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Chairperson's Statement 13th CMAG 2 May 2000

Thirteenth Meeting of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group on the Harare Declaration (CMAG) Marlborough House, London, 2 May 2000

Chairperson's Statement

Ministers used the occasion of the CMAG meeting to discuss the situation in Zimbabwe and in Cameroon.

Ministers welcomed the decision by the Commonwealth Secretary-General to visit Zimbabwe this month to discuss the situation with the Government of Zimbabwe, and to convey the deep concerns of the Group.

They voiced their concerns over the ongoing violence, loss of life, illegal occupations of property, failure to uphold the rule of law and political intimidation in the run-up to Zimbabwe's parliamentary elections.

Ministers expressed their support for an environment in which fair elections, free of intimidation and within the time schedule prescribed by the Constitution of Zimbabwe, can be held.

They welcomed the willingness of the Government of Zimbabwe to accept international election observers and confirmed the willingness of the Commonwealth to send such a team. They were of the view that it was important for international observers to be present as early as possible before election day in order to observe the pre-election process.

The Group requested the Secretary-General to send a mission of Secretariat officials to Cameroon to explore ways in which the Commonwealth might assist Cameroon to fulfil more effectively its commitments under the Harare principles.

The Group also requested the Secretary-General to convey a message to the Government of Cameroon reiterating the importance of the obligations accepted by Commonwealth members under the Harare Declaration.

Issued by the Information and Public Affairs Division,
Commonwealth Secretariat,
Marlborough House,
Pall Mall,
London SW1Y 5HX,
Tel: 0171-839 3411;
Fax: 0171:839 9081;
Telex: 27678

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