"One of the interesting things about President Kagame's government is there is more women in his government than anywhere else in Africa, which I think speaks to the man's character and understanding about how societies remain strong and whole. I appreciate his commitment to education. And I want to thank you, Mr. President, for your understanding that the best way for an economy to develop is to welcome private capital. He's been working hard with companies here in America. Many companies are taking a good look at Rwanda because they realize it's a country where they will be treated fairly and there is a transparent society and he's had some success, which will help people find work. And that's, to me, a sign of leadership". George Bush
The Day after Mugabe: where next for Mbeki’s mediation?
Dr Peter Kagwanja, Director in the Democracy and Governance Research Programme, Human Sciences Research Council (South Africa)
Tawanda Mutasah, Zimbabwean lawyer and
Director, Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa
Patsy Robertson, former Director of Information, Commonwealth Secretariat, and an Observer of the Zimbabwe elections in 2002
Judy Todd, Author and veteran campaigner
The world is counting on the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to negotiate a way out of the crisis in Zimbabwe. Led by South African President Thabo Mbeki, SADC has pinned its hopes on a free and fair election in March 2008. Is this possible? What role should the international community play? The plenary and discussion will be followed by a reception to launch The Day after Mugabe: Prospects for Change in Zimbabwe, edited by Gugulethu Moyo and Mark Ashurst. The book includes contributions by Dr Peter Kagwanja and Tawanda Mutasah.
A limited number of copies of the book, published with support from Africa Research Institute, may also be pre-ordered free of charge by emailing email@example.com
Admission free.Please note that places for this event are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. A copy of the email confirming that a place has been reserved for you, will be required to gain admittance.
Places are limited, and are being allocated by invitation at the moment.
UBUNTU -Recommended reading:
Declarations or Statements which have been issued by Commonwealth Heads of Government at various summits.
Harare Commonwealth Declaration This landmark agreement set the Commonwealth on a new course: that of promoting democracy and good governance, human rights and the rule of law, gender equality and sustainable economic and social development.
Ali Muhammed Gedi, Interim Prime Minister of Somalia
Ethiopia welcomes the end of the misunderstanding with the TFG at the highest level
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia is pleased that recent political tensions in Somalia, within the Transitional Federal Government, have reached an amicable solution, and that President Abdullahi Yusuf and former Prime Minister Mohammed Ali Gedi have resolved their differences in a statesmanlike and peaceful manner.
This morning [29 Oct], at 9.30, Prime Minister Gedi met with President Abdullahi to offer his resignation. During a forty-five minute meeting, in which the President accepted the Prime Minister’s resignation, they agreed on the need to continue to work together for the good of Somalia. The Prime Minister then discussed the process of his resignation with the Speaker. Both the Speaker and the President expressed their appreciation of the Prime Minister’s courage in taking this step. The Speaker emphasized that it would help strengthen the institutions of the Transitional Federal Government, and underline the TFG’s commitment to the rule of law in Somalia. Before addressing Parliament, Prime Minister Gedi also met with a group of fifteen of his Parliamentary supporters in Parliament, informing them of his decision to resign, and of his discussions with the President and the Speaker. He emphasized his agreement with the President that the two of them would continue to work together in any way possible in the future, and that he had offered to make his experience available to the new prime minister.
In his speech to the Parliament, Mr. Gedi underlined his respect for the institutions and its members. It was, he said, a key institution of the Transitional Federal Government, and a symbol of the hopes and aspirations of the Somali people. In a statesmanlike address, which was warmly received, he emphasized the need for everyone to work together to re-establishment of a functional government for all Somalia, to get away from any culture of blame. He spoke of the central role of Parliament in the operation of the Federal Charter and the rule of law. The Transitional Government, he said, has been, and remained, a major source of hope for the people of Somalia. And he asked Parliament to stand firmly behind the Government, and continue to work for the objectives of the charter. He felt his government had laid a sound foundation for progress. There was, he said, no alternative to the charter or the Transitional Federal Institutions. He regretted the recent political tensions, but took pride in the fact that they had been within the framework of the Charter, within the rule of law. Indeed, he said, his resignation was, in its own way, a part of the process of re-establishing a real government.
He spoke as a Somali patriot and of his belief that the country was always more important than the individual. He said he had sacrificed a lot, indeed he has been the target of five assassination attempts and lost a number of his close relatives, but he stressed that he was always prepared to sacrifice anything for Somalia. He would always do everything in his power to help Somalia.
He noted that the Transitional Federal Government had faced some formidable opponents. He referred to continuing terrorist attacks, and to the role that Eritrea had played in opposition to the Transitional Federal Government and in support of its enemies. He underlined his own personal appreciation for the great help provided by Somalia’s friends in the region and in the international community. The Transitional Federal Government, he said, had benefited immeasurably from the support of its partners, especially in the fight against terrorism. He emphasized he had always fought against terrorism, and, he said, we have had some notable successes, not least in the last year. He believed the Transitional Federal Government had made it impossible for any handful of terrorists to seize power illegally in Somalia. The government had fully demonstrated that the ideology of terrorism was unacceptable to all Somalis. Equally, this was a struggle that needed to continue in order to obtain the complete victory over terrorism that was necessary. Without this, the objectives of the Federal Charter could not be achieved. The just, peaceful and democratic Somalia that everyone wanted would not be reached. He appealed to everyone to continue this struggle, which was, he insisted, a struggle upon which the future of Somalia as a democratic state depended.
At the same time, Mr. Gedi also spoke of the responsibility of the people of Somalia to address the concerns of the international community, the responsibility to contribute to regional stability, and to continue the fight against terrorism. He said Somalis had an obligation, to themselves and to the region, to work for peace and stability and security.
Mr. Gedi said he was sure the Parliament would co-operate fully with whoever succeeded him. He reiterated that he himself would be happy to make his experience available to the new prime minister, and serve in any capacity, as he had told the President earlier. He paid tribute to the President’s qualities as a notable politician and a formidable and courageous leader. He concluded by offering his best wishes for success to the members of parliament and government, and to his successor.
President Abdullahi himself then also addressed Parliament. He expressed his appreciation to Mr. Gedi for the work he had done and role he had played as prime minister, and thanked him for the courageous patriotism that he had displayed in taking his decision. The President assured the members of Parliament that he would continue to work with the former prime minister. He emphasized that he expected Mr. Gedi’s experience to be of great value to the Prime Minister’s Office and to Parliament in the future.
29 October 2007
Report of the Commonwealth Commission on Respect and Understanding
by the Commonwealth Secretary-General
Rt Hon Don McKinnon
It focuses on the problem of group-based violence and its impact on communities, advocating solutions based on individuals’ multiple identities. This marks a departure from cultural or ‘civilisational’ explanations of world conflict.
Civil Paths to Peace argues that the solution to conflicts within the Commonwealth should be rooted in the association’s agreed principles of human rights, democracy, gender equality, the rule of law and a transparent and accountable political culture.