmers away from British influence in the Cape during the 1830s and 1840s. A foundational moment in Afrikaner identity.
Greg Dyke - Greg Dyke (b. 1947). British journalist, Director-General of the BBC from 2000 to 2004.
Grenada invasion - The United States’ 1983 invasion of Grenada. The invasion was triggered by a coup in Grenada, but was opposed by Britain and Canada, partly because Grenada was a member of the Commonwealth.
Gro Harlem Brundtland - Gro Harlem Brundtland (b. 1939). Norwegian politician and diplomat. She was Norwegian Prime Minister 1981, 1986-89 and 1990-96 and later became Director-General of the World Health Organization, 1998-2003.
Groucho Marx - Groucho Marx (1890-1977). American comedian.
Group of 77 - The Group of 77 is a coalition of United Nations member states, primarily composed of developing nations, who collaborate in UN negotiations to promote their collective economic interests. The Group was founded on 15 June 1964 at the UN Conference on Trade and Development.
- Synonyms: G-77
- Synonyms: G-77
Gudral doctrine - Foreign policy doctrine advanced by IK Gudral in his time as India’s Foreign Minister (1996-1998), which called for Indian assistance to its smaller neighbours and peaceful relations in South Asia.
Gukuruhundi killings - 'Gukuruhundi’ refers to the 1984-1987 suppression of Zimbabwean civilians in the wake of the Rhodesian Bush War, when members of the Fifth Brigade brutally crushed supporters of Joseph Nkomo in Matabeleland. The word ‘Gukuruhundi’ is Shona for “the early rain which washes away the chaff before the spring rains”. The violence was ended by the formation of ZANU PF and the establishment of Robert Mugabe as President of Zimbabwe.
Guy Clutten-Brock - Guy Clutten-Brock (1906-1995). An English social worker, and later, Zimbabwean nationalist. He established Cold Comfort Farm, a multi-racial co-operative farm, on the outskirts of Salisbury. He was deported by Ian Smith in 1971.
Hage Geingob - Hage Geingob (b. 1941). Namibian politician and a member of the SWAPO party, and current Prime Minister (since 2012). He was Namibia’s first Prime Minister following independence, 1990-2002.
Hallstein Doctrine - The Hallstein Doctrine was a foreign policy approach in the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) elaborated by the German diplomat Walter Hallstein in the 1950s. The Doctrine established that the Federal Republic would not initiate or maintain diplomatic relations with any state that recognised the German Democratic Republic of East Germany.
Hamid Karzai - Hamid Karzai (b.1957) is an Afghan political figure who served as President of Afghanistan from 2004 to 2014. Karzai had been an active opponent to the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s but was sidelined in politics during the subsequent Taliban regime. Following the American invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, Karzai served two years as Interim President (2002-04) before being elected President in 2004.
Hannes Philipp - Major-General Hannes Philipp was an Austrian military figure who served as Force Commander of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) from 1974 to 1979. Philipp later acted as Force Commander of the United Nations Transition Assistance Group (UNTAG) in Namibia from 1978 to 1980.
Hans Blix - Hans Blix (b. 1928). Swedish diplomat and politician, served as Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs (1978-1979), Director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (1981-1997), and led the United Nations weapons inspection mission in Iraq (2000-2003).
Harare Declaration - 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.
Harold Macmillan - Harold Macmillan, 1st Earl of Stockton (1894-1986), was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1957 to 1963. He was leader of the Conservative Party, having previously served cabinet positions under the tenure of Prime Ministers Sir Anthony Eden and Winston Churchill.
Harold Wilson - Harold Wilson (1916-1995). British politician and Prime Minister (1964-1970, 1974-1976).
Harry Oppenheimer - Harry Frederick Oppenheimer (1908-2000) was a South African businessman who chaired Anglo American Corporation (1957-82) and De Beers Consolidated Mines (1957-84).Oppenheimer, one of the world’s richest men, financed the anti-apartheid Progressive Federal Party in the 1970s and 80s. He also acted as Chancellor of the University of Cape Town (1967-99).
Hastings Banda - Hastings Kamuzu Banda (1898-1997). Malawian politician, served as Prime Minister (1964-1966) and President (1966-1994).
Hausa - A language spoken across northern Nigeria and Niger.
Head of Chancery - A diplomatic post.
Hector Pieterson - Hector Pieterson (1963-1976). South African school boy, killed by police at an anti-apartheid demonstration.
Helen Clark - Helen Clark, b.1937, was the 37th Prime Minister of New Zealand (1999-2008) and in 2009 succeeded Kemal Dervis as Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme.
Helen McCue - Dr Helen McCue (b.1949) is an Australian educator and activist who co-founded the Australian trade union aid body APHEDA in 1984 and the advocacy organisation Rural Australians for Refugees in 2001. As a nurse educator, she worked with the World Health Organisation in the Middle East in 1981 and the UN Relief and Works Organisation in Lebanon (1982-83). As Executive Director of APHEDA, she worked across South Africa and the Middle East from 1984 to 1994.
Helen Suzman - Helen Suzman (1917-2009) was a South African political figure and anti-apartheid activist who helped found the Progressive Party in South Africa in 1959. She was a Member of Parliament for the Houghton constituency in Johannesburg from 1953 to 1989.
Helmut Schmidt - Helmut Schmidt, b.1918, is a German politician who served as Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1974 to 1982.
Hendrik Verwoerd - Dr Hendrik Verwoerd (1901 –1966). Prime Minister of South Africa (1958-1966), closely associated with apartheid policies.
- Synonyms: Verwoerd
- Synonyms: Verwoerd
Henri Konan Bédié - Aimé Henri Konan Bédié (b.1934) is an Ivorian political figure who served as President of Cote d’Ivoire from 1993 to 1999 as leader of the Democratic Party of Cote d’Ivoire – African Democratic Rally (PDCI-RDA). He was overthrown in a military coup in 1999 and fled to Togo and then Paris in exile. He returned to the country on new President Laurent Gbagbo’s request in 2001.
Henry Forde - Sir Henry Forde (b.1933) is a Barbadian politician who served as his country’s Minister of External Affairs from 1976 to 1981. In 1981 he became leader of the Barbados Labour Party and, in this position, Leader of the Opposition. He retired from this role in 1993.
Henry Kissinger - Henry Kissinger (b. 1923). American diplomat and politician.
Henry Lynch-Shyllon - Henry M Lynch-Shyllon was a Sierra Leonean diplomat who served as the country’s United Nations Mission to the United States. He was later Director of the Administrative Division in Sierra Leone.
Herbert Blaize - Herbert Blaize (1918-1989) was a Grenadian political figure who served as Prime Minister of Grenada from 1984 to 1989. He had previously served as Chief Minister during Grenada’s period as British Crown Colony (1960-61, 1962-67), becoming Prime Minister following the American-led invasion of the country.
Herbie Walker - Herbert Samuel Walker is a Jamaican diplomat and former Governor of the Bank of Jamaica (1977-81) who served as his country’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom from 1981-88. From 1989-92, he was Jamaica’s Permanent Representative to the Specialised Agencies of the United Nations at Geneva, where he was elected President of the Common Fund Conference.
Heritage Foundation - A right wing American think tank founded in 1973.
Herstigte Nasionale Party - The Herstigte Nasionale Party (Reconstituted National Party) is a South African political party formed in 1969 by Albert Hertzog as a right-wing splinter group from the then ruling National Party.
High Level Appraisal - The ten-strong High Level Appraisal Group was established at the 1989 CHOGM to look at the role of the Commonwealth going forward, and drafted what became known as the Harare Declaration.
Hilgard Muller - Hilgard Muller (1914-1985). South African politician and member of the National Party. He was Minister of Foreign Affairs, 1964-77.
HIPC - 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.
HIV/Aids - Human immunodeficiency virus infection / acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) is a disease of the human immune system.
HMG - Her Majesty’s Government. Formal name for the British government.
HMS Fearless - A Royal Navy warship, venue for inconclusive 1968 talks between Harold Wilson and Ian Smith.
HMS Tiger - A Royal Navy warship, venue for inconclusive 1966 talks between Harold Wilson and Ian Smith.
Houari Boumediene - Houari Boumediene (1932-1978) was an Algerian political figure who served as Chairman of the Revolutionary Council of Algeria from 1965 to 1976, seizing power from President Ahmed Ben Bella in a bloodless coup. Following the adoption of a new constitution, Boumediene was made President of Algeria in 1976 and held this position until his death in 1978. He was fourth Secretary General of the Non-Aligned Movement (1973-76).
- Synonyms: Boumediene
- Synonyms: Boumediene
Houphouet Boigny - Houphouet Boigny (1905-1993). President of Cote D’Ivoire (1960-1993).
Hugh Carey - Hugh Leo Carey (1919-2011) was an American attorney and political figure who served as Governor of New York from 1975 to 1982. He was Member of the US House of Representatives from 1963 to 1974.
Hugh Craft - Dr Nickless Hugh Craft is an Australian diplomat who served as Director of the International Affairs Division, Commonwealth Secretariat, from 1979 to 1988. He was subsequently the Senior Executive of Environment Australia (1992-99) and member of the Department of the Australian Prime Minister and Cabinet (1999-2002).
Hugh Segal - Hugh Segal (b. 1950). Canadian politician and a member of the 2010 Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group.
Hugh Shearer - Hugh Shearer (1923-2004). Jamaican Prime Minister (1967-1972) and Foreign Minister (1980-1989).
Hugh Wooding - Hugh Wooding (1904-1974). Trinidadian judge and politician.
Human Development Index - The Human Development Index (HDI) is used to rank countries into tiers of human development. It is based on indices relating to life expectancy, educational attainment and income.
Human Rights Watch - Human Rights Watch is an international, non-profit, non-governmental organization which focuses on the study and promotion of human rights. Established in 1978 in the wake of the Helsinki Accords, it is currently headquartered in New York City and has offices around the world. The organisation’s primary donor is the George Soros Open Society Foundation.
Humphrey Appleby - Sir Humphrey Appleby is a fictional television character from the British television series Yes Minister and Yes, Prime Minister. He serves the British government in the fictional post of ‘Permanent Secretary for the Department of Administrative Affairs’.
- Synonyms: Sir Humphrey
- Synonyms: Sir Humphrey
Humphrey Gibbs - Sir Humphrey Gibbs (1902-1990). Farmer and colonial administrator. Governor of Southern Rhodesia (1959-1969), opposed UDI. He accompanied Ian Smith to the Tiger and Fearless talks.
Humphrey Maud - Sir Humphrey Maud (1934-2013). British diplomat. He was Commonwealth Deputy Secretary General for Economic and Social Affairs, 1993-99.
Hutton Inquiry - A British judicial inquiry into the death of David Kelly, a British government weapons advisor, held in 2003.
Iain Macleod - Iain Macleod (1913-1970). British politician, served as Secretary of State for the Colonies (1959-61).
Iain Sutherland - Sir Iain Sutherland (1925-86) was a British diplomat who served as Ambassador to Greece (1978-82) and to the Soviet Union (1982-85). After postings in Belgrade, Havana and Washington in the 1950s and 60s, Sutherland was made Consul-general in Jakarta in 1967 and was head of the South Asia Department in the UK Foreign Office from 1969 to 1974.
Ian Brownlie - Sir Ian Brownlie (1932-201) was a British lawyer who held the Chichele Professorship in Public International Law at the University of Oxford from 1980 to 1999. Brownlie had a long career with the International Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights. He was also a member of the United Nations International Law Commission (1997-2008) and represented Amnesty International in British courts.
Ian Gilmour - Ian Gilmour, Lord Gilmour of Craigmillar (1926-2007). British Conservative politician, served as Lord Privy Seal in the government of Margaret Thatcher and spokesman on foreign affairs (1979-1981). He previously served as Secretary of State for Defence in 1974, under Edward Heath.
IBSA Dialogue Forum - The IBSA Dialogue Forum is an international Tripartite grouping composed of India, Brazil and South Africa. Established in 2003 with the Brasilia Declaration, the Forum promotes international cooperation between the three countries, especially in terms of agriculture, trade, education, science and technology, and defence.
ICFTU - International Confederation of Free Trade Unions. An international orgainisation that linked the trade unions of non-communist countries during the Cold War. It existed from 1949 to 2006.
- Synonyms: International Confederation of Free Trade Unions
- Synonyms: International Confederation of Free Trade Unions
ICU - Intensive care unit, a department of some hospitals.
IDAF - International Defence and Aid Fund for Southern Africa. International anti-apartheid charity, originally founded in 1956 and active until 1990.
Idi Amin - Idi Amin (c. 1925-2003). Became President of Uganda, 1971-79, after seizing power through a military coup.
Idris Waziri - Idris Waziri was the Nigerian Minister of Commerce from 2003 until 2006. He was a founding member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in 1999, and served as Nigerian Ambassador to Pakistan.
IGO - Intergovernmental organisation. Organisations whose members are mostly sovereign states
IK Gujral - IK Gujral (1919-2012). Indian politician, served as foreign Minister (1996-1998) and Prime Minister (1997-1998).
Ike Nwachukwu - Ike Omar Sanda Nwachukwu (b.1940) is a Nigerian politician and military figure who served as Foreign Minister of Nigeria from 1987 to 1989 and again from 1990 to 1993. He joined the Nigerian Senate as Senator for Imo North in 1999, serving until 2003.
ILO - International Labour Organisation. The United Nations agency for issues connected with labour rights, originally founded in 1919
- Synonyms: International Labour Organisation
- Synonyms: International Labour Organisation
IMF - International Monetary Fund. Created in 1944 at the Bretton Woods Conference, the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF's original aim was to stabilise exchange rates and aid national reconstruction after the end of the Second World War.
- Synonyms: International Monetary Fund
- Synonyms: International Monetary Fund
Impeachment of the Chief Justice - Shirani Bandaranayake, the Chief Justice of Sri Lankai, was impeached by Parliament in 2013 in a process that has been criticised.
Independent National Electoral Commission - The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is an oversight body established in Nigeria in 1998 to survey and assess elections in the country. INEC is associated with the Nigerian Fourth Republic and the administration of General Abdulsalam Abubakar.
- Synonyms: INEC
- Synonyms: INEC
India International Centre - The India International Centre (IIC) is a prominent cultural and intellectual institution in New Delhi, India. It was established in 1960 to encourage dialogue between statesmen, diplomats, policymakers, scientists, writers, artists and others in India, and hosts a wide range of events open to the public.
India Office - The British government department that administered India (1858-1947).
Indian Ocean Commission - The Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) was established in 1982 to facilitate political, economic, ecological and cultural cooperation between five African Indian Ocean territories: Comoros, Réunion, Madagascar, Mauritius and Seychelles. The IOC’s Secretariat is headquartered in Mauritius.
Indian Secretary-General - The present Commonwealth Secretary-General (from 2008), Kamalesh Sharma.
Indira Gandhi - Indira Gandhi (1917-1984). Indian politician who served as Prime Minister from 1966 to 1977 and from 1980 to 1984.
- Synonyms: Mrs. Gandhi
- Synonyms: Mrs. Gandhi
Indrajit Coomaraswamy - Indrajit Coomaraswamy (b.1950) is a Sri Lankan economist who served the Commonwealth Secretariat from 1990 to 2008. He was Director of Economic Affairs and Deputy-Director, Secretary-General’s Office.
Inkatha Freedom Party - The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) is a South African political party which was founded in 1975 by Mangosuthu Buthelezi. Though originally associated with the ANC in the anti-apartheid struggle, conflicts developed over Buthelezi’s loyalties to the Zulu tribe and his political and economic ties with the South African state. Relations between the IFP and the ANC were characterised by conflict and outbreaks of violence from the late 1980s to the 1994 elections. The feud continues in post-apartheid South Africa.
- Synonyms: IFP
- Synonyms: IFP
Inoke Faletau - ‘Inoke Faletau (1937-2005) was a Tongan diplomat. He worked at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London, 1983-85 after which he became Director of the Commonwealth Foundation. He left the Commonwealth Foundation in 1993 to become Deputy Secretary, Prime Minister’s Office in Tonga.
Institute of Democratic Governance - The Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG) is a leading research and advocacy organisation established in Accra, Ghana, in 2010. Its primary focus is the question of sustainable development in Ghana and the rest of Africa, and the organisation supports research into good governance, civil society, human rights and strategic partnerships between state and non-state actors.
Institute of Economic Affairs - The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) is a London-based think tank established in 1955 to promote the use and dissemination of free market policies in government, economy and society.
- Synonyms: IEA
- Synonyms: IEA
Institute of Strategic and International Studies - The Institute of Strategic & International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia was established in 1983 as an autonomous, not-for-profit research organisation and has become one of Malaysia’s most influential think tanks, especially respected on issues of diplomacy and foreign affairs.
- Synonyms: ISIS
- Synonyms: ISIS
Integrated Terrorism Assessment Centre - The Integrated Terrorism Assessment Centre is a Canadian security initiative that facilitates sharing and analysis between law enforcement and intelligence bodies in the country, including the Border Services Agency, the Security Intelligence Service, the Department of National Defence, and so on. It was established as part of the government’s National Security Policy in 2004.
- Synonyms: ITAC
- Synonyms: ITAC
Inter-American Development Bank - The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is an international finance institution headquartered in Washington, DC, which funds development work in Latin America and the Caribbean. Established in 1959, it includes some 48 countries in its membership.
Inter-Parliamentary Union - The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) is a global organisation for the parliaments of sovereign states, serving as a forum for multilateral political negotiations. Established in 1889 in Geneva, it was originally intended to help arbitrate conflicts; the IPU now fulfils a range of functions to facilitate dialogue between its 163 member states.
- Synonyms: IPU
- Synonyms: IPU
Internal Security Act - The Internal Security Act is a piece of legislation passed in Malaysia in 1960, allowing for detention without trial. This preventive detention law originated as a means to deter communist activity in the country. It was repealed in 2011 by Prime Minister Najib Razak and has been replaced by two new laws.
International Alert - International Alert is a London-based non-governmental organisation that was established in 1986. Active in over 20 countries – from the Great Lakes region of Africa to the Caucasus to the Andean Region of South America – it focuses specifically on the prevention and ending of violent conflict, particularly as it occurs within states.
International Crisis Group - The International Crisis Group (ICG) is an international non-profit, non-governmental organization which focuses on the study, prevention, mitigation and resolution of violent conflict. It was established in 1995 in the context of the Bosnian War, and is currently headquartered in Brussels, Belgium.
International Development Agency - The International Development Association (IDA) was established in 1960 as a member of the World Bank Group, headquartered in Washington, DC. As an international financial institution, it offers loans and grants to developing countries in line with its mission to reduce world poverty and provide affordable development financing.
- Synonyms: International Development Association
- Synonyms: International Development Association
International Development Research Centre - The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) is a Canadian government organisation that promotes research into developing countries with the aim of supporting growth in scientific and technical knowledge, as well as economic and social advancement. The IDRC was established by the Canadian Parliament in 1970, and reports to the government through the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
- Synonyms: IDRC
- Synonyms: IDRC
International Donors’ Conference - A 1994 conference, held in Cape Town, jointly organised by the Commonwealth and the United Nations to generate international aid for post-apartheid South Africa.
International Foundation for Electoral Systems - The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) is an international non-profit organisation based in Washington, DC. Founded in 1987, IFES supports the development and practice of elections in new and emerging democracies, overseeing technical assistance and research programs across Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas.
- Synonyms: IFES
- Synonyms: IFES
International IDEA - The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) is an intergovernmental organisation established in 1995 to support the development and practice of democratic institutions across the world. Based in Stockholm, it devotes its activities to technical assistance, research, and the promotion of accountability and transparency in election management.
International Solidarity Movement - Governments and associations outside of South Africa that campaigned for the end of apartheid.
International Union for Conservation of Nature - The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is an international organisation based in Switzerland which seeks to protect the integrity and diversity of nature across the world, encouraging ecological sustainability in politics, society and business. Founded in 1948, its membership includes over 1200 government and non-governmental organisations.
- Synonyms: IUCN
- Synonyms: IUCN
Irene Fernandez - Irene Fernandez (1946-2014) was a Malaysian political figure and human rights activist who founded the NGO Tenaganita for the rights of migrant workers and refugees in Malaysia. In 2005 she won the Right Livelihood Award for campaigning against violence against women and the abuse of migrants and poor workers.
Irene Jai Narayan - Irene Jai Narayan, b. 1932 in India, came to Fiji in 1959 and had a long career as an educator and politician in the Melanesian Republic. She was Minister of Indian Affairs from 1987 to 1992.
Isi Foighel - Isi Foighel (1927-2007) was a Danish jurist and political figure who served as Judge on the European Court of Human Rights from 1988 to 1998. From 1982 to 1987 he was the Danish Tax Minister in the government of Prime Minister Poul Schluter.
Isikeli Mataitoga - Isikeli Mataitoga is a Fijian diplomat. He was appointed Fiji’s first Ambassador to Russia in 2010, having previously served as a judge of the High Court of Fiji. He serves simultaneously in this position as Ambassador to Japan and to the Philippines.
Ismail Ayob - Ismail Mohammad Ayob, b.1942, is a South African lawyer who spent much of his career working on anti-apartheid cases, defending and representing political prisoners. One of his most high profile clients was Winnie Mandela. In the 2000s, Ayob was accused by Nelson Mandela of exploiting the latter’s name for commercial profit, leading to a highly-publicised court case.
Ivan Head - Ivan Head (1930-2004). Canadian lawyer and civil servant. Adviser on foreign affairs to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau of Canada.
Ivor Richard - Ivor Richard, Baron Richard, (b.1932) is a British political figure who served as Leader of the Opposition in the House of Lords (1992-97) and - following Labour's success in the 1997 UK elections - Leader of the House of Lords from 1997 to 1998. Richard was previously European Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs (1981-85) and British Ambassador to the United Nations (1974-79).
Iwokrama - The Iwokrama Forest is a tropical forest in central Guyana, located at the juncture of Amazonian and Guianan flora and fauna. Along with the Congo, New Guinea and Amazonia, it is one of the last four pristine tropical forests in the world. The territory is overseen by the Iwokrama International Centre for Rain Forest Conservation and Development.
Jacinto Veloso - Jacinto Veloso. Mozambican politician and member of the FRELIMO party. After Mozambican independence he served variously as Minister for Economic Affairs, Minister of International Cooperation and Minister of Information.
Jack Marshall - Sir John Ross ‘Jack’ Marshall (1912-1988) was a New Zealand politician who served briefly as his country’s Prime Minister in 1972. Marshall had been Deputy Prime Minister under Keith Holyoake from 1960 to 1972, and a Member of Parliament for the National Party since 1946.
Jacob Zuma - Jacob Zuma (b.1942) is a South African politician who was elected President of South Africa in the 2009 general elections. He assumed office as President of the African National Congress in 2007 and was Deputy President of South Africa from 1999 to 2005.
Jacques Delors - Jacques Lucien Jean Delors (b.1925) is a French political figure and economist who served as President of the European Commission from 1985 to 1995. He was Minister of Finance from 1981 to 1984 in the government of Francois Mitterand.
Jaffna - A city of northern Sri Lanka.
Jai Ram Reddy - Jai Ram Reddy, b.1937, is an Indo-Fijian statesman and leader of the National Federation Party from 1977 to 1987 and 1992 to 1999. He later served as President of the Fiji Court of Appeal.
Jakaya Kikwete - Dr Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete (b.1950) is a Tanzanian politician who was elected President of Tanzania in 2005. Under his predecessor, Benjamin Mkapa, Kikwete was Minister of Foreign Affairs (1995-2005) and he previously served as Minister of Finance (1994-95). In 2008-09, Kikwete was Chairperson of the African Union.
- Synonyms: Kikwete
- Synonyms: Kikwete
James Aggrey - James Emman Kwegyir Aggrey (1875-1927) was a Ghanaian intellectual, missionary and teacher who was travelled throughout Africa in the 1920s to produce a report on prospects for educational improvement on behalf of the US-based Phelps Stokes Fund. Aggrey was himself trained in the United States as a missionary and was Minister of the African Methodists Zion church in Salisbury, North Carolina.
- Synonyms: Aggrey
- Synonyms: Aggrey
James Callaghan - James Callaghan (1912-2005). British politician, Foreign Secretary (1974-1976), and later Prime Minister (1976-1979).
- Synonyms: Jim Callaghan
- Synonyms: Jim Callaghan
James Chikerema - James Robert Dambaza Chikerema (1925-2006) was a Zimbabwean political figure who was a founding member of the Zimbabwe African Peoples Union (ZAPU) with Joshua Nkomo. Chikerema was later President of the Front for the Liberation of Zimbabwe, following the 1971 ZAPU split.
James Jonah - James OC Jonah (b.1934) is a Sierra Leonean civil servant and diplomat who spent more than three decades working for the United Nations Secretariat in New York. He retired in 1994 as Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, returning to New York as Sierra Leone’s permanent representative to the UN (1996-98) and later serving as Minister of Finance, Development and Economic Planning (1998-2001).
James Kanyotu - James Kanyotu (1937-2008) was Head of Kenya’s ‘Special Branch’, the section of the Criminal Investigations Division responsible for Intelligence. He was appointed by Jomo Kenyatta in 1965 and held the position until his retirement in 1992, a period in which the Special Branch acquired much notoriety for suppressing opposition to Daniel Arap Moi’s government.
James Lemkin - James Lemkin (1926-2008). Lawyer and political thinker. He was a member of the Bow Group Conservative think tank. He later founded the publication African Confidential, and, following Zambian independence, became personal adviser to Kenneth Kaunda.
Jan Smuts Airport - An airport in Johannesburg, now known as O.R. Tambo International Airport.
Jane Connors - Jane Connors is a senior human rights advocate who has served the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights since 2002, working variously as Chief of the Special Procedures Branch and as Director of the Research and Right to Development Division. Connors joined the UN in 1996 as Chief of the Women’s Rights Section in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs. She had previously spent fifteen years as a lecturer in the Law Faculty at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
Janet Singh - Janet Singh was an official with the Commonwealth Secretariat who acted as Personal Assistant to Sir Shridath Ramphal when he was Secretary General.
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.
- Synonyms: Nehru
- Synonyms: Nehru
Jay Naidoo - Jay Naidoo (b.1954). South African trade unionist and politician. Served as Secretary-General of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (1985-1993), in ministerial positions (1994-1999), and as Chairperson of the Development Bank of Southern Africa (2001-2010).
Jean Chrétien - Joseph Jacques Jean Chrétien (b. 1934). Canadian politician. As leader of the Liberal Party, he was Prime Minister of Canada, 1993-2003.
- Synonyms: Chrétien
- Synonyms: Chrétien
Jean-Jacques Blais - Jean-Jacques Blais (b.1940) is a Canadian political figure who served in Pierre Trudeau’s cabinet as Minister of Supply and Services (1980-83) and Minister of National Defence (1983-84). In 1994 he was appointed Chair of the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre in Ottawa, a position he held until retiring in 2002.
Jeane Kirkpatrick - Jeane Kirkpatrick (1926-2006) was an American diplomat who served as US Ambassador to the United Nations from 1981 to 1985. An ardent anti-Communist, she sat on Ronald Reagan’s National Security Council, Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and Defense Policy Review Board.
Jeanne Schoenberger - Jeanne Schoenberger is an international civil servant from New Zealand who worked for the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation (CFTC) in London, first as Tony Tasker’s Senior Executive Assistant and then in the office of David Anderson. She is married to the Western Samoan diplomat Tuiloma Neroni Slade.
Jeffrey Sachs - Jeffrey Sachs (b.1954) is an American economist who serves as Special Adviser to the UN Secretary General and is Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. Sachs is Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development at Columbia University and director of the University’s Earth Insitute. From 2002 to 2006, he was Director of the UN Millennium Project on Millennium Development Goals.
Jeremy Pope - Jeremy Pope (1938-2012). New Zealand-born activist. In 1980 he was appointed director of the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Legal and Constitutional Affairs Division. In 1993 he co-founded the anti-corruption organisation Transparency International.
Jerry Falwell - Reverend Jerry Falwell (1933-1997) was a prominent American evangelical pastor and political commentator. His staunchly conservative views on society, religion and the family established him as a polarising figure in American public life.
Jerry John Rawlings - Jerry John Rawlings (b.1947) was President of Ghana from 1993 to 2001. He had previously acted as Head of State from 1981 to 1993, seizing power as a leading flight lieutenant during a military coup. This was Rawlings’ second ascent to power through a coup – he had previously acted as Head of State in 1979 during the transitional period to civilian government following the overthrow of General Fred Akuffo.
Jesse Helms - Jesse Alexander Helms Jr (1921-2008) was an American politician who chaired the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee from 1995 to 2001. A staunchly conservative member of the Republican party, Helms was Senator from North Carolina from 1973 to 2003. He joined the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1979 during the government of Jimmy Carter.
JIC - Joint Intelligence Committee. A committee that advises the British Cabinet on intelligence issues and leads the intelligence services.
Jim Bolger - James “Jim” Bolger (b. 1935). New Zealand politician and member of the National Party. He was Prime Minister 1990-97, and leader of the opposition, 1986-90.
Jim Wolfensohn - James Wolfensohn (b.1933) is an Australian-American lawyer and economist who served as President of the World Bank from 1995 to 2005. Prior to his nomination to head the World Bank, he worked as an investment banker in Sydney, London and New York.
Jim Wright - James R Wright is a Canadian diplomat who served as Canada’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom from 2006 to 2011. Wright was previously Political Director and Assistant Deputy Minister for the International Security Branch (2005-6) and Global and Security Policy Branch (2000-04).
Jimmy Carter - James Earl 'Jimmy' Carter, Jr (b. 1924) is an American Democratic politician who served as 39th President of the United States (1977-1981).
Joan Wicken - Joan Wicken (1925-2004) was a British public servant who worked for Julius Nyerere as his Personal Assistant in Tanzania from 1960 until the 1990s. Wicken ran the Dar es Salaam office of the South Centre – which evolved out of Nyerere’s South Commission – and helped set up the organisation’s Geneva headquarters.
Joaquim Chissano - Joaquim Chissano (b. 1939). Mozambican politician and member of the Frelimo party. He served as Foreign Minister under Samora Machel and was later President (1986-2005).
Jocelyne Bourgon - Jocelyne Bourgon (b.1950) is a Canadian public servant who served as President of the Canadian Centre for Management Development (1999-2003) and Clerk of the Privy Council (1994-1999). Previously, Bourgon had acted as Deputy Minister of Transport (1993-94) and President of the Canadian International Development Agency (1993).
Joe Chamberlain - Joseph Chamberlain (1936-1914). British politician, served as Secretary of State for the Colonies from 1895 to 1913.
Joe Clark - Joe Clark (b. 1939). Canadian journalist, politician and statesman. As a member of the Progressive Conservative party, he was Prime Minister of Canada, June 1979-March 1980 and Secretary of State for External Affairs 1984-91.
Joe Murumbi - Joe Murumbi (1911-1990). Kenyan politician and Vice-President (1965-1966).
Joe Slovo - Joe Slovo (1926-1995). South African politician, who served as Minister of Housing from 1994 to 1995. He was married to Ruth First.
Joe Zake - Joseph Sengendo Zake, a Ugandan lawyer, was associated with the Uganda National Congress in the 1950s. In 1956 he helped found the United Congress Party.
Johann Kriegler - Johann Christian Kriegler (b.1932) is a South African lawyer and jurist who served on the Constitutional Court of South Africa from 1994 to 2002. In 1993, Kriegler was appointed Chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission ahead of South Africa’s first elections based on universal adult suffrage.
Johannes Degenaar - Johannes Jacobus (Johan) Degenaar (b.1926) is a South African philosopher and Emeritus Professor at Stellenbosch University. From the 1960s Degenaar was active as an outspoken critic of the apartheid ideology in South Africa.
Johannes Geldenhuys - General Johannes Geldenhuys (b.1935) was a South African military figure who served as Chief of the South African Defence Force (SADF) from 1985 to 1990. He is known for his work bringing to an end the South African Border War – or the Angola Bush War – in 1989, after some 23 years of conflict.
- Synonyms: General Geldenhuys
- Synonyms: General Geldenhuys
John Baird - John Baird (b.1969) is a Canadian politician who served as Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Government of Stephen Harper from 2011 to 2015. He was previously Minister of the Environment (2010-11) and Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities (2008-10).
John Biffen - William John Biffen, Baron Biffen, (1930-2007) was a British political figure who served as Conservative Leader of the House of Commons from 1982 to 1987. Biffen was previously Chief Secretary to the Treasury (1979-81), Secretary of State for Trade (1981-82) and Lord President of the Council (1982-83).
John Bolton - John Robert Bolton (b.1948) is an American political figure who served as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations from 2005 to 2006. He was previously Under-Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs.
John Boynton - Sir John Boynton (1918-2007) was a British public servant who spent much of his career in local government and was founder-president of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives. Following his retirement from Cheshire County Council in 1979, Boynton agreed to act as Election Commissioner for Southern Rhodesia, overseeing the process through which Zimbabwe would emerge as an independent country.
John Carter - Sir John Carter (1919-2005) was a Guyanese diplomat and politician who served as Guyana’s Ambassador to the United States, the United Nations and China, as well as High Commissioner to Canada, the United Kingdom and Jamaica. Prior to Guyanese independence he was involved with the London-based League of Coloured Peoples.
John Collinge - John Collinge (b. 1939). New Zealand politician and diplomat.
John Compton - Sir John Compton (1925–2007). Saint Lucian politician and Prime Minister (1979, 1982-1996, 2006-2007).
John Cumber - Sir John A Cumber (1920-1991) was a British civil servant who served as Director General of Save the Children from 1976 to 1985. He had previously acted as a District Commissioner in Kenya prior to its independence in 1963, and was Administrator of the Cayman Islands (1964-68) and Commissioner of Anguilla (1969). Cumber joined Save the Children as a Field Officer in 1970.
John Diefenbaker - John Diefenbaker (1895-1979). Canadian Prime Minister from 1957 to 1963.
John Falvey - Sir John Neil Falvey was a New Zealand-born lawyer who served as Attorney General of Fiji from 1970 to 1977. He was previously legal adviser to the Fijian Affairs Board.
John Gorton - Sir John Grey Gorton (1911-2002) was an Australian politician who served as Prime Minister of Australia from 1968 to 1971. A Senator from Victoria, he had previously served in a range of cabinet positions for the Liberal Party, including Minister for the Navy (1958-63), Minister for the Interior (1963-64), Minister for Works (1963-67) and Minister for Education and Science (1962-68).
John Howard - John Howard (b.1939). Prime Minister of Australia (1996-2007).
John Key - John Key, b.1961, is the 38th Prime Minister of New Zealand, having assumed office in 2008. He has led the New Zealand National Party since 2006.
John Kufuor - John Kufuor (b.1938) is a Ghanian political figure who served as President of Ghana from 2001 to 2009, succeeding Jerry John Rawlings in a peaceful democratic transition of power. Kufuor was Chairperson of the African Union from 2007-08.
John Major - John Major (b.1943). British politician, served, amongst other ministerial positions, as Foreign Secretary (1989) and Prime Minister (1990-1997).
John Malecela - John Malecela (b.1934). Tanzanian politician, served on the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group on South Africa (1985-1986) and as Prime Minister of Tanzania (1990-1994).
John McCain - John McCain (b.1936) is an American political figure and former navy officer who assumed office as United States Senator from Arizona in 1987. In 2008, McCain was the Republican Presidential nominee for the United States presidential election.
John Syson - John Syson (1939-2006) was an official with the Commonwealth Secretariat who, among other responsibilities, served as a key advisor to the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation on matters relating to Southern Africa. Syson was also involved in negotiations around Mozambique’s entry into the Commonwealth in 1995.
Johnson Ndlovu - Johnson Ndlovu (d.1994) was a Zimbabwean political figure who served in the Political Affairs Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat from 1972 to 1980. He entered politics in Zimbabwe following its independence and served as MP for Gwande North from 1989 to 1994.
Jomo Kenyatta - Jomo Kenyatta (1893-1978). Kenyan politician, Prime Minister (1963-1964) and President (1964-1978).
Jomtien Conference - Education for All is a UNESCO-led global movement working towards meeting the learning needs of children, youth and adults. Its origins are in the World Conference on Education for All, held in Jomtien, Thailand, in 1990.
Jon Sheppard - Jon Sheppard was the Director of Political Affairs at the Commonwealth Secretariat from 1996 to 2002. He has served as Australian Ambassador to Ethiopia (1985-89), Jordan (1992-95) and Zimbabwe (2004-07).
Jon Snow - Jon Snow (b.1947). British journalist, presenter of Channel 4 news (1989-).
Jonas Savimbi - Jonas Malheiro Savimbi (1934-2002). Angolan politician and military leader, he founded and led UNITA.
Jonathan Powell - Jonathan Powell (b.1956). British diplomat and political advisor, Downing Chief of Staff (1997-2007).
Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama - Josaia Voreqe 'Frank' Bainimarama (b. 1954). Fijian naval officer and politician, Prime Minister of Fiji since 2007.
- Synonyms: Bainimarama
- Synonyms: Bainimarama
Joseph abbey - Dr Joseph Abbey is a Ghanaian economist and diplomat who served as his country’s Ambassador to Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. Abbey was also a Finance and Planning Minister in Ghana, coordinating the World Bank's programme in the country in the 1980s.
Joseph Stiglitz - Joseph Stiglitz (b.1943) is an American economist and recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (2001). He was Chair of the President Bill Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisors (1995-97) and Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist of the World Bank (1997-2000). In 2000, he founded the Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD) at the Columbia University, where he is University Professor.
Joshua Nkomo - Joshua Nkomo (1917-1999). Zimbabwean nationalist and leader of ZAPU.
- Synonyms: Nkomo
- Synonyms: Nkomo
Josiah Tongogara - Josiah Magama Tongogara (1938-1979) was a Zimbabwean nationalist leader who commanded the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA) guerrilla forces against the Rhodesian regime. Tongogara was a major figure at the 1979 Lancaster House negotiations which led to Zimbabwe’s independence but was killed in a car crash six days after the agreement was signed.
Joy Tilsley - Joy Tilsley was a Canadian civil servant who acted as Arnold Smith’s personal secretary during the early years of the Commonwealth Secretariat. Tilsley, on secondment from the Canadian Foreign Service, was Smith’s first appointment to the new organisation. Tilsley was subsequently a central figure in the Canadian branch of the Royal Commonwealth Society (1993-2014).
JR Jayewardene - Junius Richard Jayewardene (1906-1996) was a Sri Lankan politician who served as Prime Minister of his country from 1977 to 1978 and President from 1978 to 1989. Jayewardene had been a leading nationalist figure in the Ceylon National Congress prior to independence from Britain in 1948. He was Secretary General of the Non-Aligned Movement from 1978 to 1979.
Judith Hart - Judith Hart, Baroness Hart of South Lanark (1924-1991). British politician. A member of the Labour Party, she was Minister of Overseas Development, 1969-70, 1974-75 and 1977-79.
Judith Todd - Judith Todd (b.1943) is a Zimbabwean political activist who opposed the minority government of Ian Smith in Rhodesia from the 1960s. Todd was arrested in 1972 and then expelled from the country, settling in London and founding the Zimbabwe Project Trust. She returned to an independent Zimbabwe in 1980, where she has been a strong critic of Robert Mugabe’s rule. Todd’s father, Garfield Todd, was Rhodesia’s Prime Minister from 1953 to 1958.
Julia Gillard - Julia Gillard (b.1961) is an Australian politician who served as Prime Minister of Australia from 2010 to 2013.
Julian Amery - Harold Julian Amery, Baron Amery of Lustleigh, (1919-1996) was a British Conservative politician who served as Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1972-74) in the government of Edward Heath. He had served previously as Minister for Housing and Construction (1970-72) and Minister of Public Buildings and Works (1970).
Julius Nyerere - Julius Nyerere (1922-1999). Tanzanian politician and President (1961-1985).
Justice Msosa - Justice Anastasia Msosa was appointed Chief Justice of Malawi in 2013, having previously served as Judge on the Supreme Court of Appeals and Chairperson of the Malawi Electoral Commission. In this latter position, she is credited with overseeing the first successful democratic elections in Malawi in 1994.
Jyoti Basu - Jyotirindra Basu (1914-2010) was an Indian political figure who served as Chief Minister of West Bengal from 1977 to 2000. Basu was a central figure in the Communist Party of India (Marxist) from the time of its founding in 1964, remaining a member of its Politburo until 2008.
Kadirgamar - Lakshman Kadirgamar (1932-2005). Sri Lankan politician and diplomat. He was Minister of Foreign Affairs 1994-2001, and 2004-2005. In 2003, he stood for the position of Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, but was defeated in a vote by Don McKinnon.
Kagame - Paul Kagame (b. 1957). President of Rwanda (2000-).
Kaiser Matanzima - Kaiser Matanzima (1915-2003). State President of the Transkei, one of the TBVC states, 1979-86.
Kallicharran - Alvin Isaac Kallicharran (b.1949) is a West Indian cricketer who was active from 1972 to 1981. Kallicharran was born in Georgetown, British Guiana, and in 1977-78 served as Captain of the West Indies cricket team.
Kamal Nath - Kamal Nath (b.1946) is an Indian politician who has served in several Ministerial appointments including Minister for Urban Development (2014), Minister for Road Transport and Highways (2012-14) and Minister for Commerce and Industry (2009-11). He was General Secretary of the Indian National Congress from 2004 to 2009. He has represented the Chhindwara constituency as MP since 1980.
Kamalesh Sharma - Kamalesh Sharma (b. 1941). Indian diplomat, Commonwealth Secretary-General from 2008-2016.
Kamil Jaafar - Tan Sri Datuk Kamil Jaafar (b.1937) is a Malaysian diplomat who served as his country’s Ambassador to Thailand (1975), Vietnam (1978), Switzerland (1980), China (1983) and Japan (1986). He was Secretary General of the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1989 to 1996.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar - Kamla Persad-Bissessar (b.1952) is a politician in Trinidad and Tobago who was elected Prime Minister of her country in 2010. Persad-Bissessar is the political leader of the United National Congress, and in 2001 served as Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago.
- Synonyms: Kamla Persad
- Synonyms: Kamla Persad
Kampala Agenda - Principles intended to promote democratic local government in Africa, agreed in 2006 under the auspices of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum.
KANU - Kenya African National Union. A Kenyan political party founded in 1960, that took power on Kenyan independence in 1963.
Karamanlis - Konstantinos Karamanlis (1907-1998) was a major figure in twentieth-century Greek politics, acting as Prime Minister four times (1955-58, 58-61, 61-63 and 74-80) and President twice (80-85, 90-95). He was associated with the right-wing conservative National Radical Union party and the New Democracy party.
Karen Brewer - Dr Karen Brewer is a British lawyer who has served as Secretary General of the Commonwealth Magistrates and Judges Association (CMJA) since 1998. She was involved in the drafting of the Commonwealth Latimer House Principles and has led the CMJA in advocating for judicial independence across the Commonwealth. Brewer previously worked for the Law Society of England and Wales where she was involved in the Commonwealth Lawyers Association (1987-98).
Kariba Dam - The Kariba Dam is a hydroelectric dam that sits in the Kariba Gorge between Zambia and Zimbabwe. The dam was proposed by the Central African Federation and construction began in 1955. It was completed in 1977.
Karminder Singh Dhillon - Karminder Singh Dhillon was a Malaysian diplomat who served his country in the Prime Minister’s Department, the Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations, and as Principal Assistant Secretary, Policy Division, Ministry of Defence. He is the author of Malaysian Foreign Policy in the Mahathir Era, 1981-2003 (NUS Press, 2009).
Kashmir issue - The long-running dispute between India and Pakistan over control of Kashmir, a region divided during the Partition of India in 1947.
Kategaya - Eriya Kategaya (1945-2013) was a Ugandan lawyer and politician who was a key figure in Yoweri Museveni’s faction toppling both Idi Amin (1979) and subsequently Milton Obote (1985). He served as National Political Commissar and Minister of Internal Affairs under Museveni as President.
Kempton Park - City near Johannesburg, South Africa. Venue for multi-party Convention for a Democratic South Africa negotiations for the ending of apartheid, held in 1991.
Ken Matiba - Ken Matiba (b. 1942). Kenyan politician, second in the 1992 presidential election.
Ken Saro-Wiwa - Ken Saro-Wiwa (1941-1995). Nigerian writer and political and environmental activist. An outspoken critic of the regime of General Sani Abacha, and Royal Dutch Shell’s environmental pollution in Ogoniland in the Niger Delta, Saro Wiwa was executed on 10 November 1995. Eight other MOSOP activists were hanged.
Kenneth Kaunda - Kenneth Kaunda (b.1924). Zambian politician and President (1964-1991).
Kenneth Roberts-Way - Sir Kenneth Owen Roberts-Wray (1899-1993) was a British legal adviser who spent his career working with the Colonial Office and Commonwealth Relations Office. He is the author of The Commonwealth and Colonial Law (1966).
Kenneth Stuart - Professor Sir Kenneth Stuart (b.1920) is a physician who served as Medical Adviser to the Commonwealth Secretariat and Professor and Head of Department of Medicine, University of the West Indies.
Kent Durr - Kent Durr (b.1941) is a South African political figure and diplomat who served as his country’s Ambassador (1991-94) and subsequently High Commissioner (1994-95) to the United Kingdom. Durr had been Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism in the Cabinet of FW de Klerk (1989-91) but was later associated with the African Christian Democratic Party, with whom he was re-elected to the House of Assembly in 2004.
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.
Khaleda Zia - Begum Khaleda Zia (b.1945) is a Bangladeshi politician who served as Prime Minister of Bangladesh from 1991 to 1996 and from 2001 to 2006. She is the chairperson and leader of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), an organisation founded by her husband Ziaur Rahman in the late 1970s.
Kihumbu Thairu - Dr Kihumbu Thairu is a Kenyan medical professional and educational specialist who served as Medical Adviser and Director of the Health Programme in the Commonwealth Secretariat from 1984 to 1994. He was also Chairman of the Human Resources Development Group in the Secretariat from 1992 to 1993.
Kikuyu - A Bantu people, the largest ethnic group in Kenya.
King Charles Street - King Charles Street is a central London thoroughfare, home of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
King Goodwill - Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu (b. 1948). King of the Zulu Nation (1968-).
Kingman Brewster - Kingman Brewster, Jr., (1919-1988) was an American diplomat and educator who served as United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom from 1977 to 1981. He was previously President of Yale University (1963-77).
Kisumu - A city in the west of Kenya.
Koevoet - A South African paramilitary police unit that was active in Namibia, formed in 1978 and disbanded in 1989.
Kofi Annan - Kofi Atta Annan (b. 1938). Ghanaian diplomat. He was Secretary-General of the United Nations 1997-2006.
Kofi Busia - Kofi Abrefa Busia (1913-1978) was a Ghanaian politician who served as Prime Minister of Ghana’s Second Republic from 1969 to 1972. As leader of the Ghana Congress Party and then the United Party in the 1950s, he was a major oppositional voice against Kwame Nkrumah. He became Prime Minister as head of the Progress Party, formed out of the defunct United Party after a period of military rule in Ghana.
Kohl - Helmut Kohl (b. 1930). German politician, served as Chancellor from 1982 to 1998.
Kojo Tsikata - Captain Kojo Tsikata was National Security Coordinator for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Ghana, appointed under the Jerry Rawlings administration in 1982 and becoming one of the former President’s closest advisors.
Kris Srinivasan - Khrishnan Srinivasan (b.1937). Indian politician and diplomat, Foreign Secretary (1994-1995), Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General (1995-2002).
Krishna Menon - VK Krishna Menon (1896-1974) was an Indian politician and diplomat, who served as India's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom from 1947 to 1952 and Ambassador to the United Nations in New York from 1952 to 1962. He was also Defence Minister of India from 1957 to 1962.
Kuala Lumpur in 1989 - The eleventh Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.
Kurt Waldheim - Kurt Josef Waldheim (1918-2007) was an Austrian diplomat who served as Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1972 to 1981. He was President of Austria from 1986 to 1992.
Kutesa - Sam Kahamba Kutesa (b.1949) is a Ugandan political figure and lawyer who was Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2005 to 2014. He previously served as Minister of State for Investment (2001-2005), and is a close associate of President Yoweri Museveni.
Kutlu Fuad - Kutlu Tekin Fuad (1926-2013) was a Cyprus-born jurist who served as Vice President of the Hong Kong Court of Appeal from 1988 to 1993, after which he was appointed President of the Brunei Court of Appeal. From 1972 to 1980, Fuad was Director of the Legal Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat, having previously served as a Magistrate in Cyprus (1953-56) and Judge of the High Court of Uganda (1963-72).
Kwame Nkrumah - Kwame Nkrumah (1909-1972) was Ghanaian political figure who served as his country’s first Prime Minister (1957-60), becoming President of Ghana (1960-66) following a constitutional change that made the country a Republic. Nkrumah had previously served as Prime Minister of the Gold Coast (1952-57) and was a leading figure in the struggle against British rule. Nkrumah was a founding member of the Organisation of African Unity, which he chaired from 1965 to 1966.
La Francophonie - The Organisation international de la Francophonie (OIF), also known as La Francophonie, is an international organisation linking countries and regions that share French as first or customary language or where there is some affiliation with French culture. La Francophonie includes 57 member states, as well as three associate members and twenty observers.
La Francophonie - La Francophonie is an international organisation created in 1970 that represents countries whose first language is French, or that have a significant proportion of French speakers, or where there is a notable affiliation to French culture.
laager - Laager is an Afrikaans word for ‘camp’ or defensive position, referring to a formation used by South African wagon travellers to protect their cattle and horses from raiders or predators.
Laisenia Qarase - Laisenia Qarase, b. 1941, served as Prime Minister of Fiji between 2001 and 2006. A polarising figure in Fijian political life, he was removed from power in the 2006 coup d’état.
- Synonyms: Qarase
- Synonyms: Qarase
Lancaster House - 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.
Langkawi Declaration - The Langkawi Declaration was a declaration issued at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malaysia, 1981, which outlines several commitments to be taken by member countries on issues of environmental sustainability and climate change. Click here to read the Declaration in full.
Langkawi dialogue group - The Langkawi International Dialogue (LID) is a South-South platform designed to facilitate cooperation between Malaysia and countries in Africa and the Caribbean. Established in 1995 and the brainchild of then-Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad, the LID aims to promote dialogue on development and economic growth through regular conferences organised by the Malaysian Ministries of Foreign Affairs and of Science, Technology and Innovation.
- Synonyms: Langkawi International Dialogue
- Synonyms: Langkawi International Dialogue
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.
- Synonyms: Latimer House Guidelines
- Synonyms: Latimer House Guidelines
Laurens Van der Post - Laurens Van der Post (1906-1996). Afrikaner journalist, author and political advisor to British heads of government, notably Margaret Thatcher. Van der Post was a close friend of Prince Charles and the godfather of Prince William.
Lautoka - Lautoka is the second largest city in Fiji after Suva, and is situated at the heart of the country's sugar cane growing region.
Lee Kwan Yew - Lee Kuan Yew (1923-2015). Singaporean Prime Minister (1959-1990).
Len Usher - Sir Leonard ‘Len’ Usher (1907-2003) was a British-born Fijian expatriate who served as Mayor of Suva from 1966 to 1969 and 1975 to 1977. During his long and varied career in Fiji, Usher headed a public relations office, was a founding member of the Fijian Broadcasting Corporation, acted as Deputy Chairman of the National Bank of Fiji and served as Organising Director of the Fiji Islands News Association. He was also Publisher and Editor of the Fiji Times.
Leo Amery - Leopold Amery (1873-1955) was a British political figure who served as First Lord of the Admiralty (1922-24), Secretary of State for the Colonies (1924-29) and Secretary of State for India and Burma (1940-45). He originally rose to prominence as a correspondent for The Times during the Second Boer War.
Leon Brittan - Leon Brittan, Baron Brittan of Spennithorne, (1939-2015) was a British political figure and barrister who served the government of Margaret Thatcher in several ministerial roles. Britan was Minister of State for the Home Office (1979-81), Chief Secretary to the Treasury (1981-83), Home Secretary (1983-85), and Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1985-856). He also served as European Commissioner for Trade from 1993 to 1999 and was Vice President of the European Commission in 1999.
Leon Wessels - Leon Wessels (b.1946). South African politician and member of the National Party during the Apartheid era.
Leonard Allinson - Sir Walter Leonard Allinson (b.1926) is a British civil servant and diplomat. He served as First Secretary in Lahore and Karachi, Pakistan (1960-62), First Secretary in Madras and New Delhi, India (1963-66), Deputy High Commissioner to Kenya (1970-73), Deputy High Commissioner to India (1975-77), High Commissioner to Zambia (1978-80) and High Commissioner to Kenya (1982-86).
- Synonyms: Len Allinson
- Synonyms: Len Allinson
Leopold Scholtz - Leopold Scholtz (b. 1948). South African journalist and writer.
Leopold Senghor - Leopold Senghor (1906-2001). Senegalese poet and politicial, served as President from 1960 to 1980.
- Synonyms: Senghor
- Synonyms: Senghor
Leslie Harriman - Leslie Harriman was a Nigerian diplomat who served as his country’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York from 1976 to 1979. During this period, Harriman was Chairman of the UN Special Committee Against Apartheid. He had previously served as Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Kenya.
Lester Bird - Sir Lester Bird (b.1938) is a lawyer and Antiguan politician who served as Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda from 1994 to 2000. He was Chairman of the Antigua Labour Party from 1971 to 1983.
Lester Pearson - Lester Bowles 'Mike' Pearson (1897-1972) was a Canadian diplomat and politician, serving as Secretary of State for External Affairs (1948-1957) and Prime Minister (1963-1968). In 1957 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for organising a UN Emergency Force to respond to the Suez Canal Crisis, an initiative now considered the beginning of modern peacekeeping.
- Synonyms: Mike Pearson
- Synonyms: Mike Pearson
Lewis Perinbam - Lewis Perinbam (1925-2007). Public servant. In 1953 he emigrated from Britain to Canada and developed a career in international development and worked for the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). From 1991 he was involved in various roles in the Commonwealth of Learning.
Liberal International - Liberal International (LI) is an international federation for liberal political parties, established in 1947 with the release of the ‘Oxford Manifesto’. Headquartered in London, it provides a common forum for parties and organisations around the world committed to human rights, free and fair elections, multi-party democracy, social justice, tolerance, free market economy, free trade, and environmental sustainability.
Linda Chaulker - Linda Chaulker (b. 1942). British politician, served as Minister for Overseas Development and Africa from 1989 to 1997.
Lionel Curtis - Lionel George Curtis (1875-1955) was a British political thinker and official, working as secretary to colonial administrator Lord Milner following the Second Boer War. Curtis was a key figure in ‘Milner’s Kindergarten’, an informal group of South African civil servants working toward a South African union and an Imperial Federation of the British Empire. In 1912 Curtis was appointed Beit Lecturer in Colonial History at the University of Oxford and, in 1919, established the Royal Institute of International Affairs.
Lloyd Axworthy - Lloyd Norman Axworthy (b.1939) is a Canadian politician who served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1996 to 2000 in the cabinet of Jean Chrétien. Between 1999 and 2000, Axworthy was President of the United Nations Security Council.
Lois O’Donoghue - Lowitja O’Donoghue (b. 1932) Aboriginal Australian public servant and campaigner.
Lomé Convention - The Lomé Convention is a trade and aid agreement between the European Community and the African, Caribean and Pacific countries. It was signed in February 1975, and came into force in April 1976.
Lomé Peace Accord - The Lomé Peace Accord was signed in Togo on 7 July 1999 and sought to bring an end to the decade-long civil war in Sierra Leone. The Accord was signed by Sierra Leonean President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah and Fodah Sankoh, leader of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF). While the negotiations called for a ceasefire and demobilization, groups within the RUF refused to disarm and rebel activity continued – Freetown was under siege again by May 2000.
London Declaration - 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.
London Special Conference - A Commonwealth conference held in 1986 calling for action against apartheid South Africa.
Lonrho - Lonrho was founded in 1909 as the London and Rhodesian Mining and Land Company. A major international conglomerate, the company – with over 800 subsidiaries in 80 countries by the late twentieth century – attracted controversy for its activities in the African continent and for the temperament of its chief executive (from 1962 to 1994) Roland ‘Tiny’ Rowland. In a 1998 ‘demerger’, the company’s mining division was reconstituted as the independent Lonmin, while all non-mining African assets retained the name Lonrho plc.
Lord Armstrong - Sir Robert Armstrong, Baron Armstrong of Ilminster, (b. 1927) is a British life peer and former civil servant. He served as Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister from 1970 to 1975, and Secretary of the Cabinet under Margaret Thatcher from 1979 to 1987.
- Synonyms: Robert Armstrong
- Synonyms: Robert Armstrong
Lord Cairns - Simon Dallas Cairns, 6th Earl Cairns, (b.1939) is a British businessman who has held high-level appointments with SG Warburg & Co, Mercury Securities, BAT plc and Allied Zurich.
- Synonyms: Simon Cairns
- Synonyms: Simon Cairns
Lord Chalfont - Alun Gwynne Jones, Baron Chalfont (b. 1919). British Politician and businessman. He was a member of the Labour Party, and later a crossbencher. He was a Minister in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, 1964-70.
Lord Elgin - James Bruce (1811-1863), the Earl of Elgin, was a British colonial administrator and diplomat who served as Governor of Jamaica (1842-46), Governor General of the Province of Canada (1847-1854) and High Commissioner to China (1857-60). He died in 1863, acting as Viceroy of India, a position he had taken up a year earlier.
Lord Home - Alec Douglas-Home (1903-1995). British Conservative politician, Prime Minister (from October 1963 to October 1964) and Foreign Secretary (1960-1963; 1970-1974).
Lord Howell - David Howell, Baron Howell of Guildford, (b.1936) is a British politician who has served a variety of ministerial positions in Conservative governments since Margaret Thatcher. He was Secretary of State for Energy (1979-81), Secretary of State for Transport (1981-83), and Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (2010-12). Since 2000, he has been Chairman of the British Institute for Energy Economics.
- Synonyms: David Howell
- Synonyms: David Howell
Lord Lothian - Philip Henry Kerr, 11th Marquess of Lothian, (1882-1940) was a British political figure and diplomat. From 1905 to 1910, Kerr served in the South African government and was part of Lord Milner’s ‘kindergarten’, a group of reformist civil servants advocating an Imperial Federation. In 1910, he founded the Round Table Journal. Kerr served as private secretary to Prime Minister David Lloyd George between 1916 and 1921, and was later Britain’s Ambassador to the United States (1939-40).
Lord Mackay - James Mackay, Baron Mackay of Clashfern, (b.1927) is a British advocate who served as Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain from 1987 to 1997. He was Lord of Appeal in Ordinary from 1985 to 1987.
Lord Sherfield - Roger Makins (1904-1996). British diplomat, raised to the peerage in 1960.
Lord Tweedsmuir - John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir, (1875-1940) was a Scottish politician who served as Governor General of Canada from 1935 to 1940. Lord Tweedsmuir was previously an administrator in Britain's southern African colonies and had a successful career as a writer and adventure novelist.
Lorna McLaren - Lorna McLaren was an administrative officer in the Commonwealth Secretariat who acted as Head of Conferences from 2005 to 2013. She had previously served as part of the Commonwealth Observer Group to the National and Provincial elections in South Africa, deployed in June 1999.
Louis Mbanefo - Sir Louis Nwachukwu Mbanefo (1911-77) was a Nigerian lawyer who served as judge on the International Court of Justice from 1962 to 1966. During the Nigerian Civil War, Mbanefo acted as Chief Justice of Biafra and Ambassador Plenipotentiary, participating actively in the peace talks with the Nigerian government.
Louis Pienaar - Louis Pienaar (1926-2012). South African diplomat. Administrator-General of South West Africa (1985-1990), and the holder of various ministerial positions (1990-1993) in the government of FW de Klerk.
Louis Tull - Sir Louis R Tull is a Barbadian lawyer and political figure who has served his country as both a Member of Parliament (1976-86, 1991-2008) and as Member of the Senate (1971-76,1986-89). Tull acted as Attorney General and Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1981 to 1985. He was Chairman of the Barbados Labour Party from 1991 to 1993.
LTTE - The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was a separatist militant organisation based in northern Sri Lanka. It operated from 1976 to 2009.
- Synonyms: Tamil Tigers
- Synonyms: Tamil Tigers
Luke Mwananshiku - Luke Mwananshiku (1993-2003) is a Zambian businessman, politician and diplomat who served as Governor of the Bank of Zambia from 1976 to 1981 and as Kenneth Kaunda’s Foreign Minister from 1986 to 1990.
Luo - An ethnic group of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
Lusaka Accord - The Lusaka Accord was signed between the Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO) and the Portuguese government on 7 September 1974, formally recognising the right of the Mozambican people to independence. The transfer of power to FRELIMO was concluded on 25 June 1975.
Lynda Chalker - Lynda Chalker (b.1942), Baroness Chalker of Wallasey, is a British Conservative politician who served as Minister of State for Overseas Development and Africa between 1989 and 1997. An MP from 1972 to 1992, she was given a life peerage in 1992.
Lynden Pindling - Lynden Oscar Pindling (1930-2000) served as Prime Minister of the Bahamas from 1969 to 1992. The first black premier of the Colony of the Bahama Islands from 1967 to 1969, he is regarded as the ‘Father of the Nation’ of the Bahamas, leading it to majority rule and independence in 1973.
- Synonyms: Pindling
- Synonyms: Pindling
Mac Maharaj - Mac Maharaj (b. 1935). South African politician and activist, served as Minister of Transport (1994-1999) in the government of Nelson Mandela.
MacDonald group - The ‘MacDonald Group’ refers to the advisory group chaired by Flora MacDonald, the former Foreign Minister of Canada, on the role of Commonwealth non-governmental organisations in promoting human rights amongst Commonwealth member states. Prompted by the question of sanctions against apartheid South Africa, the MacDonald Group brought together representatives of the Commonwealth Journalists Association, Lawyers Association, Trade Union Council, Medical Association, and Legal Education Association in 1989, with a view to presenting a report at the 1991 Harare CHOGM.
Madiba - The Xhosa clan name of Nelson Mandela, often used to refer to him respectfully.
Magnus Malan - Magnus Malan (1930-2011). South African soldier and Minister of Defence (1980-1991).
Mahathir bin Mohamad - Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad (b. 1925). Malaysian politician and Prime Minister (1981-2003).
- Synonyms: Dr Mahathir
- Synonyms: Dr Mahathir
Mahendra Chaudhry - Mahendra Pal Chaudhry (b.1942) is a Fijian politician who served as Prime Minister of his country from 1999 to 2000. He was deposed in a coup in 2000 and taken hostage by coup leader George Speight for 56 days. Chaudhry, a former trade union leader, has been a prominent critic of military rule in Fiji.
Mahinda Rajapaksa - Percy Mahendra ‘Mahinda’ Rajapaksa (b.1945) is a Sri Lankan politician who served as President of Sri Lanka from 2005 to 2015. He had previously acted as Prime Minister of Sri Lanka (2004-05) and as Leader of the Opposition (2002-04).
Maja Daruwala - 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.
Makerere University - Makerere University Kampala is Uganda’s largest institution of higher learning, established as a technical school in 1922. In 1963 it became the University of East Africa, before becoming an independent national University in 1970. Notable alumni include Milton Obote, Julius Nyerere, and Mwai Kibaki.
Malborough House - A London mansion house. The headquarters of the Commonwealth since 1953, and home to the Commonwealth Secretariat since its foundation in 1965.
Malcolm Fraser - Malcolm Fraser (b. 1930). Prime Minister of Australia (1975-1983). Fraser also served as Co-Chairman of the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group on South Africa.
Malcolm Rifkind - 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.
Malcolm Tuckerish - Akin to Malcolm Tucker, the foul-mouthed government press adviser in the British television comedy ‘In the Thick of It’.
Mamata Banerjee - Mamata Banerjee (b. 1960). Indian politician. She has served as Indian Railways Minister (2009-2011) and as Chief Minister of West Bengal (2011-).
Mani Dixit - Jyotindra Nath ‘Mani’ Dixit (1936-2005) was an influential Indian diplomat who for several decades played a key role in his country’s relations with the region and the world. He was appointed India’s first high commissioner to Bangladesh in 1971, Ambassador to Afghanistan (1981-85), High Commissioner to Sri Lanka (1985-88), High Commissioner to Pakistan (1989-91) and Indian Foreign Secretary and Chief of the Indian Foreign Service in 1991.
Manmohan Malhoutra - Manmohan Malhoutra (b. 1937). Indian diplomat, served in the Secretariat of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi from 1966 to 1973 then joined the Commonwealth Secretariat in London, in 1974, to run the International Affairs Division.
- Synonyms: Moni Malhoutra
- Synonyms: Moni Malhoutra
Manmohan Singh - Manmohan Singh (b. 1932). Indian politician and economist, he served as Prime Minister from 2004 to 2014.
Marcelo Caetano - Marcelo Caetano (1906-1980) was a Portuguese politician who served as Prime Minister from 1968 to 1974 . A central figure in the Estada Novo government, Caetano had been Minister of the Presidency (1955-58) and Minister of the Colonies (1944-47). In 1974, Caetano’s government was overthrown as part of the Carnation Revolution in Portugal.
Margaret Ling - Margaret Ling joined the Anti-Apartheid Movement in the UK as a student in 1972. From 1975 to 1984 she worked in the Information Department of the International Defence and Aid Fund, and edited the AAM’s monthly newspaper Anti-Apartheid News throughout the 1980s.
Margaret Thatcher - Margaret Thatcher (1926-2013). British politician and Prime Minister (1979-1990).
- Synonyms: Mrs Thatcher
- Synonyms: Mrs Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher Foundation - An organisation that promotes the ideas of Margaret Thatcher, founded in 1991.
Mario Soares - Mario Soares (b. 1924). Portuguese politician, Prime Minister (1976-1978, 1983-1985) and President (1986-1996).
Marjory LeBreton - Marjory LeBreton (b.1940) is a Canadian political figure who served as Leader of the Government in the Canadian Senate from 2006 to 2013. She was appointed Conservative Senator from Ontario in 1993 and was Minister of State for Seniors from 2007 to 2010.
Mark Allen - Sir Mark Allen (b.1950) is a British businessman and former spy. He worked for the British Foreign Service for 30 years, rising to Director of Counter-Terrorism in MI6, before retiring in 2004. He has since acted as special advisor for BP and for the Monitor Group. Sir Mark’s involvement with Libyan politics – from oil reserves to allegations of support for torture – have brought him under scrutiny since the downfall of Muammar al-Gaddafi in 2011.
Mark Brayne - Mark Brayne (b. 1950). British journalist, who worked for the BBC and BBC World Service from 1978 to 2003.
Mark Byford - Mark Byford (b.1958). British journalist, Head of BBC Journalism from 2004 to 2011.
Mark Carney - Mark Joseph Carney (b.1965) is a Canadian central banker who was appointed Governor of the Bank of England in 2013. He was previously Governor of the Bank of Canada from 2008 to 2013.
Mark Chona - Mark Chona is a Zambian political figure who acted as Special Assistant for Political Affairs to President Kenneth Kaunda between 1968 and 1980. He is the brother of Mainza Chona, another prominent Zambian politician who served as Kaunda’s Vice President (1970-73).
Mark Collins - Nicholas Mark Collins (b.1952) is a British environmental consultant and geographer who served as Director of the Commonwealth Foundation from 2005 to 2011. Collins, who had previously worked for the United Nations Environment Programme (2004-05) is the Chairman of the Galapagos Conservation Trust.
Mark Malloch Brown - Mark Malloch Brown, Baron Malloch-Brown, (b.1953) is a British political figure and development specialist who served as Minister of State in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 2007 to 2009. He was Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations in 2006 and administered the United Nations Development Programme from 1999 to 2005.
Mark Robinson - Mark Robinson (b. 1946). Former Conservative Party MP, he was Assistant Director in the Office of the Commonwealth Secretary-General, 1977-83 and has served as a Commonwealth election observer.
Mark Tully - Mark Tully (b. 1935). British journalist, he worked for the BBC for thirty years 1964-1994), and was a long-serving Chief of Bureau in Delhi.
Marlborough House - Marlborough House is a 17th century mansion in the City of Westminster, central London, which has served as the headquarters of the Commonwealth Secretariat since 1953.
Martii Ahtisaari - Martii Ahtisaari(b. 1937). Finnish diplomat and politician. He served as United Nations Special Representative overseeing Namibian elections in 1989, and as President of Finland (1994-2000).
Martin Khor - Martin Khor (b.1951) is a Malaysian journalist, economist and civil society activist who was appointed Executive Director of the South Centre in 2009. Khor previously served as Director of the Third World Network and since 1997 has been a member of the UN Secretary-General’s Task Force on Environment and Human Settlements.
Martin Plaut - Martin Plaut (b. 1950). British journalist and writer, who has worked for the BBC since 1984.
Mary Chinery-Hesse - Mary Chinery-Hesse is a Ghanaian diplomat and civil servant who has held influential positions with a range of international organisations including the United Nations, the World Bank, the African Union and the International Labour Organisation, of which she was Deputy Director General from 1989 to 1999. In the late 1980s, she was Chairperson of the Commonwealth Expert Group of Eminent Persons on Structural Adjustment and Women.
Mary Mackie - Mary Mackie served the Commonwealth Secretariat as Personal Assistant to Secretary General Emeka Anyaoku (1990-2000).
Mathews Phosa - Matthews Phosa (b. 1952). South African politician, anti-apartheid activist and member of the ANC.
Matthew Neuhaus - Matthew Neuhaus is a career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Australia, and was appointed Australian Ambassador to Zimbabwe in 2011. From 2002 to 2008 he served as Director of the Political Affairs Division, Commonwealth Secretariat, and was Assistant Secretary and Head of the CHOGM Policy Task Force in Australia.
Matthias Ngobi - Matthias Ngobi served as Minister of Agriculture under Milton Obote’s first government in Uganda, 1962-1966. He was imprisoned during Obote’s 1966 seizure of power and, after being released in 1971, fled to the UK to live in exile during Idi Amin’s rule. He returned to Uganda in August 1985.
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).
- Synonyms: Gayoom
- Synonyms: Gayoom
Maurice Bishop - Maurice Bishop (1944-1983). Grenadian politician and Prime Minister (1979-1983). The New Jewel Party under Bishop seized power from Eric Gairy in 1979.
Max Gaylard - Maxwell Gaylard (b. 1946). Australian diplomat. He was Director of Political/International Affairs at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London in the 1990s.
Mayibuye Centre - The Mayibuye Centre is an archive of materials related to apartheid South Africa and the anti-apartheid struggle, based at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town, South Africa. The Centre includes a photographic archive, posters and banners, oral history records and collections of historical papers and art. The Centre was officially opened in 2001, but traces its origins back to the archives collected by the London-based International Defence and Aid Fund (IDAF) during the anti-apartheid struggle itself.
Mazeru attack - A 1982 attack by the South African military on the town of Maseru in Lesotho, where African National Congress members were believed to be in hiding, that left 42 dead.
Mbabazi - Patrick Amama Mbabazi (b.1949) is a Ugandan political figure who served as Prime Minister of Uganda from 2011 to 2014. He previously served as Minister of Security in Yoweri Museveni’s cabinet, from 2009 to 2011, and was Secretary General of the National Resistance Movement from 2005 to 2015.
MDC - Movement for Democratic Change. The leading Zimbabwean opposition party, founded in 1999.
- Synonyms: Movement for Democratic Change
- Synonyms: Movement for Democratic Change
Melanesian Spearhead Group - The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) is an intergovernmental organisation established in 1983 to coordinate trade and economic development between Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, and the Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front of New Caledonia (FLNKS). In 2007, the group was formalised under international law. It is headquartered in Port Vila, Vanuatu.
Mells Park - A country house in Britain used as a venue for negotiations between the African National Congress and National Party about the future of South Africa between 1987 and 1990.
Menghistu - Mengistu Haile Mariam (b. 1937). Ethiopian revolutionary leader and Head of State from 1977 to 1991.
Merv Norrish - Merwyn ‘Merv’ Norrish (b.1926) is a New Zealand diplomat who served as his country’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs from 1980 to 1989. Norrish had previously served as Ambassador to the European Community (1967-72) and to the United States (1978-80), as well as High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (1972-73).
Mervyn King - Mervyn King, Baron King of Lothbury, (b.1948) is a British economist who served as Governor of the Bank of England from 2003 to 2013. King had been Deputy Governor of the Bank from 1998 to 2003 and Chief Economist and Executive Director from 1991.
Michael Adeane - Lt-Col Michael Adeane, Baron Adeane (1910-1984), was Private Secretary to the Sovereign, Queen Elizabeth II, from 1953 to 1972.
Michael Fennell - Michael Fennell is a Jamaican sports administrator who served as President of the Commonwealth Games Federation, overseeing events in Kuala Lumpur (1998), Manchester (2002), Melbourne (2006) and Delhi (2010). He has also acted as President of the Jamaican Olympic Association.
Michael Foot - Michael Foot (1913-2010). British politician, Leader of the Labour Party from 1980 to 1983.
Michael Frendo - 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.
Michael Heseltine - Michael Heseltine, Baron Heseltine, (b.1933) is a British political figure and businessman who played a prominent role in the Conservative governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major. Heseltine was Secretary of State for the Environment (1979-83, 1990-92), Secretary of State for Defence (1983-86) and Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1995-97).
Michael Jay - Michael Hastings Jay, Baron Jay of Ewelme (b. 1946). British diplomat. He was Permanent Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, 2002-2006.
Michael Jopling - Thomas Michael Jopling, Baron Jopling, (b.1930) is a British political figure who served as Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1983-87) and Chief Whip of the Conservative Party (1979-83) in the government of Margaret Thatcher. He was made a life peer in 1997.
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.
Michael Manley - Michael Manley (1924-1997). Jamaican politician, twice served as Prime Minister (1972-1980, 1989-1992). A member of the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group on South Africa.
Michael Meadowcroft - Michael Meadowcroft (b.1942) is a British political figure who served as leader of the reformed Liberal Party - founded in opposition to the emergence of the Liberal Democrats - from 1989 to 2002. Meadowcroft was a Member of Parliament for Leeds West from 1983 to 1987.
Michael Palliser - Sir Arthur Michael Palliser (1922-2012) was a senior British diplomat who served as Permanent Under-Secretary of State and Head of the Diplomatic Service from 1975 to 1982. Palliser joined the British Diplomatic Service in 1947 and held posts in Athens, Paris and Dakar. In London, he served as Head of the Policy Planning Staff, and, in 1966, was appointed Foreign Affairs Private Secretary to the Prime Minister. In 1973 he became the first British Permanent Representative to the European Communities.
Mick Shann - Sir Keith ‘Mick’ Shann (1917-1988) was an Australian public servant and diplomat who served as Australian Ambassador to the Philippines (1957-59), Indonesia (1962-66) and Japan (1973-77). He was subsequently Chairman of the Public Services Board (1977-78).
Mike Faber - Professor Michael Faber (1929-2015) was a British economist and international civil servant who twice served as Director of the Technical Assistance Group of the Commonwealth Secretariat (1972-75 and 1978-82). In the 1960s, Faber worked for the Ministry of Finance in a newly-independent Zambia while advising Kenneth Kaunda’s government on the expansion of education provisions in the country. In 1982, Faber founded the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex.
Mike Terry - Mike Terry (1947-2008). British anti-apartheid campaigner.
Miles Hudson - Miles Hudson is a British writer and political figure, who served as Political Secretary to Sir Alec Douglas Home in the Foreign Office. He was Director of the Conservative Group for Europe during the 1975 Referendum Campaign.
Millbrook Declaration - 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.
Millennium Development Goals - The Millennium Development Goals are a series of eight development goals adopted in 2000 following the United Nations Millennium Summit.
Milton Obote - Milton Obote (1925-2005). Ugandan politician, Prime Minister (1962-1966) and President (1966-1971, 1980-1985).
Ministerial Group on Small States - Formed in 1985 to discuss issues of significance to small states.
Missouri Sherman-Peter - A Missouri Sherman-Peter is a Bahamian diplomat who served her country as Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York (1988-94) and as High Commissioner to Canada (1997-2000). Sherman-Peter was Assistant Director, Political Affairs Division, Commonwealth Secretariat, from 1994 to 1997. In 2014 she was appointed Permanent Observer of the Caribbean Community to the United Nations.
Mmabatho airport - An airport in northern South Africa.
MN Venkatachaliah - Manepalli Narayana Rao Venkatachaliah (b.1929) is an Indian jurist who served as Chief Justice of India from 1993 to 1994. Venkatachaliah had become Judge of the Supreme Court of India in 1987, and later served as Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission from 1996 to 1998.
Mo Ibrahim Index of African Countries - The Ibrahim Index of African Countries is a statistical measure of levels of governance of all African countries. The four overarching measures are safety and rule of law, participation and human rights, sustainable economic opportunity and human development.
- Synonyms: Ibrahim Index of African Countries
- Synonyms: Ibrahim Index of African Countries
MoD - Ministry of Defence. British government ministry with responsibility for the armed forces, created in its current form in 1964, with predecessor institutions from the 1930s.
Modi - Narendra Damodardas Modi (b.1950) is an Indian politician and leader of the Bharatiya Janaa Party (BJP). He was elected Prime Minister of India in 2014, having previously served as Chief Minister of Gujarat (2001-14).
Mohamed Ibn Chambas - Mohamed Ibn Chambas (b.1950) is a Ghanian lawyer, diplomat and politician who was appointed Deputy Foreign Secretary in 1987. He acted as an international mediator during the First Liberian Civil War and later during the Ivorian Civil War. Chambas was elected Executive Secretary (later ‘President’) of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in 2002, serving until 2010. In 2010 he was appointed 8th Secretary-General of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States.
Mohamed Nasheed - Mohamed Nasheed (b.1967) is a Maldivian politician and human rights activist who served as his country’s President from 2008 to 2012. Nasheed, one of the founders of the Maldivian Democratic Party, resigned from the Presidency in 2012 following threats from opposition forces in the police and military.
Mohan Kaul - Mohan Kaul was a director and senior member of the Commonwealth Secretariat, and, since its formation in 1997, has been Director-General of the Commonwealth Business Council.
Montek Singh Ahluwalia - Montek Singh Ahluwalia (b.1943) is an Indian economist who served as Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission in India from 2004 to 2014. Ahluwalia had previously worked for the International Monetary Fund as Director of the Independent Evaluation Office (2001-04), having held several senior positions as a civil servant in the Indian Ministry of Finance, which he joined in 1979.
Morarji Desai - Morarji Desai (1896-1995) was an Indian political figure who served as fifth Prime Minister of India (1977-79). His tenure as Prime Minister came at the end of a period of Emergency rule (1975-77) instigated by Indira Gandhi, with Desai winning the election as head of the opposition Janata Party and thus becoming the first non-Congress government leader in India’s post-independence history.
Morgan Tsvangirai - Morgan Tsvangirai (b.1952). Zimbabwean politician noted for his opposition to Robert Mugabe. Prime Minister of Zimbabwe (2009-2013).
Morshed Khan - Morshed Khan (b.1940) was Foreign Minister of Bangladesh from 2001 to 2006. He had previously served as a Special Envoy of the Prime Minister of Bangladesh in the 1990s, and, prior to joining politics, Khan was a successful businessman in mobile phone, automotive and financial industries.
Moses Anafu - Moses Anafu is a Ghanian diplomat who joined the Commonwealth Secretariat in 1979 as Research Officer in the International Affairs Division. He was appointed Chief Research Officer in 1987 and served as Assistant Director, Political Affairs Department from 1990 to 2000. He was the Secretary General's Special Envoy to South Africa from 1991 to 1994. Anafu has also advised the UNDP on questions of governance in Africa.
Moses Kotane - Moses Kotane (1905-1978) was a South African political figure who served as Secretary General of the South African Communist Party (SACP) from 1939 until 1978. Kotane was also involved with the African National Congress, within which he acted as Treasurer General from 1963 to 1973. He attended the 1955 Asian-African Conference in Bandung, Indonesia.
Moshi Conference - The Moshi Conference was a meeting of twenty-five Ugandan opposition groups in the Tanzanian town of Moshi, 23-25 March 1979. It was chaired by Dr Tarsis B Kabwegyere and the object was to organise the variant strands of mobilization in exile into a concerted plan to oust Ugandan President Idi Amin. A Military Commission was organised with Paulo Muwanga as Chairman and Yoweri Museveni as Vice-Chairman. The National Consultative Commission was established as supreme organ of the Uganda National Liberation Front (UNLF), with Yusuf Lule as Chairman of the National Executive Council.
Moshoeshoe II - Moshoeshoe II of Lesotho (1938-1996) was King of Lesotho from 1996 until 1990 when he was exiled to the United Kingdom by a military junta. He returned in 1995 as King but died in a car accident a year later.
MOSOP - Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People. An organisation which campaigns for the rights of the Ogoni people of southeast Nigeria, founded in 1990.
Mossgas - Mossgas (Pty) Limited was an oil and gas company responsible for a controversial fuel-from-gas project near Mossel Bay, Southern Cape. Established in 1989, it was originally planned by the South African government as an alternative energy resource while the apartheid regime was facing international oil sanctions. In 2002, Mossgas merged with Soekor (Pty) Ltd and parts of the Strategic Fuel Fund Association to establish The Petroleum, Oil and Gas Corporation of South Africa (PetroSA).
Moto - Moto is a Zimbabwean newspaper founded in 1959 by the Catholic Church.
Moussa Koussa - Moussa Muhammad Koussa (b.1947) is a Libyan politician and diplomat who served as head of the Libyan Intelligence Agency from 1994 to 2009 and Minister of Foreign Affiars from 2009 to 2011. During the Civil War in 2011, Koussa fled to the UK via Tunisia, before relocating to Qatar.
Movement for Multiparty Democracy - The Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) is a Zambian political party. It was founded in 1990 as a coalition grouping opposed to the ruling UNIP. It won the 1991 election, defeating UNIP.
- Synonyms: MMD
- Synonyms: MMD
Mozambique Fund - The Special Commonwealth Fund for Mozambique, established in 1987.
MPLA - People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola – Labour Party is an Angolan political party founded in 1956. It has ruled since Angola gained independence from Portugal. It fought against UNITA during the Angolan Civil War (1975-2002).
Mswati - Mswati III (b.1968) is King of Saziland and head of the Swazi Royal Family. He was crowned in this position in April 1986 at the age of 18 and has attracted criticism for ruling the country as an absolute monarch.
Muhammad Ali Jinnah - Muhammad Ali Jinnah (1876-1948) was a lawyer and politician who led the All-India Muslim League from 1913 until the establishment of Pakistan in 1947. He was the first Governor-General of Pakistan (1947-48) and is referred to as Quaid-i-Azam, the Great Leader.
- Synonyms: Jinnah
- Synonyms: Jinnah
Muhammad Yunus - Muhammad Yunus (b. 1940). Bangladeshi entrepreneur and a pioneer of microcredit and microfinance.
Multi Fibre Arrangement - The Multi Fibre Arrangement was an agreement regulating the world trade in textiles from 1974 to 2004. It was introduced in 1974 to manage the perceived advantage of developing countries in textile production, due to the fact that labour costs remained low in comparison to the developed world. In 2005, the textile trade was brought under the jurisdiction of the World Trade Organisation.
Mulungushi Minute - The ‘Mulungushi Minute on the Establishment of a Joint South African-Angolan Monitoring Commission’ was an agreement that emerged from the February 1984 Lusaka Accords, outlining a disengagement process for South African troops in Angola that would stretch for fourteen months following the declaration of a ceasefire.
Muluzi - Elson Bakili Muluzi (b. 1943). Malawian politician. He founded the United Democratic Front (UDF) in 1992 and was President of Malawi, 1994-2004.
Musa Hitam - 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).
Musawah movement - Musawah is a global coalition of NGOs, activists, scholars, legal practitioners and policy makers that focuses its work on promoting equality and justice in the Muslim family. It was launched at a meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in February 2009. Its Director is the prominent Malaysian activist Zainah Anwar.
Musonge - Peter Mafany Musonge (b.1932) was Prime Minister of Cameroon from 1996 to 2004. He was appointed Grand Chancellor of National Orders by Cameroon’s President, Paul Biya, in 2007, and continues to serve on the Central Committee of the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement.
Mustafizur Rahman - Mustafizur Rahman (1940-1999) was a Bangladeshi diplomat who served as his country’s Foreign Secretary from 1997 to 1999. Rahman was previously High Commissioner to Malaysia (1981-84), Ambassador to Myanmar (1984-87) and Ambassador to the USSR and China.
Musuveni - Yoweri Kaguta Musuveni was a member of the Front for National Liberation in the war to oppose Ugandan military leader Idi Amin during the 1970s. He later formed the Popular Resistance Army to lead struggles against Dr Milton Obote’s regime, and became President of Uganda in 1986, a position he continues to hold.
Muthaiga Club - The Muthaiga Club is a country club in Nairobi, Kenya. It opened in 1913 and acted as a gathering place for the country’s white elite society.
Muttiah Muralitharan - Muttiah Muralitharan (b.1972) is a Sri Lankan cricketer who is considered one of the most successful bowlers in the history of the game. Muralitharan played internationally for Sri Lanka from 1992 to 2011, and has played for domestic teams in Sri Lanka, England, India, Australia and Jamaica.
Mwai Kibaki - Mwai Kibaki (b. 1931). Kenyan politician and President (2002-2013).
- Synonyms: Kibaki
- Synonyms: Kibaki
Mwalimu - ‘Mwalimu’ is a Swahili honorific which translates as ‘teacher’. It is often associated with Julius Nyerere (1922-99), the first President of Tanzania, who had worked as a teacher before joining politics. He is also known as ‘Baba wa Taifa’, or ‘Father of the Nation’.
Mwanawasa - Levy Patrick Mwanawasa (1948-2008). Zambian politician. A Member of the MMP, he was President of Zambia, 2002-08.
NAFTA - The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is a trilateral trade agreement signed by Canada, Mexico and the United States and designed to eliminate tariffs and other barriers to economic cooperation. NAFTA came into force in 1994.
Najib Razak - Dato Sri Mohammad Najib Abdul Razak (b.1953) is a Malaysian political figure who was elected Prime Minister of Malaysia in 2009. A leading figure in the United Malays National Organisation, Najib has previously served as Deputy Prime Minister (2004-09) and has been a Member of the Malaysian Parliament since 1976.
Nakuru - A city in the west of Kenya.
Nanda - Gulzarilal Nanda (1898-1998). Indian politician, briefly Prime Minister in 1964 and 1966.
Narasimha Rao - Pamulaparti Venkata Narasimha Rao (1921-2004). Indian politician and lawyer who served as Prime Minister from 1991 to 1996. During this period, he oversaw the economic liberalization of India.
Nassau CHOGM - The Nassau Accord was passed by the 1985 CHOGM held in Nassau in The Bahamas. The Accord called on the government of South Africa to end apartheid, and launch negotiations with the country's black majority.
Nathan Shamuyarira - Nathan Shamuyarira (b. 1928). Zimbabwean politician, served in various ministerial positions in the government of Robert Mugabe, including Information Minister (1980-1987).
National Democratic Institute - The National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) was established in 1983 by the United States Congress-coordinated National Endowment for Democracy (NED). It is associated with the US Agency for International Development and the Department of State, directing its activities to ‘provide practical assistance to civic and political leaders advancing democratic values, practices and institutions’.
NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. A military alliance formed in 1949, originally to defend Western Europe from the Soviet Union.
Natwar Singh - Kunwar Natwar Singh, b.1931 in India, had a long career in the Indian Foreign Service and acted as Minister of External Affairs of India from 2004 to 2005.
Nawaz Sharif - Nawaz Sharif (b. 1949). Pakistani politician and Prime Minister (1990-1993, 1997-1999, 2013-).
Ndabaningi Sithole - Ndabaningi Sithole (1920-2000) was a Zimbabwean political figure who founded the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) in 1963. Sithole spent ten years in prison following ZANU’s founding. As leader of the moderate ZANU-Ndonga party in the late 1970s, Sithole joined a transitional government in 1979 and attended the Lancaster House negotiations. Feeling himself in danger from political enemies in Zimbabwe after independence, Sithole lived in exile from 1983 to 1992.
Ndebele - A Bantu language spoken by the Matabele people of Zimbabwe.
Necklacing - ‘Necklacing’ is a method of torture and execution used widely in 1980s South Africa. It involves binding the victim in a rubber tire and setting the tire alight.
Negotiating Concept - The 'Negotiating Concept' document was a proposal presented by the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group in 1986, suggesting that the South African government release political prisoners and lift bans on anti-apartheid political organisations, and that anti-apartheid groups should suspend the use of violence and enter negotiations with the government.
Neil Kinnock - Neil Kinnock (b. 1942). British politician, Leader of the Labour Party from 1983 to 1992.
Neil Van Heerden - Neil Van Heerden (b.1939). South African diplomat, served as Deputy Director General (1982-1987) and Director General (1987-1992) of the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Nelson Mandela - Nelson Mandela (b. 1918). South African anti-apartheid campaigner and politician, served as South Africa’s first post-apartheid President (1994-1999).
Neo colonialist - Pertaining to neo colonialism, the concept that forms of political and economic influence akin to imperialism have continued after the formal end of European empires
Neroni Slade - Tuiloma Neroni Slade, b.1941. Attorney General of Samoa from 1976-1982, Slade later became Assistant Director of the Legal Office for the Commonwealth Secretariat. Entering Samoa’s diplomatic service in 1993, he would serve as Ambassador to Canada and the United States, as well as judge of the International Criminal Court. From 2008-2014, Slade acted as Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum.
Neville Linton - Neville Linton, born in Guyana, is a Political Affairs consultant with an extensive background as an international civil servant, including a period of work with the Political Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat. At the Secretariat, he was involved in the Diplomatic Training Programme and initiatives around the Security Problems of Small States. Linton has also been associated with Transparency International as a Senior Adviser.
New International Economic Order - The New International Economic Order (NIEO) was a proposal set forth by a group of developing countries in 1974 to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. It focused on issues of trade, development assistance, tariff reductions in developed countries and was intended to revise the dominant ‘Bretton-Woods’ economic order that was perceived to disproportionately benefit the United States.
- Synonyms: NIEO
- Synonyms: NIEO
New International Information Order - A phrase coined in relation to debates about remaking the global media to correct imbalances of power and influence during the 1970s and 1980s.
New Jewel Movement - The New Joint Endeavor for Welfare, Education, and Liberation, commonly known as the New JEWEL Movement (NJM), was a Grenadian political party led by Maurice Bishop and informed by Marxist-Leninist principles. Established in 1973, the NJM existed as an opposition political party before overthrowing the government of Eric Gairy in a 1979 armed revolution. In 1983, an American-led invasion ('Operation Urgent Fury') saw the end of the New Jewel experiment and the restoration of the pre-revolution Grenadian constitution.
New Zealand butter and we had the other issues, we had Caribbean sugar - British trade relationships with Commonwealth countries that proved problematic when negotiating British entry into the European Economic Community, because of its protectionist agricultural policies.
Ngaire Woods - Dr Ngaire Woods (b.1963) is a New Zealand-born academic who in 2011 was appointed Founding Dean of the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford, where she is Professor of Global Economic Governance. Dr Woods has served as an Advisor to the IMF, the UNDP and the Commonwealth Heads of Government. She is also Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala - Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (b.1954) is a Nigerian economist and political figure who has served as Nigeria’s Minister of Finance (2003-06, and 2011- ) and Minister of Foreign Affairs (2006). Okonjo-Iweala had previously worked in the World Bank Group as Vice-President and Corporate Secretary.
Ngwazi - Title adopted by Hastings Banda. Literally, ‘great lion’ in Chichewa.
Nick Brathwaite - Sir Nicholas Brathwaite (b.1925) was a Grenadian political figure who served as interim Prime Minister of Grenada from 1983 to 1984 following the American-led invasion of the country. He served as Prime Minister again from 1990 to 1995 as leader of the National Democratic Congress.
Nick Hare - Ewan ‘Nick’ Hare is a Canadian specialist in international development who served the Commonwealth Secretariat as Deputy Secretary General for Development Cooperation from 1993 to 2000. In this role, Hare had specific responsibility for the Commonwealth fund for Technical Cooperation. Hare was previously a senior official in the Canadian International Development Agency and in 1984 was appointed Canadian Ambassador to Zaire, Rwanda, Burundi and the Congo. He later served as High Commissioner to Nigeria.
Nick Ridley - Nicholas Ridley, Baron Ridley of Liddesdale, (1929-1993) was a British political figure who served the government of Margaret Thatcher in several ministerial roles. Ridley was Secretary of State for Transport (1983-86), Secretary of State for the Environment (1986-89), and Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1989-90). He was a key figure in the government’s approach to the UK miners’ strike (1984-85) and around the introduction of Poll Tax.
Nicolae Ceausescu - Nicolae Ceausescu (1918-89) was a Romanian politician who, as General Secretary of the Romanian Communist Party, served as his country’s head of state from 1967 to 1989. He is notorious for the rigidity and brutality of his rule within the Soviet bloc.
Niel Barnard - Dr Niel Barnard (b. 1949). Former head of the South African National Intelligence Service (1980-92), which came into being under him in 1980.
Nigel Lawson - Nigel Lawson, Baron Lawson of Plaby, (b.1932) is a British politician and journalist who served as Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1983 to 1989. Lawson was previously Secretary of State for Energy (1981-83) and Financial Secretary to the Treasury (1979-81).
Nigerian Civil War - Civil war fought from 1967 to 1970 caused by the attempted secession of the Eastern Region, which declared itself the Republic of Biafra.
Ninian Stephen - Sir Ninian Stephen (b. 1923). Australian jurist and the 20th Governor-General of Australia (1982-1989).
Nita Barrow - Nita Barrow (1916-1995). Governor General of Barbados (1990-1995) and a member of the Eminent Persons Group that visited South Africa in 1986.
Nkomati Accord - The Nkomati Accors was a non-aggression treaty signed by the governments of Mozambique and South Africa in 1984.
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma - Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (b.1949). South African politician and anti-apartheid campaigner, she has served in various ministerial positions including Foreign Minister (1999-2009).
- Synonyms: Dlamini-Zuma
- Synonyms: Dlamini-Zuma
Nkrumahist - ‘Nkrumahism’ is a term used to describe the social, economic and political philosophy of Kwame Nkrumah (1909-72), the first President of Ghana. An advocate of Pan-Africanism and a non-Aligned Marxism-Leninism, Nkrumah’s approaches to statecraft and the possibility of an ‘African Socialism’ have been influential both in Ghana and across the African continent more generally.
Nobel Peace Prize - An international award, presented since 1901, that recognises work promoting peace.
Non-aligned movement - An international organisation of countries that are not aligned with any manjor world power, founded in 1961.
Non-alignment - A national foreign policy position of avowed neutrality towards major powers.
Non-governmental civil society organisations - Organisations characterised by their foundation and operation independent of states. They and often pursue charitable and social objectives.
Noordin Sopiee - Tan Sri Dr Mohammad Noordin Sopiee (1944-2005) was a Malaysian academic and chairman of the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS), a leading think tank in Malaysia established in 1983. Prior to his involvement with ISIS, Sopiee was editor-in-chief of the New Straits Times.
Norman Kirk - Norman Eric Kirk (1923-1974) was a New Zealand politician who served as Prime Minister from 1972 until his death in 1974. Kirk had been Leader of the Opposition Labour Party from 1965 to 1972 and had been Member of Parliament since 1957.
Norman Manley - Norman Manley (1893-1969). Jamaican politician, Chief Minister (1955-1959) and Premier (1959-1962).
Norman Schwarzkof - Norman Schwarzkof (1934-2012). While Commander of United States Central Command, he was commander of coalition forces in the Persian Gulf War (1990-1991).
Norodom Sihanouk - Norodom Sihanouk (1922-2012) was a Cambodian royal and political figure who served as King of Cambodia from 1941 to 1955 and then again from 1993 to 2004. He was effective ruler of Cambodia from 1953 to 1970, acting variously as Prime Minister or President, and served as a puppet head of state for the Khmer Rouge government, 1975-76.
- Synonyms: Sihanouk
- Synonyms: Sihanouk
Nouméa Accord - The Nouméa Accord was signed into effect on 5 May 1998 and promised to grant political power to New Caledonia while the territory decided whether or not it would remain within the French Republic or become an independent state. The French government continued to control military and foreign affairs, immigration, police and currency as part of the agreement.
NP - National Party. South African political party, founded in 1915, that governed South Africa from 1948 to 1994, instituting a policy of apartheid.
NPT - Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (or informally, Non-Proliferation Treaty) of 1968. Signatory states pledge to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.
Ntsu Mokhehle - Ntsu Mokhehle (1918-1999) was a Lesotho political figure who served as Prime Minister from 1993 to 1998. Mokhehle was founder of the Basutoland Congress Party (BCP; later ‘Basotho Congress Party’) in 1952. He led the BCP until 1997, resigning to form a new party – the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) – in that same year.
Number 10 - ‘Number 10’ refers to 10 Downing Street, the official residence of the British Prime Minister in London and the headquarters of the British Government.
OAU - Organisation of African Unity. Founded in 1963 to act as a collective voice for African Nations, it was replaced by the African Union in 2002.
ODA - Overseas Development Administration. A department of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office with responsibility for overseas aid from 1970 to 1974 and from 1979 to 1997.
OECD - Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. An global economic organisation of 34 countries to promote economic progress and international trade, founded in 1961.
Official Secrets Act - British legislation, first enacted in 1889, that seeks to protect state secrets.
Oginga Odinga - Oginga Odinga (1911-1994). Kenyan politician and Vice-President (1964-1966).
Ogoni people - Ethnic group of southwest Nigeria.
Olaf Caroe - Sir Olaf Caroe (1892-1981) was a British colonial administrator who served as Chief Commissioner of Balochistan (1937-38) and Governor of the North-West Frontier Province (1946-47).
Olara Otunnu - Olara A Otunnu is a Ugandan Lawyer and President of the Uganda People’s Congress. He has a long history of involvement with the United Nations, serving as Uganda’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative from 1980 to 1985, during which he acted as President of the Security Council (1981) an Vice-President of the General Assembly (1982-83). From 1998 to 2005, Otunnu was UN Under-Secretary General and Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict.
Old Budonian - An ‘Old Budonian’ is an alumnus of King’s College Budo, a residential secondary school in Wakiso District, central Uganda. It is one of the oldest centres of higher learning in the country and counts among its former students many Ugandan Presidents and members of royal families.
Old Commonwealth - An informal term describing the countries of the pre-1945 Commonwealth: Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa.
Oliver Tambo - Oliver Tambo (1917-1993). South African politician and anti-apartheid campaigner.
Olusegun Obasanjo - Olusegun Obasanjo (b. 1937). Nigerian Head of Federal Military Government (1976-1979) and President (1999-2007). He was Co-Chairman of the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group on South Africa (1985-1986).
- Synonyms: General Obasanjo
- Synonyms: General Obasanjo
Omar al-Bashir - Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir (b.1944) is a Sudanese political and military figure who became President of Sudan in 1989 following a coup. In 2009, he became the first sitting President to be indicted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur.
- Synonyms: Bashir
- Synonyms: Bashir
One China policy - The One China policy refers to a diplomatic position in which a country recognises the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as the sole legitimate representative of China, requiring them to break relations with the Tawian-based Republic of China (ROC), which also claims status as legitimate representative. This position can be held in reverse, i.e. recognising the ROC and thus breaking relations with the PRC.
One World Action - A British charity that promotes social justice and democracy, founded in 1989.
OPCs - Other People’s Cigarettes.
Operation Lalang - Operation Lalang (Operasi Lalang) was a Malaysian police action in October 1987 to forestall an outbreak of racial riots in the country. 106 individuals – including NGO activists, student politicians, artists and opposition figures – were detained without trial under conditions outlined in the Internal Security Act.
Operation Murambatsvina - ‘Operation Drive Out Rubbish’. A Zimbabwean slum clearance programme, that started in 2005.
Operation Urgent Fury - Operation Urgent Fury was the name given to the 1983 US-led invasion of Grenada, prompted by the killing of the revolutionary Prime Minister Maurice Bishop and a split in the ruling New Jewel Movement. The invasion, which saw the swift success of American troops, led to the restoration of the pre-revolutionary regime. The action was criticized by Britain and Canada, as well as by a proposed United Nations Security Council resolution subsequently vetoed by the US.
Orange Free State - Afrikaner state, founded in 1854. It was defeated by the British and incorporated into South Africa in 1902.
Organisation of African Unity - An international organisation for African states founded in 1963.
Organisation of American States - The Organisation of American States (OAS) was established in 1948 as an inter-continental body promoting regional cooperation and collaboration. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the OAS includes 35 member states. In 2015, the Uruguayan lawyer and politician Luis Almagro was appointed Secretary General.
Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States - The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), created in 1981, is an inter-governmental organisation focused on economic cooperation and the protection of human and legal rights in countries in the Eastern Caribbean.
- Synonyms: OECS
- Synonyms: OECS
Organisation of Islamic Cooperation - The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is an international organisation based out of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, which promises to act as the “collective voice of the Muslim World.” Founded in 1969 as the 'Organisation of the Islamic Conference', it includes 57 member states and has permanent delegations to the United Nations and European Union.
- Synonyms: OIC
- Synonyms: OIC
Organisation of the Islamic Conference - The Organisation of the Islamic Conference was founded in 1969 to act as the “collective voice of the Muslim World”. Based out of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, it includes 57 member states and has permanent delegations to the United Nations and European Union. In 2011, the name was changed to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
Oslo Accords - A 1993 agreement that sought to establish a framework for resolving prolonged disputes over the relationship between Israel and Palestine.
Otto Krause - Otto Krause (1930-1999) was an Afrikaner journalist who founded and ran the news magazine News Check from 1966 to 1971. He was later Editor of the Financial Gazette and a prominent political commentator in the South African media.
Our nuclear weapons - The South African government’s atomic weapons programme began in the 1960s. Six nuclear weapons are thought to have been constructed which were dismantled in the late 1980s, before the transition to majority rule.
- Synonyms: South African nuclear programme
- Synonyms: South African nuclear programme
Owen Arthur - Owen Arthur (b. 1949). Prime Minister of Barbados from 1994 to 2008.
Owen Dixon - Sir Owen Dixon (1886-1972) was an Australian diplomat and judge. From 1952 to 1964 he was Chief Justice of Australia, having served on the High Court since 1929.
- Synonyms: Chief Justice Dixon
- Synonyms: Chief Justice Dixon
Oxford Colonial Record Project - A project (1963-1972) run under the auspices of the University of Oxford, to collect archives from former colonial officials and others who worked in colonies.
P.N. Haksar - P.N. Haksar (1913-1998). Indian diplomat, served as Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister from 1967 to 1973.
Pacific Islands Countries Trade Agreement - The Pacific Islands Countries Trade Agreement (PICTA) is a free trade agreement among 14 Forum Island Countries (FICs), removing virtually all import tariffs and quotas for trade between these countries. The agreement was signed in 2001 and came into force in 2006.
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.
- Synonyms: Pacific Island Forum
- Synonyms: Pacific Island Forum
Pakistan’s membership of the Commonwealth - Pakistan left in 1972 in protest at the Commonwealth's recognition of Bangladesh’s statehood, but rejoined in 1989. Pakistan was also suspended from Commonwealth membership from 1999 to 2004 and from 2007 to 2008.
Palme Commission - The Palme Commission was an Independent Commission on Disarmament and Security Issues chaired by the Swedish politician and statesman Olof Palme. It issued a ‘Common Security’ Report in 1982, critical of the nuclear arms race.
Pamela Creighton - Pamela Creighton (b. 1933). British broadcaster, worked for the BBC World Service from 1955 to 1993, from 1972 as a newsreader.
Pan-Africanist Congress - The Pan-Africanist Congress (PAC) is a left-wing Black Nationalist political movement in South Africa, founded by ex-African National Congress activist Robert Sobukwe in 1959. During the anti-apartheid struggle, the PAC represented a radical perspective focused on black power as against than the ANC’s multi-racial openness.
- Synonyms: PAC
- Synonyms: PAC
Partition - The division of the territory of British-controlled India to form the self-governing states of India and Pakistan in 1947, which was accompanied by large scale migration and communal violence.
Pascal Lamy - Pascal Lamy (b.1947) is a French business and political figure who served as Director-General of the World Trade Organisation from 2005 to 2013. He was previously European Commissioner for Trade from 1999 to 2004.
Pasifika - Pasifika is a term used to describe the Pacific Island areas of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. The area is distinct from the title Oceania, which includes the above along with Australasia and the Malay Archipelago.
Passchendaele - The Battle of Passchendaele or the Third Battle of Ypres was a notoriously high casualty confrontation between Allied and German troops in 1917, taking place near the Belgian-French border at the height of the First World War.
Patricia Francis - 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.
Patricia Scotland - 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.
Patrick Gordon Walker - Patrick Gordon Walker, Baron Gordon-Walker, (1907-1980) was a British political figure who served as Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations (1947-50) and Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations (1950-51). He was later Secretary for Foreign Affairs (1964-65) in the government of Harold Wilson.
Patrick Keatley - Patrick Keatley (1920-2005) was a Canadian-born British journalist who spent over thirty years as The Guardian’s Commonwealth and diplomatic correspondent. He chronicled the decolonisation process across Africa, writing a book on the Central Africa Federation entitled The Politics of Partnership (1963). Keatley also helped found the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative and the Commonwealth Journalists Association.
Patrick Moberley - Patrick Moberley (b. 1928). British diplomat, served as Ambassador to South Africa from 1984 to 1987.
Patrick Wintour - Patrick Wintour (b.1954) is a British journalist who has served as Political Editor of The Guardian since 2006. He was previously Chief Political Correspondent of The Guardian from 1988-96 and 2000-06, serving in between as Political Editor of The Observer.
Patriot Act - The USA PATRIOT Act is an Act of Congress that became law in October 2001 under the Presidency of George W Bush. Its name is an acronym for ‘Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism’. The legislation has been roundly criticised by civil liberties groups in the United States and elsewhere for the sweeping powers it allows in terms of surveillance and the indefinite detention of immigrants.
Patsy Robertson - Patsy Robertson. Jamaican journalist and diplomat. Successively Commonwealth Press Officer, Director of Information, and official Commonwealth spokesperson (1983-1994).
Paul Biya - Paul Biya (b.1933) is a Cameroonian political figure who served as Prime Minister of Cameroon from 1975 to 1982 and subsequently as President of Cameroon since 1982. Biya oversaw the introduction of multiparty politics into Cameroon in the 1990s, winning presidential elections in 1992, 1997, 2004 and 2011. The legitimacy of these elections has often been contested by opposition politicians in the country.
Paul Keating - Paul Keating (b. 1944). Prime Minister of Australia (1991-1996).
Paul Kruger’s Republic - The South African Republic, an Afrikaner state founded in 1852, and finally defeated by the British in 1902. Paul Kruger was President from 1883 to 1900.
Paul LaRose-Edwards - Paul LaRose-Edwards is a Canadian diplomat and human rights specialist who in 1996 founded CANADEM, an NGO focused on responding to rapid-onset humanitarian emergencies and disasters. LaRose-Edwards had previously worked for Amnesty International and the government of Canada. He was Representative of the UN Human Rights Commissioner in Indonesia and spent four years heading the Human Rights Unit at the Commonwealth Secretariat.
Paul Lusaka - Paul JF Lusaka (1935-1996) was a Zambian diplomat and political figure who served as his country’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York (1972-74 and 1979-1986). He had previously served as Zambia’s Ambassador to the Soviet Union (1968-72) and as Deputy High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (1965-68).
Paul Manueli - Colonel Paul Manueli (b.1934) is a Fijian military figure, politician and businessman who served as Commander of the Royal Fiji Military Forces from 1974 to 1979. Manueli was the first indigenous Fijian to perform this role. Following the 1987 coup d’état in Fiji, Manueli served the Parliamentary Cabinet as Minister for Home Affairs, Finance Minister and Minister for Justice.
Paul Martin - Paul Martin (b.1938) is a Canadian politician who served as Prime Minister of Canada from 2003 to 2006. Martin succeeded Jean Chrétien as Leader of the Liberal Party, having previously served the government as Minister of Finance (1993-2002).
Paul Reeves - Sir Paul Reeves (1932-2011). Archbishop and Primate of New Zealand (1980-85) and Governor-General of New Zealand (1985-90).
Paul Scoon - Sir Paul Godwin Scoon (1935-2013) was a Grenadian political figure and civil servant who was Governor-General of Grenada from 1978 to 1992. He had previously acted as Secretary to the Cabinet – the head of Grenada’s Civil Service – and Deputy Director of the Commonwealth Foundation in London. Scoon played a key role in the fall of the People’s Revolutionary Government in the 1980s, offering his support for an American-led Invasion of Grenada in 1983.
Paulo Muwanga - Paulo Muwanga (1921-1991) was de facto President of Uganda in 1980, a period when he acted as Chairman of the governing Military Commission that had overthrown Godfrey Binaisa in May 1980. Following the December 1980 elections, Muwanga was succeeded by Milton Obote as Uganda’s President.
Pearce Commission - Unofficial name for the British Commission on Rhodesian Opinion (1971-1972). The Commission found most Rhodesians rejected proposals for normalising British-Rhodesian relations.
Penguin - British publishers, founded in 1935
People's Forum - The Commonwealth People’s Forum brings together civil society representatives every two years in the run up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).
Pera Wells - Pera Wells is an Australian diplomat who established the Human Rights Unit in the Commonwealth Secretariat in 1985. She had previously worked on human rights issues with the United Nations in New York and set up the Human Rights Section of Australia’s Foreign Affairs department in 1984. Wells was later Secretary General of the World Federation of United Nations Associations (2006-09) and Vice President of the Australian Council for Human Rights Education (2010- ).
Percy Cradock - Percy Cradock (1923-2010). British diplomat.
Perestroika - Perestroika is the Russian word for ‘restructuring’ and refers to a political movement for reform within the Soviet Union during the 1980s. The movement is associated with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and is held to be a key factor in the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the associated end of the Cold War.
Perez de Cuellar - Javier Perez de Cuellar (b. 1920). Peruvian diplomat and politician, served as Secretary General of the United Nations (1982-1991) and Prime Minister of Peru (2000-2001).
Pervez Musharraf - Pervez Musharraf – (1943-) Pakistani soldier and politician. He was the military ruler of Pakistan (1999-2001) and served as President (2001-2008).
- Synonyms: Musharraf
- Synonyms: Musharraf
Peter Carrington - Peter Carrington, 6th Baron Carrington (b. 1919). British politician and member of the Conservative party. He was Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1979-82) and 6th Secretary General of NATO (1984-88). In 1979 he chaired the Lancaster House conference.
- Synonyms: Lord Carrington
- Synonyms: Lord Carrington
Peter Davies - Roger Peter Havard Davies (1919-1993) was a human rights activist and cultural ambassador who served as Director of the Anti-Slavery Society from 1980 to 1987. He had previously worked for the British Council (1949 -80), holding postings in Hungary, Israel, Malaysia, Finland, Chile and India.
Peter Jay - Peter Jay, b. 1937 in London, is a British economist, broadcaster and diplomat. From 1977 to 1979 he served as British Ambassador to the United States.
Peter Marshall - Peter Marshall (b. 1946). British diplomat, Deputy Secretary General (Economic & Social) Commonwealth Secretariat from 1983 to 1989.
Peter Niesewand - Peter Niesewand (1944-83). South African-born journalist based in Rhodiesia, in 1973 he was jailed and then deported for his criticisms of Ian Smith’s government.
Peter Snelson - Peter Snelson (d. 2011) was a civil servant. He worked for the Commonwealth Secretariat in London for 19 years, largely in the field of education.
Peter Snow - Peter Snow (b.1938) is a British television personality and historian, well-known for his work as an election analyst and co-presenter of election programmes for ITN (1966-1979) and the BBC (1983-2005). He was the main presenter of BBC’s Newsnight from 1980 to 1997.
Peter Williams - Dr Peter Williams joined the Commonwealth Secretariat in 1984, serving first as Director of Education and then as Director of the Human Resource Development Division. He later served as Joint Deputy Executive Chair of the Council for Education in the Commonwealth and as Secretary of the Commonwealth Consortium for Education.
PETRONAS - Petrolaim Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS) is an oil and gas company owned wholly by the Government of Malaysia. Founded in 1974, it is ranked among the largest corporations in the world. 45% of the government’s budget is dependent on its PETRONAS dividend.
Phelps Stokes - The Phelps Stokes Fund was established in 1911 to forge connections between organisations and individuals in Africa and the Americas and to provide funds for social and economic development. It has focused most of its work on the American South and in the countries of British colonial Africa.
Philip Burdon - Philip Ralph Burdon (b. 1939). Former New Zealand politician. He was a member of the National Party and an MP, 1981-96.
Philip Noel-Baker - Philip John Noel-Baker, Baron Noel-Baker, (1889-1982) was a British politician, diplomat and academic who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1959 for his work as a disarmament campaigner. He was Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations from 1947 to 1950 and Minister of Fuel and Power from 1950 to 1951.
Philip Short - Philip Short (b. 1945). British journalist and author. His book Banda was published in 1974 (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul).
Phisoana Ramaema - Elias Phisoana Ramaema (b.1933) was Chairman of the Military Council in Lesotho – and thus Head of Government in the country – between May 1991 and April 1993. He handed power back to a democratically-elected Basutoland Congress Party government in 1993.
Phyllis Coard - Phyllis Coard was a Grenadian political figure who served as Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs in the People’s Revolutionary Government of Maurice Bishop. In 1983, Coard, her husband Bernard Coard and fifteen others were arrested following the shooting of Bishop during a coup.
- Synonyms: Mrs Coard
- Synonyms: Mrs Coard
Pierre Trudeau - Pierre Trudeau (1919-2000). Canadian politician and Prime Minister (1968-1979, 1980-1984).
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).
- Synonyms: P.W. Botha
- Synonyms: P.W. Botha
Pik Botha - Roelof Botha (b. 1932).South African politician and Minister for Foreign Affairs (1977-1994).
Pius Langa - Pius Nkonzo Langa (1939-2013) was Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa from 2005 to 2009, having been appointed to the bench in 1994 by Nelson Mandela. Langa was a founding member of the National Association of Democratic Lawyers and a member of the African National Congress Constitutional Committee. In 2000, he acted as Commonwealth Special Envoy to Fiji to assist in the Islands’ return to democracy.
PJ Patterson - Percival Noel James Patterson (b. 1935) is a prominent Jamaican political figure. He was leader of the People’s National Party and Prime Minister of Jamaica, 1992-2006.
PN Bhagwati - Prafullachandra Natwarlal Bhagwati (b.1921) is an Indian judge who served as Chief Justice of India from 1985 to 1986. He was previously Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court (1967-73). He is considered a pioneer of judicial activism in India due to his work on the concept of Public Interest Litigation.
Political Affairs Division - The Political Affairs Division (PAD) is the section of the Commonwealth Secretariat that coordinates activities between the Commonwealth, its member country governments and partner international organisations. It focuses its work on the prevention or resolution of political conflict at the invitation of a member country, and also supports the development of democratic processes and institutions.
Pollsmoor prison - A prison in Cape Town, established in 1964. Anti-apartheid activists including Nelson Mandela were held there.
Portcullis House - 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.
PPP - The Pakistan People’s Party is a centre-left political party in Pakistan, founded in 1967.
Pranab Mukherjee - Pranab Kumar Mukherjee (b.1935) is an Indian political figure who became President of India in July 2012. He was Minister of Defence (2004-06), Minister of External Affairs, (2006-09), and Minister of Finance (2009-12) under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, having previously served in the cabinets of PV Narasimha Rao during the 1990s and Indira Gandhi in the 1980s.
Premadasa - Ranasinghe Premadasa (1924-1993). Sri Lankan politician, served as Prime Minister (1978-1989) and President (1989-1993).
President Ershad - Hussain Muhammad Ershad (b. 1930). Bangladeshi politician and military leader. He was President of Bangladesh, 1983-90 after coming to power through a bloodless coup.
President Mangope - Lucas Mangope (b. 1923). President of Bophuthatswana, a South African Bantustan, from 1977 to 1994.
- Synonyms: Lucas Mangope
- Synonyms: Lucas Mangope
President Soeharto - Soeharto – (1921-2008). President of Indonesia from 1967 to 1998.
President Taraki - Nur Muhammad Taraki (1917-79). Afghan politician, he was President (1978-79).
- Synonyms: Nur Muhammad Taraki
- Synonyms: Nur Muhammad Taraki
Pretoria/Witwatersrand/Vereeniging industrial complex - The largest South African industrial and manufacturing centre.
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.
- Synonyms: Prince of Wales
- Synonyms: Prince of Wales
Prince Philip - Prince Philip (b. 1921). Husband of Elizabeth II since 1947.
- Synonyms: Duke of Edinburgh
- Synonyms: Duke of Edinburgh
Princess Anne - Anne, Princess Royal (b.1950) is the second child and only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II. She is a patron of over 200 charitable organisations.
Princeton Lyman - Princeton Nathan Lyman (b.1935) is an American diplomat who previously served as US Ambassador to Nigeria (1986-89) and South Africa (1992-95). Lyman also acted as Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs from 1996 to 1998.
Problems over the Ayodha temple - A long-running dispute over a religious site in Ayodha, northern India. It emerged in the nineteenth century, saw rioting in the early 1990, and continues.
Queen’s own visit to Ireland - The Queen and Prince Philip visited Ireland 17-20 May 2011.
Quett Masire - Quett Ketumile Joni Masire (b.1925) was President of Botswana from 1980 to 1998. A leading figure in his country’s independence movement, Masire’s long tenure as President was at the helm of the Botswana Democratic Party. After retiring from office, Masire became involved with several diplomatic initiatives across Africa, including in Rwanda, the Congo, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Ghana and Swaziland.
- Synonyms: President Masire
- Synonyms: President Masire
Radha Ramphul - Mr Radha Krishna Ramphul was a Mauritian diplomat who served as the Permanent Representative of Mauritius to the United Nations in New York from 1969 to 1982.
- Synonyms: Ramphul
- Synonyms: Ramphul
Radio Liberty - An Argentinean radio station that broadcast propaganda to British forces during the 1982 Falklands War.
Radio Marty - Radio Marti. A radio station financed by the US government that broadcasts propaganda to Cuba.
Radio RSA - South African radio network aimed at international audiences, founded in 1966 and renamed Channel Africa in 1992.
Radio Spice Islands - Spice Islands Radio. A radio station broadcasting to Grenada, operation by the US military during the 1983 invasion.
Radley College - Radley College is a boys’ independent boarding school, near Radley, Oxfordshire.
Rafida Aziz - Rafidah binti Aziz (b. 1943). Malaysian politician. She was Minister of International Trade and Industry, 1987-2008.
Rahul Bajaj - Rahul Bajaj (b.1938) is an Indian businessman and political figure. He is chairman of the Indian conglomerate Bajaj Group, founded by his grandfather Jamnalal Bajaj in 1926. Bajaj was elected to the Rajya Sabha (upper house of Indian Parliament) in 2006.
Raila Odinga - Raila Amolo Odinga (b. 1945). Kenyan politician. He was Prime Minister of Kenya, 2008-13.
Rainbow Warrior - The Rainbow Warrior was a trawler that had been acquired by the environmental organisation Greenpeace, where she was used as a fundraising ship. In 1985, whilst being used as part of a protest against French Nuclear Testing, she was sunk in the port of Auckland, New Zealand, by the French intelligence service.
Rais Yatim - 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).
Raja Gomez - Raja Gomez is a Sri Lankan civil servant who joined the Commonwealth Secretariat in 1976 as Assistant Director of the Management Development Division, later becoming Director. From 1984, he was Director of the Commonwealth Youth Programme and in 1992 became Director of Development and Planning for the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.
Rajeshwar Dayal - Rajeshwar Dayal (1909-1999) was an Indian diplomat who spent much of his career working with the United Nations system, first as India’s Permanent Representative at the UN headquarters in New York (1953-56). He was later member of the United Nations Observation Group in Lebanon (1958) and Head of the UN Operation in the Congo (1960-61). Dayal served as Chair of the Commonwealth Observer Group monitoring the first Zimbabwe elections in 1980, and as Indian Ambassador to Yugoslavia and to France.
Rajiv Gandhi - Rajiv Gandhi (1944-1991). Indian politician, served as Prime Minister from 1984 to 1989.
Ralph Carnegie - Ralph Carnegie (1936-2011) was a Jamaica-born legal scholar who served as Professor of Law at the University of the West Indies for over 40 years. Carnegie was Executive Director of the Caribbean Law Institute Centre, an associate institution of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), and served on the Constitution Review Commissions of Grenada and Antigua and Barbuda.
Ralph Gonsalves - Ralph Gonsalves (b.1946) is a Vincentian politician who was elected Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in 2001. He is leader of the Unity Labour Party (ULP), and has served as an MP in the country since 1994.
Ramphal Commission on Migration and Development - The Ramphal Commission on Migration and Development was a two year initiative headed by the Hon PJ Patterson, former Prime Minister of Jamaica, and funded by the Ramphal Institute from 2009 to 2011. The Commission produced a report – ‘People on the Move: Managing migration in today’s Commonwealth’ – and completed advocacy work with member states to promote the benefits of international migration for economic and social development.
Ramphal Institute - The Ramphal Institute is a not-for-profit organisation established in honour of the former Commonwealth Secretary General Sir Shridath Ramphal in 2008. Based in London, UK, the Institute focuses its work on developing knowledge and education practices around social, economic, governance and environmental policy areas, for the benefit of the 54 states of the Commonwealth of Nations.
Rann of Kutch - The Rann of Kutch is a large region of salt marshes located between Sindh, Pakistan, and the Western tip of Gujarat, India. The territory is disputed between the two countries, with arguments over the border leading, notably, to a series of skirmishes during the 1965 Indo-Pakistani war.
Ransford Smith - Ransford Smith (b.1949) is a Jamaican public servant who acted as Deputy Secretary General for Economic Affairs and Development in the Commonwealth Secretariat from 2006 to 2013. Smith was previously Jamaica’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Rome and Vienna. He was Chairman of the WTO Committee on Trade and Development (2000-01) and President of the Trade and Development Board of the UNCTAD (2005-06).
Rashleigh Jackson - Rashleigh Esmond Jackson (b.1929) is an influential Guyanese diplomat who joined the Public Service in 1948. In 1969 he was appointed Permanent Secretary of the Minister of External Affairs, and from 1973-8 acted as Permanent Representative of the Republic of Guyana to the United Nations in New York. Jackson then served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1978 to 1990.
Ratu Epeli Nailatikau - Brigadier-General Ratu Epeli Nailatikau (b.1941) is a Fijian political figure and military leader who became President of Fiji in 2009. Nailatikau was Speaker of the House of Representatives from 2001 to 2006, and served in 2007 as Minister for Foreign Affairs and in 2008 as Indigenous Affairs Minister. Nailatikau was Commander of the Royal Fiji Military Forces at the time of Sitiveni Rabuka’s 1987 coup. Following the coup, he started a diplomatic career and was High Commissioner to the UK and Fiji’s Ambassador to Denmark, Egypt, Germany, Israel and the Holy See.
Ratu Inoke Kubuabola - Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, b.1948, is a Fijian politician and Cabinet Minister. In 2009 he was named Minister of Foreign Affairs. Kubuabola had previously acted as Minister for Information following the 1987 Fijian coup d’etat, an event he had played a role in organising as a Fijian nationalist. During the 1990s, he served variously as Minister for Youth, Employment and Sports, Minister for Regional Development and Multi Ethnic Affairs, and Minister of Works, Infrastructure and Transport.
Ratu Mara - Sir Kamisese Mara (1920-2004). Fijian politician. He was Prime Minister of Fiji, 1970-92. Though defeated in the election of 1987, he headed an interim administration following a military coup, until 1992. He was then President of Fiji, 1993-2000.
Ratu Penaia - Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau (1918-1993). Fijian politician, Governor-General of Fiji (1983-1987) and President of Fiji (1987-1993).
- Synonyms: Ratu Sir Penaia
- Synonyms: Ratu Sir Penaia
Ratu Seru Cakobau - Ratu Seru Cakobau (1815-1883) was King of Fiji, 1871-1874, uniting the kingdom after nearly two decades of war with rival chiefs. In 1874, threatened by American annexation, Cakobau ceded the Fijian islands to the United Kingdom and transferred the title of Paramount Chief to Queen Victoria.
Raúl Prebisch - Raúl Prebisch (1901-86). Argentine economist. Along with Hans Singer he developed the Singer-Prebisch thesis on the deterioration of the terms of trade between primary products and manufactures.
Razali Ismail - Tan Sri Razali Ismail (b.1939) is a Malaysian diplomat who served as his country’s Ambassador to Poland (1978-82) and High Commissioner to India (1982-1985). Ismail has headed Malaysian diplomatic delegations to ASEAN and the Non-Aligned Movement, and from 1996 to 1997 was President of the United Nations General Assembly. As UN Special Envoy to Myanmar, he played a pivotal role in releasing Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest in 2002.
RDP - Reconstruction and Development Programme. South African reform measures introduced in 1994 by the government of Nelson Mandela.
Record of Understanding - A 1992 agreement between the South African government and the African National Congress that restarted halted negotiations.
Reg Austin - Professor Reginald Austin is a Zimbabwean academic who served the Commonwealth Secretariat as Director of Legal and Constitutional Affairs from 1993 to 1998. He had previously been Dean of the Law Faculty at the University of Zimbabwe (1982-92) and Chief Electoral Officer of the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (1992-93). In 1994, he was Director of the Electoral Component, UNOMSA (South Africa).
RENAMO - RENAMO (Mozambican National Resistance) is a Mozambican political party, founded in 1975 as an anti-Communist organisation. It fought against the Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO) in the Mozambican Civil War (1976-1992) and received military support from South Africa.
Report on Post-Apartheid Human Resource Development - Human Resource Development for a Post-Apartheid South Africa. A Commonwealth report published in 1991.
Resolution 432 - United Nations Security Council Resolution 432 was adopted on 27 July 1978 and called for the state of South Africa to relinquish its control of Walvis Bay to Namibia, allowing for the territorial integrity of the nascent independent country.
Resolution 435 - United Nations Security Council Resolution 435 was adopted on 29 September 1978 and set the conditions for a cease-fire and post-conflict elections in South Africa-controlled South-West Africa. The Resolution was influential in facilitating the independence of Namibia, establishing the United Nations Transition Assistance Group (UNTAG).
Reunification of Germany - In 1990 the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) joined the German Democratic republic (West Germany), ending the division of the country which had emerged after the Second World War.
Reverend Michael Scott - The Reverend Michael Scott (1907-1983). British anti-apartheid activist and advocate of Namibian independence.
Rhodesia Front - Rhodesian political party, formed in 1962, that opposed black majority rule. It was renamed the Republican front in 1981.
Rhodesian Broadcasting Corporation - Rhodesian state broadcaster, founded in 1963 and renamed Voice of Zimbabwe Rhodesia in 1979.
Richard Bourne - Richard Bourne (b.1940) is a British journalist, writer and human rights advocate who has acted as Deputy Director of the Commonwealth Institute (1983-89), Director of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (1990-92) and Head of the Commonwealth Policy Studies Unit (1999-2005). He is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, Secretary of the Ramphal Institute, and was a correspondent for The Guardian and deputy editor of the London Evening Standard.
Richard Jolly - Sir Richard Jolly (b.1934) is a British development economist who served as Assistant Secretary-General of the UN from 1982 to 2000. During the 1970s, he was Director of the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, returning there as an Honorary Professor and Research Associate following his retirement from the UN.
Richard Luce - Richard Luce (b. 1936). British politician, served in various ministerial positions in the Foreign Office (1979-1982, 1983-1985).
Richard Nzerem - Richard Nzerem. Director of the Sir William Dale Centre for Legislative Studies, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and was the Director of the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat.
Risquet - Jorge Risquet Valdes Saldana (b. 1930). Cuban politician and diplomat, served as a member of the Politbureau (1980-1991) and led the Cuban delegation to the Four-Party meetings on Angola (1987-1988).
Robert Allan Gates - Robert Allan Gates is a former Guyanese police constable who, during the Walter Rodney Commission of Inquiry inaugurated in 2014, was identified as having infiltrated Rodney’s Working People’s Alliance as a spy on behalf of the Joint Intelligence Command. Following Rodney’s assassination in 1980, Gates continued working with the Guyana Police Force until 1996. At the time of his testimony to the Commission, Gates was serving time in Camp Street Prison for alleged embezzlement of funds.
Robert Champion de Crespigny - Robert James Champion de Crespigny (b.1950) is an Australian businessman and government advisor who served as Chancellor of the University of Adelaide (2000-04) and Chair of the South Australian Economic Development Board (2002-06). Champion de Crespigny was the founder of Normandy Mining Limited in 1985, with which he remained Executive Chairman for 17 years.
Robert Fellowes - Robert Fellowes, Baron Fellowes (b. 1941). Private Secretary to Queen Elizabeth II, 1990-99
Robert Jackson - Robert Victor Jackson (b.1946) was a British political figure who worked as a senior advisor to the Governor of Rhodesia, Lord Soames, during its transition to independence as Zimbabwe. He was later editor of the Round Table Journal (1970-74) and served as MP for Wantage from 1983 to 2005.
Robert Mugabe - Robert Mugabe (b.1924). Zimbabwean resistance leader and politician. Served as Prime Minister (1980-1987) and President (1987-) of Zimbabwe.
Robert Muldoon - Sir Robert Muldoon (1921-1992). New Zealand politician and member of the National party. He was Prime Minister, 1975-84.
Robert Rhodes James - Sir Robert Rhodes James (1933-1999) was a British politician and historian who served as Director of the Institute for the Study of International Organisation at the University of Sussex and later Principal Officer in the Executive Office of the UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim. He was Conservative Member of Parliament for Cambridge from 1976 to 1992.
Robin Cook - Robin Cook (1946-2005). British politician, served as Foreign Secretary (1997-2001).
Robin Cooke - Robin Brunskill Cooke (1926-2006), Baron Cooke of Thorndon, was a New Zealand jurist who served as President of the Court of Appeal from 1976 to 1996. He is the only New Zealand judge to have sat in the British House of Lords, where he was granted a life peerage in 1996.
Robin Jackman - Robin Jackman (b. 1945). Former English cricketer and commentator, who also played for South Africa in the 1970s.
Robin Renwick - 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).
Roelf Meyer - Roelf Meyer (b. 1947). South African politician. Served as a minister in the governments of F.W. De Klerk and Nelson Mandela (1991-1996).
- Synonyms: Rolf Meyer
- Synonyms: Rolf Meyer
Roland Brown - Roland Brown was an English barrister who acted as constitutional adviser to Julius Nyerere and was appointed as the first Attorney General of Tanzania, serving 1964 to 1965. Brown later served as Special Legal Adviser to the Technical Assistance Group, Commonwealth Secretariat.
Roman Grynberg - Dr Roman Grynberg is an economist who served as Deputy Director of Trade and Regional Cooperation at the Commonwealth Secretariat. He subsequently acted as Manager for Economic Governance at the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat and is a Research Fellow at the Botswana Institute for Development Policy Analysis (BIDPA).
Ron Gould - Ronald A Gould is a Canadian expert on the organisation and management of elections who spent twenty years with Elections Canada and has worked in more than 60 countries on election assistance missions. Gould was a member of the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa in 1994 and has participated on observer teams for the Commonwealth Secretariat and the United Nations. In 1997 he joined the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA).
Ronald Reagan - Ronald Reagan (1911-2004). President of USA (1981-1989).
Ronald Sanders - 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.
Rosalie Abella - Rosalie Silberman Abella (b.1946) is a Canadian judge who was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada in 2004. Abella is considered one of Canada’s leading experts on Human Rights Law, and presided over the Royal Commission on Equality in Employment.
Ross Perot - Ross Perot (b. 1930). American businessman, stood for President as an independent in 1992 and 1996.
Rotary - Rotary International is an international service organisation that was established in Evanston, Illinois, in 1905. It is a secular organisation that aims to bring together business and professional leaders to support humanitarian services and charity initiatives.
Roundtable of Heads of Government of Commonwealth Africa on Democracy and Good Governance in Africa - The Roundtable of Heads of Government of Commonwealth Africa on Democracy and Good Governance in Africa took place in Botswana in 1997 and was designed as a follow-up to the Harare Declaration of 1991, assessing the experience of African Commonwealth countries vis-à-vis the promotion of democracy and human rights, the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary and just and honest government. The aspirations of the Harare Declaration were re-affirmed at the meeting, which included representatives of both governing and opposition parties from 18 countries.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police - The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) is the federal and national police force of Canada. It was established in 1920 and is headquartered in Ottawa.
- Synonyms: RCMP
- Synonyms: RCMP
Royal Commonwealth Society - The Royal Commonwealth Society is an international educational charity based in London, functioning additionally as a private members’ club. Its main aim is to facilitate the exchange of ideas on public affairs in an international frame, and it supports and promotes the modern Commonwealth of Nations. It was founded in 1868 as the Colonial Society.
Royal Visits Committee - The Royal Visits Committee is a Cabinet Committee convened to coordinate the programme of official overseas visits for members of the royal family. It is chaired by the Permanent Under Secretary of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and comprised of Private Secretaries to the Queen, the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge, and Number 10, the National Security Adviser, the Chief Executive of UKTI and the FCO Director of Protocol.
RTLM - Radio Television Libre des Mille Collines. A Rwandan radio station that broadcast from 1993 to 1994, playing a role in inciting the genocide of 1994.
Rubicon speech - A speech given in 1985 by South African State President P.W. Botha that disappointed those hoping for major reforms of apartheid and led to international sanctions.
Rudo Chitiga - Rudo Mabel Chitiga is a Zimbabwean civil servant and diplomat who has served as Deputy-Director of the Commonwealth Foundation and Secretary General of Geneva-based Development Innovations and Networks (IRED). In 2014, she was appointed Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to France.
Rudy Collins - Dr Rudolph Collins is a Guyanese diplomat who led Guyana’s Foreign Service from 1972 to 1978. He was subsequently Ambassador to Venezuela (1978-84), Director of Administrative Services and then Assistant Secretary General responsible for Human and Social Development in the Caribbean Community Secretariat (1986-96), and Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission overseeing the 1992 elections.
RUF - The Revolutionary United Front (RUF) was a rebel army that fought a war in Sierra Leone between 1991 and 2002. After peace was established, the RUF became a political party until merging with the All People’s Congress in 2007.
- Synonyms: Revolutionary United Front
- Synonyms: Revolutionary United Front
Rufaro Stadium - The Rufaro Stadium is a sports stadium in Harare, Zimbabwe. It hosted Zimbabwe’s independence celebrations in 1980.
Ruhakana Rugunda - Ruhakana Rugunda (b.1947) is a Ugandan political figure who has held various Cabinet positions under President Yoweri Museveni, including Minister of Foreign Affairs (1994-96), Minister of Internal Affairs (2003-2009), and Minister of Health (2013-14). He was Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 2009-11 and, in 2014, was appointed Prime Minister of Uganda.
Rumman Faruqi - Rumman Faruqi is an economist and international trade advisor who served as Director of the Economic Affairs Division, Commonwealth Secretariat, from 1993 to 2001. Faruqi was previously a Senior Economist at UNCTAD (1972-79), a Consultant at the United Nations (1982-87) and Senior Advisor to the World Bank (1987-98).
Rupiah Banda - Rupiah Bwezani Banda (b.1937) is a Zambian diplomat and political figure who served as his country’s President from 2008 to 2011. Banda, an active member of the United National Independence Party, had held a variety of diplomatic posts during the Presidency of Kenneth Kaunda, including to Egypt, the United States, and the United Nations.
Rusty Evans - Leo Henry “Rusty” Evans. South African politician. Director-General of the South African Department of Foreign Affairs, 1992-97.
Ruth First - Ruth First (1925-1982). South African anti-apartheid activist, she was assassinated by South African security forces.
S Rajaratnam - Sinnathamby Rajaratnam (1915-2006) was a Singaporean political figure who served as Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore from 1980 to 1985. Rajaratnam was a long-serving Minister and member of the Cabinet (1959-88) of Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. Notably, he served as Minister for Foreign Affairs from 1965 to 1980.
SAARC - 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.
Saba Saba Day - 7th July, celebrates the founding of the Tanganyika African National Union.
SABC - South African Broadcasting Corporation is a South African radio and television broadcaster, established in 1936.
SACP - South African Communist party, founded in 1921.
SACTU - South African Congress of Trade Unions. A federation of South African trade unions opposed to apartheid, founded in 1955.
SADC - 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.
SADCC - The South African Development Coordinating Conference (SADCC) was a memorandum of understanding on economic cooperation signed in Lusaka, Zambia, in April 1980 between Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Conference set the foundations for the South African Development Community (SADC), formalised in 1992.
Saddam Hussein - Saddam Hussein (1937-2006). President of Iraq from 1979 to 2003.
SAG - South African Government.
Salim Salim - Salim Ahmed Salim (b. 1942). Tanzanian diplomat and politician, Prime Minister (1984-1985), Secretary General of the Organisation of African Unity (1989-2001).
Salleh Abas - Tun Jaji Mohamed Salleh bin Abas (b.1929) is a Malaysian jurist who served as Lord President of the Federal Court of Malaysia from 1984 to 1988. Abas was dismissed from this post during the 1988 Malaysian constitutional crisis, during which he came into conflict with Prime Minister Mahathir over the autonomy of the judiciary.
Salmin Amour - Salmin Amour (b.1948) is a Tanzanian political figure who served as President of Zanzibar from 1990 to 2000. He is associated with the dominant Tanzanian political party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM).
Salv Stellini - Salv Stellini is a Maltese diplomat who served as Ambassador to the United States and Ireland as well as High Commissioner in London. In the 1970s he was seconded to the Commonwealth Secretariat and worked alongside Secretary General Sonny Ramphal. He would later act as CHOGM Task Force chairman leading up to the 2005 meeting in Valetta, Malta.
Sam Kauona - Sam Kauona Sirivi was a Bougainville secessionist leader whose organisation, the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA), was established in 1989 to rebel against the Government of Papua New Guinea. A former soldier, Kauona led military operations for the BRA under Francis Ona as commander-in-chief.
Sam Nujoma - Sam Nujoma (b. 1929). Namibian politician and resistance leader. He was leader of SWAPO (1960-2007) and President of Namibia (1990-2005).
- Synonyms: Nujome
- Synonyms: Nujome
Sam Odaka - Sam Odaka was Uganda’s Foreign Minister from 1966 to 1971 and a close confidante of President Milton Obote.
Samora Machel - Samora Machel (1933-1996). Mozambican soldier and politician, served as President (1975-1986).
Samuel Kavuma - Samuel Kavuma is a Ugandan political figure and former student leader who served as interim Chairperson of the Commonwealth Youth Congress. He is Chairman/President of the National Youth Council of Uganda (2011-16), and was the Youth Representative to the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group (2010-11)
Samura Kamara - Samura Kamara (b.1963) is a Sierra Leonean economist who was appointed as his country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2012. Kamara was previously Minister of Finance (2009-12) and Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone (2007-09).
San Francisco Conference - The United Nations Conference on International Organization took place in San Francisco, April-June 1945 and resulted in the creation of the United Nations Charter.
Sandinistas - Sandinistas is the name given to members of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (SNLF), a democratic socialist political party in Nicaragua. The party’s name is a tribute to the 1930s Nicaraguan resistance leader Augusto César Sandino. In 1979, the SNLF overthrew the Nicaraguan government and established a revolutionary junta, ruling the country until 1990.
Sandy Woodward - Sandy Woodward (1932-2013). British admiral commanded the British task force during the 1982 Falklands War.
Sani Abacha - General Sani Abacha (1943-1998). Nigerian army general and politician. He was the de facto President of Nigeria from 1993 to 1998.
- Synonyms: Abacha
- Synonyms: Abacha
Sarah Palin - Sarah Palin (b.1964) is an American political figure who served as Governor of Alaska from 2006 to 2009. She was the Republican Party’s Vice Presidential candidate in the 2008 United States Presidential election, alongside Arizona Senator John McCain.
Sasol - Sasol Limited is an energy and chemical company that was formed in Sasolburg, South Africa in 1950. Now operating in 38 countries around the world, its South African operation remains its largest, focusing on mining, gas, synfuels and oil. Its main plant in the province of Mpumalanga is the only commercial coal-to-liquid energy plant in the world.
Satya Nandan - Satya N Nandan is a Fijian diplomat and lawyer who was representative of Fiji at the UN (1970-76 and 93-95), and Fiji’s Ambassador to the European Union (1976-80). Nandan has served as Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority, and in 2009 was appointed Chairman of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission.
SDL Party - Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua, otherwise known as the SDL Party or the United Fiji Party, was a Fijian political party founded in 2001 by the Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase and absorbing much of the former Christian Democratic Alliance. In 2013, responding to new legislation from the Fijian military regime, the SDL Party was rebranded with an English name, the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA).
SDP/ Liberal Alliance - The SDP/Liberal Alliance was an electoral alliance in British politics formed by the Liberal Party and the Social Democratic Party in 1981, but which failed to make a political breakthrough in the 1983 elections. The alliance soured after David Owen assumed leadership of the SDP in 1983.
Sean Moroney - Sean Moroney (b. 1952). South African journalist and anti-apartheid campaigner.
SEATO - The South East Asia Treaty Organization. Formed as an international organization for collective defence in 1954, it also funded cultural and educational programs. It was dissolved in 1977.
- Synonyms: South East Asia Treaty Organization
- Synonyms: South East Asia Treaty Organization
Security Council - A body, part of the United Nations organisation, charged with upholding of global peace and security.
Selous Scouts - The Selous Scouts was a special forces regiment of the Rhodesian Army charged with countering terrorism in the country, largely during the period of the Rhodesian Bush War. The Scouts operated from 1973 until the establishment of Zimbabwe in 1980.
Selous Street - London street that housed the headquarters of the Anti-Apartheid Movement. The street was named after a relative of Frederick Selous (1851-1917), a big game hunter and friend of Cecil Rhodes, and was re-named Mandela Street.
Semei Nayanzi - Semei Nayanzi (1931-2008) was an influential Ugandan businessman and economics lecturer at Makerere University who was appointed Chairman of the Uganda Development Corporation (UDC) by Prime Minister Milton Obote in 1964. Nayanzi left Uganda for the UK in 1973, following Idi Amin’s seizure of power, and did not return, though he acted as Presidential Advisor during Yusufu Lule’s brief period in power in 1979.
Senate House - The Senate House, University of London, is home to the University’s Central Academic Bodies, the Vice-Chancellor’s Offices, and the various research institutes of the School of Advanced Study. The Institute of Commonwealth Studies has been based in Senate House since 2009.
Seretse Khama - Sir Seretse Khama (1921-1980) was the 1st President of Botswana and leader of the country’s independence movement from Britain. He founded the Botswana Democratic Party in 1962 and became Prime Minister in 1965. In 1966, upon independence, he became President and held this position until his death in 1980.
Seven Wise Men - An informal title used to describe the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) appointed by the Commonwealth in 1985 to investigate apartheid in South Africa. The South African EPG was comprised of two co-chairmen – General Olusegun Obasanjo (Nigeria) and Malcolm Fraser (Australia) - and five others: Anthony Barber (Britain); Dame Nita Barrow (Barbados); John Malecela (Tanzania); Swaran Singh (India); Archbishop Edward Scott (Canada).
Sevu sevu - Sometimes ‘sevusevu’. A Fijian ceremonial offering, in which the whale’s tooth, orTabua, is a high-status offering.
Seymour Mullings - Seymour St. Edward Mullings (1931-2013) was a Jamaican politician who served as Deputy Prime Minister under leader of the People’s National Party PJ Patterson (1993-2001). Mullings was Minister of Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade in the earlier Michael Manley cabinet.
Shastri - Lal Bahadur Shastri (1904-1966). Indian politician, served as Prime Minister form 1964 to 1966.
Sheik Abdul Rahman - Sheik Abdul Rahman (1920-1975). Bangladeshi independence leader. First President of Bangladesh (1971-1972) and later Prime Minister (1972-1975).
Sheikh Hasina - Sheikh Hasina (b. 1947). Bangledeshi politician and Prime Minister (1996-2001, 2009-).
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman - Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (1920-1975) was a Bengali politician and nationalist leader who served as the first President of an independent Bangladesh from 1971 to 1972. He was a key protagonist in the build up to the Bangladesh Liberation War, during which he was imprisoned in West Pakistan. Sheikh Mujib was later Prime Minister of Bangladesh (1972-75) and then President again before his assassination by junior army officers in the August 1975 coup d’état.
- Synonyms: Sheikh Mujib
- Synonyms: Sheikh Mujib
Shell House - Shell House was the official headquarters of the African National Congress (ANC) from 1990 until 1997. It was located on 1 Plein Street, Johannesburg, South Africa. On 28 March 1994, it was the site of violence following a confrontation between ANC guards and supporters of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP)
Shelley Whiting - Shelley Whiting is a Canadian lawyer and diplomat who was appointed her country's High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and the Maldives in 2012. Whiting had previously served with Canada’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York and as Ambassador to Bosnia-Herzegovina (2003-06).
Shirley Amarasinghe - Hamilton Shirley Amarasinghe (1913-1980) was a diplomat and civil servant who served as Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 1967 to 1980. He was President of the United Nations General Assembly in 1976, and a key figure in negotiations to draft the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Shona - a Bantu language spoken by the Shona peoples of Zimbabwe and Zambia.
Shridath Ramphal - Shridath Surendranath 'Sonny' Ramphal (b. 1928). Guyanese politician, second Commonwealth Secretary-General (1975-1990).
- Synonyms: Sonny Ramphal
- Synonyms: Sonny Ramphal
Shula Marks - Shula Eta Marks (b.1938) is a South African historian who was an anti-apartheid activist based for the large part of her career in the United Kingdom. She was Director of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies from 1983 to 1993, having lectured at the Institute since 1963. She was later affiliated with the School of Oriental and African Studies (1993-2001).
Siad Barre - Siad Barre (1919-1995). Soldier and military ruler of Somalia from 1969 to 1991.
Simon Jenkins - Simon Jenkins (b. 1943). British journalist, editor of the Times from 1990 to 1992.
Simon Murdoch - Simon Murdoch (b.1948) is a New Zealand-born diplomat and civil servant who served as Chief Executive of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet from 1991 to 1998. He had previously been Foreign Affairs advisor to Robert Muldoon in the 1980s, and Head of the Prime Minister’s Policy Advisory Group, 1989-91.
Simonstown Agreement - Under the Simonstown Agreement of 1955, Britain surrendered its naval base at Simonstown, South Africa, and handed command of the South African Navy to the government of South Africa. In return, South Africa agreed to allow Britain use of the port for Royal Navy ships. The Agreement also allowed for the sale of naval arms - valued at £18m over eight years - from Britain to the apartheid regime in South Africa. The Agreement was terminated in 1975, although British naval vessels continued to call at Simonstown and other South African ports.
Singapore Declaration - The Singapore Declaration of Commonwealth Principles was adopted at the 1971 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Singapore. Click here to read the Declaration in full.
Singapore Heads of Government conference - The 1971 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting was held in Singapore under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. The Singapore Declaration was issued at this summit.
Sir David Beattie - Sir David Beattie (1924-2001) was the 14th Governor-General of New Zealand. In this office from 1980 to 1985, he served under the Robert Muldoon and David Lange governments.
Sir Hugh Beadle - Sir Hugh Beadle (1905-1980). Southern Rhodesian judge, he accompanied the Governor of Southern Rhodesia, Sir Humphrey Gibbs, to the talks on HMS Tiger.
Sir Michael Hardie-Boys - Sir Michael Hardie-Boys, b.1931, was the 17th Governor-General of New Zealand. In this office from 1996-2001, he served under the Jim Bolger, Jenny Shipley and Helen Clark governments.
Sir Michael Jeffery - Sir Michael Jeffery, b.1937, was the 24th Governor-General of Australia. In this office from 2003-2008, he served under the administrations of John Howard and Kevin Rudd.
Sir Roger Carrick - Sir Roger Carrick, b.1937, is a British diplomat and author. Joining the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1958, he served in Sofia, Paris and Singapore, and was Consul-General at Chicago (1985-88), Assistant Under-Secretary (Economic) at the FCO (1988-90), Ambassador to Indonesia (1990-94) and High Commissioner to Australia (1994-97).
Sir Saville Garner - Joseph John Saville Garner, Baron Garner (1908-83). British Diplomat. He was Deputy Under-Secretary of State, Commonwealth Relations Office and from 1956-61 was British High Commissioner to Canada.
Sir William Dale - Sir William Leonard Dale (1906-2000). Lawyer and civil servant. In 1961 he became legal adviser to the Commonwealth Relations Office, and also worked at the Africa Office dealing with the break-up of the Central African Federation. In 1983 he published The Modern Commonwealth.
Sirimavo Bandaranaike - Sirima Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike (1916-2000) was a Sri Lankan politician who served as Prime Minister of Ceylon and Sri Lanka three times: 1960-65, 1970-77, and 1994-2000. Bandaranaike had been associated with the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and was widow of the first national Prime Minister SWRD Bandaranaike, assassinated in 1959.
- Synonyms: Mrs Bandaranaike
- Synonyms: Mrs Bandaranaike
Sisters in Islam - Sisters in Islam is a Malaysian NGO founded in 1988 and focusing its work on promoting the rights of women in the framework of both Islamic and universal human rights. The organisation was led for two decades by the prominent Malaysian activist Zainah Anwar.
Sitiveni Rabuka - Sitiveni Rabuka (b. 1948). Fijian soldier, led to military coups in 1987, and later elected Prime Minister (1992-1999).
- Synonyms: Rabuka
- Synonyms: Rabuka
SK Rao - Dr Siripurapu Kesava Rao is an Indian economist and development expert who served the Commonwealth Secretariat in various diplomatic capacities from 1978 to 2001: first in the Economic Affairs Division and subsequently as Director, Strategic Planning and Evaluation Division. He was member of a task force charged with restructuring the Commonwealth Secretariat (1991-93) and member of the Secretary General’s Management Committee (1993-2000). From 1986 to 1987, Dr Rao was Economic Advisor to the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India.
SM Koya - Siddiq Moidin Koya (1924-1993) was a Fijian Indian politician and leader of the National Federation Party.
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.
Smith Regime - The ‘Smith Regime’ refers to the tenure of Ian Douglas Smith as Prime Minister of Rhodesia from 1964 to 1979, a controversial period of white minority rule and sustained conflict with black nationalist guerilla groups led by Robert Mugabe, among others.
SNAFU - Military slang meaning that a situation is bad, but that this is the normal state of affairs.
Socialist International - The Socialist International is a London-based worldwide coalition of democratic socialist, social-democratic and labour political parties. Formed in 1951 as a successor to Labour and Socialist International, it now includes around 160 member parties from more than 100 countries.
SODELPA - The Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) is a political party in Fiji, formed in 2013 after the dissolution of its predecessor, Laisenia Qarase’s Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua (SDL Party). In 2013, its leader was Teimumu Kepa.
soft power - A concept used to explain an emphasis on a attracting and co-opting power as opposed to coercive or forceful power.
Soli Sorabjee - Soli Jehangir Sorabjee (b.1930) is an Indian jurist who served as Attorney General of India from 1998 to 2004. He was previously Solicitor General of India from 1977 to 1980, and had been a Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court of India from 1971.
Sonia Gandhi - Sonia Gandhi (b. 1946). Indian politician. President of the Indian National Congress Party since 1998. She is the widow of the former Indian Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi.
Soonu Kochar - Soonu Kochar was an Indian diplomat who served as her country’s Ambassador to Holland, Argentina and France. While acting as India’s High Commissioner to Fiji in the 1980s, Kochar was accused of interfering in Fiji’s domestic politics and expelled by Ratu Mara in a period of heightened political and racial tension in the country.
South African Defence Force - The South African Defence Force (SADF) was the name of the South African armed forces from 1957 until 1994, to be succeeded in 1994 by the South African National Defence Force. The SADF combined a conventional military strategy of securing the borders of the Republic with a mandate to counter internal threats to the state. During apartheid, this involved quelling violent opposition to minority rule.
- Synonyms: SADF
- Synonyms: SADF
South African Democracy Education Trust - The South African Democracy Education Trust (SADET) was established in 2000 to consolidate historical materials concerning South Africa’s anti-apartheid struggle and transition to democracy. It is based in Pretoria and is assisted by private sector funding. Its first project on ‘The Road to Democracy in South Africa’ has produced a considerable archive of oral history materials.
- Synonyms: SADET
- Synonyms: SADET
South African Reserve Bank - The central bank of South Africa, founded in 1921.
South Asia Regional Fund - The South Asia Regional Fund (SARF) is a development fund established in 1997 at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Edinburgh. It is managed by the Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC), based in Mauritius, and aims to promote growth through direct equity and equity-related investments in private sector companies operating in South Asia.
- Synonyms: SARF
- Synonyms: SARF
South Asian Free Trade Area - The South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) was established in 2004 at the 12th SAARC summit in Islamabad, Pakistan. The SAFTA agreement was signed by the foreign ministers of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka and aims to create a free trade area among the 1.6 billion people in this region.
- Synonyms: SAFTA
- Synonyms: SAFTA
South Centre - The South Centre is an intergovernmental organisation established in 1995 and head-quartered in Geneva, Switzerland. The Centre grew out of the 1987 South Commission, an initiative chaired by Julius Nyerere and sponsored by several non-aligned countries, and carries on the Commission’s remit to analyse the particular development problems facing countries in the South and provide intellectual and policy support for developing countries.
South Commission - The South Commission was established in 1987 during a meeting of non-aligned countries in Harare, Zimbabwe. Chaired by Julius Nyerere and with Manmohan Singh as Secretary General, the Commission was tasked with analysing those particular challenges facing countries in the South. In 1990, it produced the influential report ‘The Challenge to the South’, responding in part to the fallout of the 1983 Brandt Commission report. The Commission led to the establishment of the South Centre - an international think tank head-quartered in Geneva - in 1995.
South East Asia Security Arrangement - The Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) refer to a series of bilateral agreements between Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United Kingdom in 1971, establishing a defence relationship to protect Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore from external aggression.
- Synonyms: Five Power Defence Agreement
- Synonyms: Five Power Defence Agreement
South Pacific Forum - The South Pacific Forum was an international organisation formed in 1971 to facilitate cooperation between the independent countries of the Pacific Ocean. In 1999, it was renamed the Pacific Islands Forum.
South Pacific Regional Trade and Economic Co-operation Agreement - The South Pacific Regional Trade and Economic Co-operation Agreement (SPARTECA) is an agreement between the Pacific Islands Forum and Australia and New Zealand, in which the latter two countries allow developing island states preferential access to their markets. The textiles, clothing and footwear industries of Pacific Islands Forum members has benefited particularly from SPARTECA.
- Synonyms: SPARTECA
- Synonyms: SPARTECA
Soviet Bloc - The Soviet Union and its allies during the period of the Cold War (1945-1991). The Soviet Bloc comprised countries with a communist system of government, and was opposed to the United States and its allies.
Spinola - Antonio de Spinola (1910-1996). Portuguese military officer and politician, served as President of Portugal from May-September 1974.
Springboks tour of New Zealand - The 1981 South African Rugby Union tour to New Zealand in 1981 was controversial as it broke the Gleneagles Agreement adopted at the 1977 CHOGM which had agreed a sports boycott on South African sportsmen and sporting teams. Though party to the agreement, the New Zealand government allowed the tour to go ahead.
Squattocracy - ‘Squattocracy’ is a term specific to Australian history which describes the political and social power of people who illegally settled Crown land in the nineteenth century and who became wealthy from exploiting the territory. The term – a play on the English ‘aristocracy’ – is still used in Australia to describe large landowners in rural areas with a history of pastoral occupation.
Sri Lankan Civil War - A civil war between the government of Sri Lanka and Tamil insurgents, fought intermittently from 1983 to 2009.
Ssemogerere - Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere (b.1932) was a prominent Ugandan politician, leading the Democratic Party for 25 years before his retirement in 2005. Ssemogerere was a Presidential Candidate in the disputed 1980 elections won by Milton Obote, and later served as Minister of Internal Affairs, Foreign Affairs and Public Service in the government of Yoweri Museveni. He resigned from government posts in 1996 to stand as opposition leader in the national elections.
Stalin - Joseph Stalin (1878-1953). Leader of the Soviet Union from 1928 to 1953.
Stan Mudenge - Isaak Stanislaus Gorerazvo Mudenge (1941-2012) was a Zimbabwean political figure who served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1995 to 2005 under the presidency of Robert Mugabe. From 2005 until his death in 2012, Mudenge was Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education in Zimbabwe.
Statute of Westminster - The 1931 Statute of Westminster was an Act of British Parliament recognising the legislative independence of the self-governing Dominions of the British Empire. After it was passed, the British government could no longer make ordinary laws for its Dominions – Canada, the Irish Free State, the Union of South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Newfoundland – other than at the Dominion’s request. Click here to view the original document in full.
Stephen Chan - Stephen Chan is Professor of International Relations at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He has an extensive background as an international civil servant, and has been involved in several diplomatic initiatives in Africa, especially in the arena of electoral observation.
Stephen Ellis - Professor Stephen Ellis is an historian and former editor of the journal African Affairs. He has written broadly on issues as diverse as the African National Congress in exile, the Liberian Civil War, religion and politics in Africa, and the history of Madagascar.
Stephen Harper - Stephen Harper (b.1959) is a Canadian politician who was elected Prime Minister of Canada in 2006. He is Leader of the Conservative Party, which was formed in 2003 after a merger of the Progressive Conservative Party and the Canadian Alliance.
Stephen Low - Stephen Low (1927-2010) was an American diplomat who served as US Ambassador to Zambia (1976-79) and Nigeria (1979-81). He was later Director of the Foreign Services Institute (1982-87).
Steve Matlin - Steve Matlin is a British scientist and education consultant who served as Director of the Health and Education Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat from 1995 to 2001. He was later Chief Education Adviser to the UK Department for International Development (2001-02), and appointed Executive Director of the Global Forum for Health Research in 2004.
Steve Packer - Steve Packer. Worked for the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Department for International Development.
Steve Tshwete - Steve Tshwete (1938-2002) was a South African politician and anti-apartheid activist. He was imprisoned in Robben Island from 1964 to 1983 and later lived in exile, returning to South Africa in 1990 as regional coordinator for the new United Democratic Front. He was Minister of Sport and Recreation (1994-99) and subsequently Minister of Safety and Security (1999-2002) in the post-apartheid government.
Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty - The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) was a bilateral treaty signed by the United States and the Soviet Union in 1991, barring the signatories from deploying nuclear warheads, inter-continental ballistic missiles and bombers. Implemented in 1994, it resulted in the removal of around 80 percent of strategic nuclear weapons in existence by 2001. START was succeeded by the New START in 2010.
Stuart Mole - Stuart Mole is a British political figure who joined the Commonwealth Secretariat in 1984 as Special Assistant to the Secretary-General. He was Director of the Secretary-General’s Office from 1990 to 2000, and Director-General of the Royal Commonwealth Society from 2000 to 2009.
Suez Crisis - The British-French-Israeli invasion of Egypt in 1956, abandoned because of international condemnation.
Sullivan codes - The Sullivan principles are a set of corporate codes of conduct developed by African-American preacher Reverend Leon Sullivan during his time on the board of General Motors in the 1970s. Focused on promoting corporate social responsibility and an end to racial segregation in the workplace, the principles were originally introduced in 1977 to pressure multinational corporations operating in apartheid South Africa. A new, ‘global’ set of Sullivan principles were introduced in 1999 in cooperation with the United Nations.
SWANU - South West Africa National Union. A Namibian socialist political party, founded in 1959.
SWAPO - South West Africa People’s Organisation. A Namibian political party founded in 1960 to campaign for independence; it has governed Namibia since 1990.
SWB - BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. Reports published by the BBC providing a sample of monitored world broadcasts. Produced from 1939 to 1997.
Sword of Honour - The ‘Sword of Honour’ is an award recognising the best overall British Army Officer Cadet at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, as selected by the Commandant of the Academy.
Sydney Mufamadi - Sydney Mufamadi (b.1959). South African politician, who served as a minister in the governments of Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki (1994-2008).
Tamil Nadu - A state of southern India.
Tamils - The Tamils are an ethnic group indigenous to parts of India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
Tanganyika African National Union - The Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) was the leading nationalist political party in the East African state of Tanganyika. It was founded in 1954 by Julius Nyerere as the ‘Tanganyika African Association’. In 1977, the party merged with the Afro-Shirazi Party (ASP) to form Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), a centre-left party which continues to dominate politics in an independent Tanzania.
- Synonyms: TANU
- Synonyms: TANU
TanZam - A railway built by China linking Zambia and Tanzania. Agreed in 1967, and constructed from 197- to 1975.
TBVC - The four Bantustans (Transkei, Bophutatswana, Venda and Ciskei) that were intended to become fully sovereign nations.
Teesta dispute - A dispute between Bangladesh and India concerning the water of the Teesta River, that flows through both countries. Disputes over rivers have been a problem in Bangladeshi-Indian relations since the 1970s.
Telford Georges - Philip Telford Georges (1923-2005) was a Dominica-born legal scholar and jurist who served as Judge of the High Court and Acting Justice of Appeal in Trinidad and Tobago and Chief Justice of the Commonwealth in the Bahamas. Georges also worked in Africa as Chief Justice of Tanzania and later of Zimbabwe. He was Professor of Law at the University of the West Indies.
Terry Dormer - Terence R Dormer is a photographer and international civil servant who spent over thirty years working for the Commonwealth Secretariat in London. Arriving at Marlborough House in 1971, Dormer served the organisation in a variety of positions, including in the Secretary General’s Private Office and as NGO Desk Officer. He retired in 2003.
Thabo Mbeki - 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).
Thatcher’s Government tightened student visas - The Thatcher government from 1979 took various measures to tighten up nationality and citizenship laws in 1981. After re-election in 1983 her government introduced visa requirements for certain Commonwealth countries.
The Council of Churches - The South African Council of Churches. A South African ecumenical organisation founded in 1968 that campaigned against apartheid.
The Discovery of India - A book written by Nehru while imprisoned from 1942 to 1946.
The Lusaka CHOGM - Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting held in Zambia in 1979.
The Thick of It - ‘In the Thick of It’. A television comedy, made between 2005 and 2012, that satirised the workings of the British government.
Theo-Ben Gurirab - Theo-Ben Gurirab (b.1939) is a Namibian political figure who served as his country’s Prime Minister from 2002 to 2005. He had previously served as Minister of Foreign Affairs (1990-2002) and would subsequently act as Speaker of the National Assembly of Namibia (2005-15). Gurirab was Associate Representative of SWAPO to the United Nations in New York from 1962 to 1989. He was SWAPO’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs from 1986 to 1990.
Three island state of St Kitts, Nevis and Anguilla - St Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla achieved internal autonomy from Britain in 1967 as a single state. In 1971, Anguilla left the state, becoming a British Overseas Territory.
Ticky Kaul - Triloki Nath Kaul (1913-2000) was an Indian diplomat who served as Indian Foreign Secretary from 1967 to 1972. Kaul was India’s Ambassador to the Soviet Union, the United States and Iran, as well as High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. He was Chairman of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations.
Tilak Gooneratne - Tilak Eranga Gooneratne (1919-2003) was a Sri Lankan diplomat who served as the first Deputy Secretary General for Economic Affairs and Development in the Commonwealth Secretariat from 1965 to 1970. Gooneratne was later Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in London (1970-75) and then Ambassador to the European Economic Community (1975-78).
Timoci Bavadra - Timoci Bavadra (1934-89). Fijian politician and founder of the Fijian Labour Party. He was Prime Minister, April 1987-May 1987, before being ousted by a coup led by Sitiveni Rabuka.
Tiny Rowland - Roland ‘Tiny’ Rowland (1917-1998) was a British business leader who acted as Chief Executive for Lonhro plc from 1962 to 1994. He is responsible for expanding the company’s interests from mining to a variety of activities, such as newspapers, hotels, distribution and textiles.
Tito Okello - General Tito Lutwa Okello (1914-1996) was a Ugandan military and political figure who acted as President of Uganda from 1985 to 1986. He was commander of the Ugandan National Liberation Army from 1980 to 1985 before staging a coup to oust President Milton Obote. Okello was subsequently overthrown by Yoweri Museveni and the National Resistance Army.
Tobaiwa Mudede - Tobaiwa Mudede (b.1944) is a Zimbabwean political figure who has served as Registrar-General for the government of Robert Mugabe since 1980. In this position he has overseen every election held in the country since 1980.
Tokyo Sexwale - Mosima Gabriel ‘Tokyo’ Sexwale (b.1953) is an influential South African political figure and businessman. Sexwale joined the anti-Apartheid movement in his youth and, arrested after returning from a period of military training in the Soviet Union, was imprisoned on Robben Island from 1977 to 1990. He was the First Premier of Gauteng from 1994 to 1998, and Minister of Human Settlements under President Jacob Zuma, 2009-13.
Tom Adams - Tom Adams (1931-1985). Barbadian politician and Prime Minister (1976 -1985).
Tom Kellock - Thomas Oslaf Kellock (1923-1993) was a British lawyer who served as Legal Director in the Commonwealth Secretariat from 1969 to 1972. Kellock was previously Chairman of the Anti-Apartheid Movement (1963-65) and, as a lawyer, worked in Fiji, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka and Zambia.
Tom Mboya - Tom Mboya (1930-1969). Kenyan politician. After independence, he was appointed Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, then Minister for Economic Planning and Development, until his assassination in 1969.
Tommy Ikimi - Chief Tom Ikimi (b.1941) was Foreign Minister for Nigeria between 1995 and 1998, serving in the cabinet of General Sani Abacha.
- Synonyms: Tom Ikimi
- Synonyms: Tom Ikimi
Tony Blair - Tony Blair (b. 1953). British politician, served as Prime Minister from 1997 to 2007.
Tony Cole - Anthony Stuart ‘Tony’ Cole (b.1947) is a senior Australian public servant. He served as Secretary of the Department of the Treasury (1991-93), Secretary of the Department of Health, Housing, Local Government and Community Services (1993), and Secretary of the Department of Human Services and Health (1993-94).
Tony Eggleton - Anthony Eggleton (b. 1932). He was Director of Information at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London, 1971-74 and later became Federal Director of the Liberal Party of Australia.
Tony Lloyd - Tony Lloyd (b.1950). British politician, junior minister at the Foreign Office (1997-1999).
Tony Nelson - Anthony Nelson (b.1948) is a British political figure and businessman who served as Conservative Member of Parliament for Chichester from 1974 to 1997.
Tor Sellstrom - Tor Sellstrom is a Swedish civil servant, economist and writer who spent a large part of his career working in Southern Africa. From 1977 to 1979, Sellstrom assisted SWAPO of Namibia as part of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). He was later a Planning Economist for the Swedish International Development Authority (SIDA) in Zambia (1979-82), Mozambique/Swaziland (1982-83) and Zimbabwe (1986-90). Sellstrom was also associated with the Namibian Economic Policy Research Unit (1991-94) and the Nordic African Institute (1994-2001).
TP Sreenivasan - TP Sreenivasan is an Indian diplomat who has served as his country’s High Commissioner to Kenya (1995-97) as well as Ambassador to Fiji (1986-89) and Austria and Slovenia (2001-04). Sreenivasan was Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations in New York (1992-95) and Deputy Chief of Mission in the Embassy of India, Washington (1997-2000).
Transparency International - 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’.
TRC - Truth and Reconciliation Commission. South African body that conducted hearings from 1996 to 1998 on abuses committed by all sides under apartheid.
Treasury tags - An item of stationery used to fasten together papers for filing, particularly associated with the British civil service.
Treaty of Rome - The Treaty of Rome is an international agreement signed in 1957 that led to the founding of the European Economic Community (EEC) the following year. The Treaty’s original signatories were Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany, though the body has grown and the terms of cooperation adapted through subsequent treaties in Maastricht (1993) and Lisbon (2009), establishing the present-day European Union.
Trevor Manuel - Trevor Manuel, b.1956, is a South African politician who served as Minister of Finance from 1996 to 2009 and Minister in the Presidency for the National Planning Commission from 2009 to 2014.
Tri-cameral parliamentary arrangements - The South African parliament had three chambers from 1984 to 1994. The chambers represented white, ‘Coloured’ and Indian populations, excluding blacks from representation.
Tricameral Parliament - The Tricameral Parliament was the name given to the South African Parliament from 1984 to 1994 following constitutional reform in 1983. It gave limited political representation to the country’s non-white groups, but still excluded the black majority.
Trilateral agreement - A 1988 agreement between Angola, Cuba and South Africa that paved the way for the independence of Namibia in 1990.
Trinidad and Tobago in 2009 - The 2009 CHOGM was held in Trinidad and Tobago and robustly reaffirmed the Commonwealth’s core values.
Troika - Refers to incumbent, previous, and next Chairpersons-in-Office of the Commonwealth, who, after the 2002 CHOGM, met to try to resolve the dispute over Zimbabwe’s membership of the Commonwealth.
Trooping the Colour - ‘Trooping the Colour’ is a traditional ceremony performed on the birthday of the British sovereign on the Horse Guards Parade by St James’s Park. It involves regiments of the British and Commonwealth armies, and has taken place since at least the 17th century.
TUC - Trade Union Council. A federation of British trade unions, founded in 1868.
- Synonyms: Trade Union Council
- Synonyms: Trade Union Council
Tunku Rahman - Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj (1903-1990) was Chief Minister of the Federation of Malaya from 1955 and Malaya’s first Prime Minister upon independence in 1957. He oversaw the creation of the federation of Malaysia in 1963 and is widely seen as Bapa Malaysia (‘Father of Malaysia’). ‘Tunku’, a princely title associated with Abdul Rahman, was also the First Secretary-General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (1971-73).
- Synonyms: Tunku
- Synonyms: Tunku
Tupuola Efi - Tupua Tamasese Tupuola Tufuga Efi, b.1938 in Samoa, also known as Tupuola Efi, was Prime Minister of Samoa from 1976 to 1982. In 2007, he was elected 'O le Ao o le Malo', Samoa’s head of state.
UDF - United Democratic Front. A South African anti-aparthied organisation, founded in 1983.
UDI - Unilateral Declaration of Independence. Rhodesia’s 1965 declaration of independence without British agreement, intended to preserve white minority rule.
UDM - United Democratic Movement. A South African political party, founded in 1997.
Uhuru Kenyatta - Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta (b. 1961). Kenyan politician. He is the incumbent President of Kenya (2013-).
Ujamaa - Ujamaa is the Swahili word for 'socialism', connected via the root 'jamaa' to the concept of family and extended support networks. Ujamaa was the underlying concept informing Julius Nyerere’s social and economic policies whilst he was President of Tanzania, set out in the 1967 Arusha Declaration.
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..
UN - United Nations. Major international organisation, founded in 1945.
UN Security Council Resolution 435 - UN Security Council Resolution 435. The resolution called for a ceasefire and elections in South West Africa (South African occupied Namibia), and was adopted by the United Nations Security Council in 1978.
UNCTAD - The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. Established in 1964 to promote to trade, investment and development opportunities in developing countries.
UNDP - United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). A global development network founded in 1965 that provides expert advice, training, and grant support to developing countries.
UNESCO - The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. A United Nations agency founded in 1946.
UNHCR - The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is the central UN agency for the protection and support of refugees. Established in 1950, it now works in 125 countries and has staff based in 109 regional and branch offices around the world.
UNIDO - United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is an agency of the United Nations. Its aim is to promote industrial development in developing countries.
UNITA - UNITA (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola) is an Angolan political party founded in 1966. It thought against the MPLA (Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola) in the Angolan Civil War (1975-2002), receiving military aid from the United States and South Africa.
United Malays National Organisation - The United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) is a Malaysian political party and has been part of ruling coalitions in the country since independence. Each of Malaysia's six Prime Ministers has been a member of UMNO, which defines itself as a right-wing Malay nationalist party.
- Synonyms: UMNO
- Synonyms: UMNO
United National Independence Party - The United National Independence Party (UNIP) is a Zambian political party. Led by Kenneth Kaunda, it governed Zambia from 1964 until 1991, when it lost power to the MMD.
- Synonyms: UNIP
- Synonyms: UNIP
United Nations Centre on Transnational Corporations - The United Nations Centre on Transnational Corporations (UNCTC) was established in 1974 on the recommendation of the United Nations Group of Eminent Persons. Its specific remit was to establish a code of conduct for business on the international stage, though it was abolished in 1993 and its functions integrated into the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
United Nations Conference on Environment and Development - The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) was a major conference of 172 governments held in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992. It is also known as the ‘Rio Summit’ or the ‘Earth Summit’, and resulted in the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, articulating 27 principles intended to promote sustainable development around the world.
- Synonyms: UNCED
- Synonyms: UNCED
Unity Accord of 1987 - The Unity Accord of 1987 was a political agreement signed between Robert Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo in Zimbabwe to end the violence that had started in Matabeland in the wake of the Rhodesian Bush War. The Accord effectively dissolved Nkomo’s Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU) into Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU), creating ZANU-PF (Patriotic Front).
UNTAG - United Nations Transition Assistance Group. A United Nations force that operated in Namibia from 1989 to 1990. It monitored elections and the transition to independence.
UPR - 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.
USAID - The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is the American government agency responsible for administering civilian foreign aid, with a specific focus on the eradication of poverty. USAID was established by John F Kennedy in 1971 and its work is funded by Congress.
Valletta Statement on Multilateral Trade - The Valletta Statement on Multilateral Trade was issued as part of the 2005 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta. The Statement urged the WTO Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong – scheduled for 13-18 December 2005 – to agree that all forms of export subsidies be eliminated by 2010. Click here to read a full copy of the Statement.
Vance-Owen Plan - The ‘Vance-Owen Plan’ may refer to the joint proposals developed by US Secretary of State Cyrus R Vance and British Foreign Secretary David Owen in the late 1970s to secure ‘one man, one vote’ rule in Rhodesia. An alternative ‘Vance-Owen Plan’ would be the peace plans developed by then-UN Special Envoy Vance and EC representative Lord Owen to secure peace between warring factions in Bosnia in the early 1990s.
Vella Pillay - Vella Pillay (1923-2004) was a South African economist and political activist who helped organise anti-apartheid campaigns while living in London, UK. Pillay was a member of the Transvaal Indian Congress, the South African Indian Congress and the South African Communist Party (SACP). He moved to London in 1949 to study at the London School of Economics and there participated in the founding of the Anti-Apartheid Movement (AAM). Serving as AAM’s Treasurer and later Vice-Chairman, he was also editor of the monthly Anti-Apartheid News.
Velupillai Prabhakaran - Velupillai Prabhakaran (1954-2009) was a Sri Lankan militant figure who founded and led the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a secessionist organisation calling for an independent Tamil state. Prabhakaran was a major figure in the decades-long Sri Lankan Civil War.
Venda - A quasi-independent state founded within South Africa for the Venda people. Formed in 1973 by the apartheid government and abolished in 1994.
Verkrampte - The Verkrampte were a section of the South African National Party who favored strict segregation in all areas of society.
Verligte - (Afrikaans, literally ‘enlightened’). A liberal or reformist member of a white political party during apartheid-era South Africa.
Vernon Mwaanga - Vernon Mwaanga (b. 1939). Zambian politician, he held positions including Minister of Foreign Affairs (1973-1975, 1991-1994).
Veronica Sutherland - Veronica Sutherland (b. 1939). British diplomat, Commonwealth Deputy General-Secretary (1999-2001).
Versailles Peace Conference - The peace conference held in Paris in 1919 to establish terms for the conclusion of World War I. Concluded with the Treaty of Versailles.
Victor Ayeni - Dr Victor Ayeni served the Commonwealth Secretariat as Director of Governance and Institutional Development at Marlborough House, London. Ayeni has also advised President Olusegun Obasanjo on public sector reform in Nigeria, and in 2007 founded a training and consultancy firm advising on governance issues in developing countries.
Victor Gbeho - James Victor Gbeho (b.1935) is a Ghanian lawyer and diplomat who was Minister of Foreign Affairs under President Jerry Rawlings from 1997 to 2001. During a long career in Ghana’s Foreign and Commonwealth Service, Gbeho held postings in China, India, Nigeria, Germany, the United Kingdom and Switzerland. From 1980 to 1990 he was Ghana’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York.
Victor Pungong - Dr Victor Pungong (1967- 2007) was a Cameroonian diplomat who served as Deputy Director of Political Affairs in the Commonwealth Secretariat.
Victoria League - The Victoria League for Commonwealth Friendship was established in 1901 to promote “friendship and hospitality across the Commonwealth nations”. In addition to fundraising, education and social initiatives, the League runs a Student House in London for Commonwealth students.
Vieira - Sergio Vieira. Mozambican politician. He was a member of the FRELIMO party and Security Minister at the time of the signing of the Nkomati Accord.
Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit - Vijaya Lakshmi Nehru Pandit (1990-1990) was an Indian political figure and diplomat who served as India’s ambassador to the Soviet Union (1947-49), United States and Mexico (1949-51), Ireland (1955-61) and Spain (1958-61). She was High Commissioner to the UK from 1955 to 1961 and headed the Indian delegation to the United Nations from 1946 to 1968. A member of the influential Nehru family, she was the sister of India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru.
Vince Cable - Vince Cable (b. 1943). British politician and member of the Liberal Democrat party. He was economic advisor to the Commonwealth Secretary-General in the 1970s and 80s.
Vishnu Persaud - Dr Bishnodat ‘Vishnu’ Persaud, b.1933 in Guyana, served the Commonwealth Secretariat from 1974 to 1992, acting as Director and Head of the Economic Division from 1981. He lectured at the University of the West Indies from 1992-1996 and later became a member of the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Committee on Development Policy and the UN Expert Group on the Vulnerability of Small States.
- Synonyms: Bishnodat Persaud
- Synonyms: Bishnodat Persaud
Vladimir Shubin - Vladimir Shubin (b.1939) is a former Soviet military adviser and academic who played a prominent role in African politics as Secretary of the Soviet Afro-Asian Solidarity Committee and Head of the African Section in the CPSU International Department. Following the unbanning of the African National Congress in South Africa, Shubin acted as the Soviet representative to its National Conference. Since 1992 he has been a Research Fellow and Director at the Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences.
VSO volunteer - A VSO volunteer refers to a volunteer with the international development charity Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO). Founded in 1958 in London, VSO coordinates the recruitment of professionals to work in developing countries alongside local community groups. It focuses particularly on education, health, governance and secure livelihoods.
Waitangi Day - Waitangi Day is a public holiday in New Zealand, commemorating the 1840 signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. This Treaty is seen as New Zealand’s founding document, making the island part of the British Empire and guaranteeing Maori rights to their land as British subjects.
Waldo Stumpf - Waldo Stumpf (b. 1942). South African scientist, an important official in the South African nuclear arms programme.
Walter Kamba - Walter Kamba (1931-2007) was a Zimbabwean lawyer and academic who served as legal advisor to Zimbabwean nationalists at the Lancaster House Conference in 1979. He served as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe from 1981 to 1992.
Walter Rodney - Walter Anthony Rodney (1942-1980) was a Guyanese scholar and political activist closely associated with left politics in the Caribbean, Pan-Africanism and the Black Power movement. During the 1960s and 70s he taught history at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and the University of the West Indies in Mona, Jamaica, publishing among other works his influential How Europe Underdeveloped Africa in 1972. Rodney founded the Working People’s Alliance in Guyana in 1974, and in 1980 was killed by a bomb placed in his car.
Walter Sisulu - Walter Sisulu (1912-2003). South African anti-apartheid activist who was Secretary-General of the African National Congress from 1949 to 1954. He was Deputy President of the ANC from 1991 to 1994.
Walvis Bay - Namibian harbour town. After Namibian independence in 1990, South Africa retained Walvis Bay until 1994.
War in Angloa - Civil war lasting, with interruptions, from 1975 to 2002.
War in the former Yugoslavia - A linked series of wars in the Balkans from 1990 to 1999, during which several former regions of Yugoslavia asserted their autonomy.
War with China - The month long border war between China and India that occurred in 1962.
Washington Consensus - The term ‘Washington Consensus’ is used to describe a set of economic policy prescriptions that became standard practice in the 1980s for several Washington-based institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank in their dealings with developing countries. These prescriptions include policies of deregulation, the opening of national economies to foreign trade and investment, and the facilitation of market forces domestically, priorities which are seen to be representative of an emerging ‘neo-liberal’ tendency in the era.
Washington Okumu - Professor Washington Jalang’o Okumu (b.1936) is a Kenyan economist who played a role in the Henry Kissinger and Lord Carrington-led negotiating team during the 1994 South African elections. He is celebrated for his intervention in the South African constitutional crisis. From 1971 to 1987, Okumu worked for the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and was ambassador-at-large for Kenya’s Forum for the Restoration of Democracy political party.
Wassily Kandinsky - Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) was a Russian painter and theorist associated with the development of abstract art in the early twentieth century. He taught at the Bauhaus school of art and architecture in Germany from 1922 to 1933, later moving to France where he became a citizen in 1939.
Waterkloof military airbase - A South African airbase near Pretoria.
Welshman Ncube - Welshman Ncube (b.1961) is a Zimbabwean lawyer and politician who served as Minister of Industry and Commerce in Zimbabwe from 2009 to 2013. He is President of the Movement for Democratic Change – Ncube, and a former Professor of Law at the University of Zimbabwe.
West Indies Federation - The brief (1958-1962) political union between British colonies in the Caribbean, that was intended to become independent from Britain as a single state.
Western European Union - An international organisation formed in 1948. It was dissolved in 2011.
Westminster Abbey - An ancient church in London. The traditional venue for British coronations.
Westminster Foundation - Westminster Foundation for Democracy. A British think tank founded in 1992, independent but funded by the state.
Westminster system - A term used to describe parliamentary government on a British model, that was often used by formerly British controlled territories upon achieving self-government.
White Australia - A term use to describe Australian immigration policies that discriminated against non-whites, instituted in 1901 and replaced in the post–war years from 1949 to 1973.
Whitehall - London street. Site of many government buildings, the term ‘Whitehall’ is often used to refer to the bureaucracy of the British government.
Whitlam Government - The ‘Whitlam Government’ was the federal Executive Government of Australia from 1972 to 1975, led by the Australian Labor Party with Gough Whitlam as Prime Minister.
Wiehahn Commission - The Wiehahn Commission was a 1979 inquiry into South African labour legislation, reporting its findings on trade union activity and migrant workers to the state. The Commission recommended that, rather than ban the growing number of unauthorised Black trade unions, the Government should recognise them as legitimate and establish a regulated unitary system of union registration. It should also set up a National Manpower Commission and a special Court to focus on industrial litigations.
Wilfred Cantwell Smith - Wilfred Cantwell Smith (1916-2000) was a Canadian academic who acted as Director of the Harvard University Centre for the Study of World Religions from 1964 to 1973. Throughout his career he was associated with Forman Christian College, Lahore; the Institute of Islamic Studies, McGill University; the Department of Religion, Dalhousie University; and the Faculty of Divinity, University of Toronto. Smith is the younger brother of Arnold Smith, the first Commonwealth Secretary General.
William Hague - 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.
William Heseltine - Sir William Heseltine, b.1930 in Australia, was Private Secretary to Queen Elizabeth II from 1986 to 1990.
- Synonyms: Bill Heseltine
- Synonyms: Bill Heseltine
William Kalema - William Wilberforce Kalema (1926-1972) was a political figure in post-Independence Uganda, elected as representative of the Kabaka Yekka political party which later joined the Uganda People’s Congress. He acted as Cabinet Minister in charge of Works and Communications under President Milton Obote and was part of Obote’s delegation to the Singapore CHOGM in 1971; during the cabinet’s absence, Idi Amin seized power in Uganda.
William Ruto - William Ruto (b. 1966). Kenyan Politician. He is the incumbent Deputy President of Kenya (2013-).
William Waldegrave - William Arthur Waldegrave, Baron Waldegrave of North Hill, (b.1946) is a British political figure who served as Chief Secretary of the Treasury from 1995 to 1997. He was previously Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1994-95).
Willy Brandt - Willy Brandt (1913-1992) was a German statesman and politician who served as Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1969 to 1974.
Wilton House - A British country house.
Winnie Mandela - Winnie Mandela (b. 1936). South African politician, held junior ministerial office from 1994 to 1996. She was married to Nelson Mandela from 1959 until their divorce in 1996.
Winston Cox - Winston Cox is a Barbadian economist who served as Deputy Secretary General for Economic Affairs and Development at the Commonwealth Secretariat from 2000 to 2006. Following his time at the Secretariat, Cox joined the Inter-American Development Bank as Executive Director. He had previously served as Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados (1997-99).
Winston Peters - Winston Peters, b.1945, served as 13th Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand under Jim Bolger and Jenny Shipley’s administrations. He has also served as Treasurer, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Maori Affairs. In 1993 he established the New Zealand First political party, which he continues to lead.
Witness Mangwende - Witness Mangwende (1946-2005). Zimbabwean politician, who held a number of ministerial posts in the government of Robert Mugabe, including Foreign Minister (1981-1987).
Wits University - The University of the Witwatersrand. A South African university in Johannesburg, founded in 1896.
WMD - Weapons of mass destruction.
Wole Soyinka - Akinwande Oluwole ‘Wole’ Soyinka (b.1934) is a Nigerian poet, playwright and novelist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1986. Soyinka has been an active political critic in Nigeria and was imprisoned in 1967 during the Nigerian Civil War. During the regime of General Sani Abacha (1993-98), Soyinka was forced to live in exile.
World Bank - The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. An international institution, founded in 1944, that funds development projects
World Health Assembly - The World Health Assembly (WHA) is the governing forum of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and is the highest health policy-setting body in the world, composed of health ministers from its 194 member states. The WHA meets annually in May in Geneva.
World Service Trust - A British charity, with international development goals, attached to, but independent of, the BBC. Founded in 1999, and known as BBC Media Action since 2011.
WTO - 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
Yahya Jammeh - Yahya Jammeh (b.1965) became President of Gambia in 1994 following a military coup. He was re-elected in 1996, 2001, 2006 and 2011. His political party is the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction.
- Synonyms: Jammeh
- Synonyms: Jammeh
Yahya Khan - Agha Muhammad Yahya Khan (1917-1980) was a Pakistani general and politician who served as President of Pakistan from 1969 to 1971. Khan came to power as head of a military government - he had been appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army in 1966 - following the resignation of Ayub Khan. He was forced out of power following the Bangladesh War of Independence and defeat in the war with India in 1971.
Yasser Arafat - Yasser Arafat (1929-2004). Palestinian resistance leader and politician, Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (1969-2004), President of the Palestinian National Authority (1994-2004).
Yaw Adu - Amishadai Larson Adu, or Yaw Adu, was a Ghanaian civil servant who served as Deputy Secretary General for Political Affairs in the Commonwealth Secretariat from 1966 to 1970. Adu was author of The Civil Service in Commonwealth Africa (1969).
Yes Minister - British situation comedy, made between 1980 and 1988, that satirised the workings of the British government.
Yoweri Museveni - Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (b. 1944). Uganadan politician and leader of the National Resistance Movement Party (NRM), he has been President of Uganda since 1986. He was Chairperson-in-Office of the Commonwealth, 2007-09.
Yusuf Dadoo - Yusuf Mohamed Dadoo (1909-1983) was a South African political figure and anti-apartheid activist. He was chair of the South African Indian Congress (1950-1960) and the South African Communist Party (1953-60, 1972-83), and a defendant at the 1956 Treason Trial. In 1960 he was forced into exile and operated from London as an international spokesperson for the anti-apartheid movement.
Zacchaeus Chesoni - Zacchaeus Chesoni (1936-1999) was a Kenyan jurist and elections official who served as Chief Justice of Kenya (1997-99) and Chairman of the Electoral Commission (1991-97). Justice Chesoni had been a member of the Kenyan High Court since 1974.
Zainah Anwar - Zainah Anwar is a Malaysian political figure and activist who led the ‘Sisters in Islam’ NGO for two decades. Anwar was associated with the Institute of Strategic and International Studies think tank (1986-91, 94-96) and in the early 1990s was Chief Programme Officer in the Political Affairs Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat in London.
Zakaria Ali - Tan Sri Zakaria Ali was a Malaysian diplomat who served as his country’s permanent representative to the United Nations in New York and concurrently as High Commissioner to Canada from 1970 to 1974. In 1984 he became Secretary General of Malaysia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and later served as High Commissioner to Australia before retiring in 1989. He is well known for his role as chief negotiator in efforts to normalize Malaysia’s relations with China in the mid-1970s.
ZANU - 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.
ZAPU - 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.
Zelman Cowen - Sir Zelman Cowen (1919-2011) was an Australian educator, constitutional lawyer and university administrator who served as the 19th Governor-General of Australia from 1977 to 1982. From 1982 to 1990, he was Provost of Oriel College, Oxford.
Zena Daysh - Zena Daysh (1914-2011) was a New Zealand-born environmental campaigner who founded the Commonwealth Human Ecology Council (CHEC) in 1969. Daysh also worked for UN-HABITAT, which awarded her the Scroll of Honour Award in recognition of her life’s work.
Zeti Aziz - Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz (b.1947) is a Malaysian economist who was appointed Governor of Bank Negara, Malaysia's central bank, in 2000.
Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army - The Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA) was formed in Tanzania in 1965 and based throughout the 1970s in camps around Lusaka, Zambia. As the military wing of the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU), ZANLA was a principal participant in the Rhodesian Bush War. It was led by Herbert Chitepo (1965-72), Josiah Tongogara (1973-79) and then Robert Mugabe in 1979.
- Synonyms: ZANLA
- Synonyms: ZANLA
Zimbabwe Conference - Negotiations held at Lancaster House in 1979 for the independence of Zimbabwe, then known as Rhodesia.
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.
- Synonyms: ZIMCORD
- Synonyms: ZIMCORD
Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army - The Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA) was established in 1964 by the nationalist leader Jason Moyo, functioning as the military arm of the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU). It was a Marxist-Leninist organisation and, prior to the creation of the Republic of Zimbabwe in 1980, included 20,000 combatants.
- Synonyms: ZIPRA
- Synonyms: ZIPRA
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto - Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (1928-1979). Pakistani politician, served in various positions including President (1971-1973) and Prime Minister (1973-1977).