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NZ endorses Commonwealth action on Pakistan

24 November 2007 (23 November, Uganda) Media Statement

NZ endorses Commonwealth action on Pakistan

Prime Minister Helen Clark said today that she was pleased that Commonwealth leaders had this morning endorsed the decision of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group to suspend Pakistan from the Councils of the Commonwealth.

Helen Clark is in Kampala for CHOGM, and this morning took part in the first Executive Session of the summit, after the formal opening ceremony involving Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

“The endorsement by leaders of CMAG’s decision to suspend Pakistan, pending the restoration of democracy and the rule of law in that country, followed Pakistan’s failure to meet conditions laid down by an extraordinary meeting of CMAG ten days earlier in London, “ Helen Clark said.

“CMAG agreed that the situation in Pakistan, where basic rights and the rule of law have been curbed under the Emergency Proclamation, represents a serious violation of the Commonwealth’s fundamental political values.

“At the CHOGM meeting this morning I pointed out the need for the Commonwealth to show consistency and uphold democratic standards, in light of the CMAG decision in December 2006 to suspend Fiji from the Councils of the Commonwealth following the coup.

“New Zealand views the Commonwealth’s values and principles as important standards by which democracy and basic freedoms can flourish,” Helen Clark said.

Helen Clark said she also had an audience with the Queen following today’s CHOGM opening ceremony, where she thanked Her Majesty for the support shown by the Duke of York at the ceremony in Rotorua earlier this year to honour of Lance Corporal Haane Manahi.


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