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Vol 40 No 23

Published 19th December 1999

Postponing the new order

Commonwealth heads have suspended Pakistan's military regime but balked at tougher action against others - until the next summit

Efforts to advance good governance and human rights ended in a Commonwealth fudge at the Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Durban, South Africa on 12-15 November. Calls for radical action against member governments which suppress opposition movements, steal state funds and gaol journalists ended in a 'high-level review' of the Commonwealth, to advise 'how best it could respond to the challenges of the new century.' The review committee, to report to the next CHOGM in Canberra in 2001, balances modernisers (Australia and Britain, favouring tougher measures on governance), non-interventionists (Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago), and nationalists (India, Singapore and Zimbabwe).

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