A British member of parliament recently said Zimbabwe is yet to meet certain conditions to be readmitted into the Commonwealth.
Speaking in the House of Lords on Tuesday, Minister of State for the Pacific and the International Environment, Frank Zacharias Robin Goldsmith said Zimbabwe should first respect the rule of law and human rights for UK sanctions to be lifted and to be readmitted to the Commonwealth. Said, Goldsmith:
Indeed, respect for democratic principles, alongside human rights, the rule of law and civil society space, is central to Zimbabwe’s stated desire to see the UK sanctions regime lifted and to rejoin the Commonwealth.
As noble Lords are aware, the decision about whether Zimbabwe rejoins the Commonwealth is for all Commonwealth members.
In due course, we would, of course, like nothing more than to see Zimbabwe rejoin. However, Zimbabwe cannot yet credibly be said to meet the principles set out in the Commonwealth Charter.
The Commonwealth is an association of 54 countries, most of which are former British colonies.
Zimbabwe withdrew from the Commonwealth in 2003 after the organisation refused to lift the southern African country’s suspension.
Zimbabwe had been suspended in 2002 on allegations of contravening the basic principles of the Commonwealth, as outlined in the Harare Declaration, issued at the 1991 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) held in Harare.