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Commonwealth Ministerial Task Force – Outcomes

June 15, 2012

Foreign Minister Bob Carr at a reception following the Commonwealth Ministerial Task Force (MTF) meeting in London on June 14, 2012 (Photograph: UK FCO)

The Commonwealth Ministerial Task Force meeting in London today (June 14-15 AEST) and chaired by Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr, has agreed on a draft Charter of the Commonwealth.

The Task Force also agreed on measures to strengthen and reform the Commonwealth.

Senator Carr said the Charter would encapsulate in a consolidated and enduring document, the values of the Commonwealth including support for democracy, human rights and upholding the rule of law.

“The commitment to a Charter is remarkable considering the Commonwealth spans six continents, represents one third of the world’s people, all the world’s major faiths and more than one quarter of the membership of the UN.

“I’m also pleased this Task Force has dealt with the recommendations of the Eminent Persons Group which had not been concluded at the Perth Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting last October.

Those recommendations enhance the Commonwealth’s key election monitoring role, strengthen democratic culture and practices, and address the needs of small and vulnerable Commonwealth states,” Senator Carr said.

The Ministerial Task Force was established by Commonwealth Leaders in Perth to take forward key initiatives on the promotion of Commonwealth values, including the adoption of a Charter of the Commonwealth in 2012.

The draft Charter and package of recommendations will now go to a meeting of Commonwealth Foreign Ministers in New York in September, and thereafter to leaders for endorsement.

The Ministerial Task Force meeting was attended by Foreign Ministers and Senior Representatives of Australia, Barbados, Belize, Canada, India, Malaysia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

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