CW will not accept unconstitutional acts
Bangladesh has been made a member of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) for the next biennium along with Australia, Canada, Jamaica, Maldives, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago and Vanuatu.
The 54-member Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) made the nomination at its Perth summit, which ended yesterday, according to the Perth declaration release.
The CHOGM has taken decisions on a series of reforms to strengthen the role of the CMAG in dealing with serious or persistent violations of Commonwealth political values.
After the reforms, the CMAG will be able to respond more effectively to the situation where there is an unconstitutional overthrow of an elected government or unilateral abrogation of a democratic constitution or serious threats to constitutional rule.
Since the establishment of the CMAG in 1995, the Group has been dealing only with situations where constitutionally elected governments had been overthrown. But it had not always been able to address other situations where Commonwealth values and principles were being seriously or persistently violated.
After the reforms, the CMAG will be able to look into the flaws of the national electoral process, abrogation of the rule of law, undermining of the independence of the judiciary, systematic violation of human rights and restrictions on the media or civil society.
Suspension or prevention of the lawful functioning of parliament, postponement of national elections without constitutional or other reasonable justification, systematic denial of political space, such as detention of political leaders or restriction of freedom of association or expression, would be treated as persistent violations of Commonwealth values.
Commonwealth leaders agreed that the secretary general will speak out publicly in expression of collective disapproval of serious or persistent violations of Commonwealth values.
They urged the interim government of Fiji to restore democracy without further delay, to respect human rights, and to uphold the rule of law, and reaffirm support of the Commonwealth.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina led Bangladesh at the summit, reflecting Bangladesh's unwavering support to the cause of the Commonwealth in promoting understanding on global issues, regional and international co-operation and working to improve the lives of its citizens.
The Commonwealth leaders also agreed to prepare a “Charter of the Commonwealth” by next year, as proposed by the Eminent Persons Group (EPG), for urgent action to establish a 'Commonwealth for People'.
The summit adopted the Perth Declaration, encompassing agreement on food security principles against the backdrop of development challenges confronting small states in the global economy and fostering mutual collaboration among states in order to address climate change priorities.
It also agreed to a series of actions to maintain the Commonwealth's relevance, to ensure its effectiveness in responding to contemporary global challenges and to build resilient societies and economies.
The CHOGM appointed Kamalesh Sharma as Commonwealth Secretary-General for a further four-year term commencing April 2012.