Search

 

Cablegate: Embassy London

VZCZCXRO1444
RR RUEHMR RUEHPB
DE RUEHLO #2304/01 2561014
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 121014Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY LONDON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9713
INFO RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0798
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA 1169
RUEHSV/AMEMBASSY SUVA 0018
RUEHBH/AMEMBASSY NASSAU 0186
RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA 0239
RUEHWN/AMEMBASSY BRIDGETOWN 0177
RUEHBE/AMEMBASSY BELMOPAN 0003
RUEHOR/AMEMBASSY GABORONE 0088
RUEHBD/AMEMBASSY BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN 0040
RUEHYD/AMEMBASSY YAOUNDE 0127
RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 0474
RUEHJL/AMEMBASSY BANJUL 0054
RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 0407
RUEHGE/AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN 0056
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 0808
RUEHKG/AMEMBASSY KINGSTON 0237
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 0400
RUEHMR/AMEMBASSY MASERU 0037
RUEHLG/AMEMBASSY LILONGWE 0031
RUEHKL/AMEMBASSY KUALA LUMPUR 0186
RUEHVT/AMEMBASSY VALLETTA 0147
RUEHPL/AMEMBASSY PORT LOUIS 0122
RUEHTO/AMEMBASSY MAPUTO 0057
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 0254
RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 0578
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 0863
RUEHPB/AMEMBASSY PORT MORESBY 0022
RUEHWLC/AMEMBASSY APIA 0001
RUEHFN/AMEMBASSY FREETOWN 0173
RUEHGP/AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE 0261
RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 0636
RUEHLM/AMEMBASSY COLOMBO 0155
RUEHMB/AMEMBASSY MBABANE 0036
RUEHSP/AMEMBASSY PORT OF SPAIN 0075
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 0167
RUEHDR/AMEMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM 0142
RUEHLS/AMEMBASSY LUSAKA 0101
RUEHLGB/AMEMBASSY KIGALI 0074
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1261
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 LONDON 002304

SIPDIS NOFORN

DEPT FOR G - JOAQUIN FERRAO DEPT ALSO FOR DRL/MLGA - LAURA JORDAN DEPT ALSO FOR IO E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/10/2018

TAGS: PREL KDEM PGOV PHUM FJ RW UK

Classified By: Acting Political Counselor Leslie Tsou, reasons 1.4 (b/d ).

1.(C/NF) Summary. New Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma wants the Commonwealth to be an "organization of ideas" that has clear value-added for its members, Political Affairs Director Matthew Neuhaus said in an overview of Commonwealth Secretariat priorities. Sharma also wants to re-brand the Commonwealth's image, with a focus on the younger generation and technology partnerships. Neuhaus anticipates Sharma will keep the organization's priorities on "economic and social rights with a deeply political background" and will ramp up engagement on reforming the IFIs, promoting climate change, negotiating world trade deals, and building democracies. On the margins of UNGA, the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group will consider full suspension of Fiji from the Commonwealth, Neuhaus said. The Commonwealth is intrigued by the Community of Democracies (CD), as the two organizations have shared values, and would like to explore ways in which the Commonwealth and CD could work together. Post sees scope for engagement on this issue, where linkages based on shared values have the potential to stimulate initiatives of mutual interest. End summary.

Creation of Commonwealth Policy Positions -----------------------------------------

2.(C/NF) Commonwealth Secretariat Political Affairs Director Matthew Neuhaus characterized the Commonwealth to us September 9 as "a proper multilateral organization," whose foreign policy is a "composite of the member states." Neuhaus said the two primary vehicles for creating Commonwealth policy positions, especially on foreign policy, are the bi-annual Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) and the twice-yearly Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG). CMAG, established in 1995 and comprising eight Commonwealth members, is charged with determining punitive measures against member states who are seriously and consistently violating the Millbook Principles, which lay out the Commonwealth's political values and membership criteria. According to Neuhaus, CMAG is where more timely and LONDON 00002304 002 OF 003 continuous foreign policy issues are dealt with, and negotiations are generally arduous because the Commonwealth operates exclusively by consensus. The next CMAG meeting on the margins of UNGA will discuss full suspension of Fiji, which was previously suspended from participation at the Councils of Commonwealth. Contacts at the Australian Embassy said the consensus building process in CMAG is generally based on regional partners within the Commonwealth pushing for consistency. For example, African countries will push for Commonwealth action that is consistent with the treatment Zimbabwe received before it finally withdrew, and Asian countries will want punitive actions modeled after the treatment of Pakistan when it was suspended.

The New Secretary General -------------------------

3.(C/NF) Neuhaus described newly elected Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma, who began his tenure in April 2008, as "very politically active and very intellectual," who wants the Commonwealth to be an "organization of ideas." Sharma, an Indian by birth, also wants to re-brand the Commonwealth to engage with the younger generation, move from historic to more modern relationships between countries, and ensure that the Commonwealth is seen as value-added. Sharma also wants to integrate technology more firmly into the Commonwealth's operations in order to make it a platform for technological partnerships and ideas. Following on the former Secretary General's focus on globalization, governance, and growth, Neuhaus anticipates that Sharma will keep the organization's priorities on "economic and social rights with a deeply political background." The Secretariat plans to be involved in reforming the IFIs, promoting climate change, negotiating world trade deals, and building democracies.

4.(C/NF) Sharma is also very sensitive to the UK's attempts to use the Commonwealth as a vehicle of Great Britain's foreign policy, according to Neuhaus. Neuhaus says the Secretariat will help build momentum on UK foreign policy priorities that "resonate with the membership, like reform of the Bretton Woods institutions, climate change, and democratization." He noted, however, it has always been necessary for the Secretariat to strike a balance between LONDON 00002304 003 OF 003 what the UK and other developed countries are seeking through the Commonwealth and what the developing countries support.

The Commonwealth's Future -------------------------

5.(C/NF) In five to ten years, Neuhaus said he sees the Commonwealth as remaining the same as it is now. The Commonwealth, he said, welcomes new members, including Rwanda's recent bid for membership, and would like to see Arab states join as well (reftel). He mentioned Yemen has expressed interest in membership.

U.S.-Commonwealth - Community of Democracies --------------------------------------------

6.(C/NF) Neuhaus said the Commonwealth is intrigued by the Community of Democracies (CD), as the two organizations have shared values. He said the Secretariat would like to explore ways in which the Commonwealth and CD could work together.

Comment -------

7.(C/NF) London-based diplomats from Commonwealth member states describe Neuhaus, former Australian Ambassador to Nigeria and UN-based diplomat, as a sophisticated and savvy political operator. He is certainly one of the driving forces behind making the Commonwealth more politically active. While the former Secretary General was more focused on development, Neuhaus' political messages may find a more receptive audience in Sharma, who seems keen to make the Commonwealth more relevant to world politics. We see scope for engagement with the Commonwealth on the Community of Democracies, where linkages based on shared values have the potential to stimulate initiatives of mutual interest. Visit London's Classified Website: XXXXXXXXXXXX
TUTTLE

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC