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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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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