‘The Task for Auckland’ by Chief Emeka Anyaoku (Round Table 84/336 (Oct 1995), 407-11)
The Round Table has been providing analysis of Commonwealth and international affairs since 1910. We will shortly launch a new feature revealing past treasures From the Archive we feel worth a fresh visit. Here is a taster from 25 years ago:
Here, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, the third Commonwealth Secretary-General (1990-2000), looks to the forthcoming CHOGM in Auckland in 1985 to ‘define and fashion the tools’ with which the Commonwealth can strive more effectively to make the objectives outlined in the Harare Declaration ‘a living reality for all members of the association’.
Chief Anyaoku, briefly Nigeria’s foreign minister before Shehu Shagari’s government was overthrown by a military coup, also knocks down the idea that the Commonwealth ‘is an alternative to the European Union’ for the UK.
In the event, the Auckland CHOGM was overshadowed by the execution of the Nigerian writer and civil rights activist, Ken Saro Wiwa, on its opening day, and Nigeria was duly suspended. It led to the Millbrook Commonwealth Action Programme, with a Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) to monitor compliance with the principles of the 1991 Harare Declaration, while Anyaoku continued to pursue human rights and democratic governance issues across the Commonwealth.