The Commonwealth Secretariat has released final remarks on its recent mission to Zimbabwe, as the country awaits its readmission bid’s outcome.
A delegation led by the Assistant Secretary-General, Professor Luis Franceschi, visited Harare, Zimbabwe from 12 to 17 November.
The delegation’s visit is one part of the informal process of assessment regarding Zimbabwe’s request for re-admission into the bloc.
The country was suspended in 2002 for breaching the Harare Declaration, which sets out the Commonwealth’s core principles and values.
In 2003, when the Commonwealth refused to lift the suspension, Zimbabwe withdrew from the organisation.
The process of re-admission entails several rigorous steps that countries must undertake and includes adherence to the values enshrined in the Commonwealth Charter.
The delegation met with the President of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa, members of the government and senior officials, as well as members of opposition political parties, heads of diplomatic missions in Harare, and civil society organisations such as the Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network (ZESN) and the Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association (ZWLA), alongside media and business associations.
Following the Commonwealth Secretariat’s mission, Professor Franceschi shared some final remarks, praising Zimbabwe’s recent progress towards re-joining the family of nations.
“Zimbabwe has made significant progress in its journey to re-join the Commonwealth family. This is encouraging and we hope that further progress will be made.
“This mission by the Commonwealth forms part of the broader membership process and we look forward to advancing this further.
“All the stakeholders we engaged with – the Government, opposition parties, Civil Society Organisations, religious leaders, and indeed the people of Zimbabwe – are supportive of Zimbabwe returning to the family.
“We will work together towards that shared goal to ensure this process reaches its proper conclusion.”
Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland, addressed the Pan-African Parliament during her recent tour to Lesotho and South Africa last month.