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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old November 22nd, 2005, 08:32 Thread Starter
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C.H.O.G.M or Chogm

Commonwealth Heads of Goverment meeting is takning place in malta.

HMS Illustrious is in the harbour, Queen is Landing tomorrow and they resurfaced all the roads which will be used by perticipants, including of the road i live in

lucky few, including my inlaws, will have a lunch with queen and i'm sure that will be a memory to treasure.

appart from memories, how important and relevant, if at all, is commonwealth today?

PS. Bastin, this should not be a call to bring the empire back
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old November 22nd, 2005, 08:52
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old November 22nd, 2005, 08:57 Thread Starter
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locally, rather that pronauncing it C.H.O.G.M, more "maltese" way was adopted and it is refered to as "Chogm", therefore the title.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old November 22nd, 2005, 13:29
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Originally Posted by aca
PS. Bastin, this should not be a call to bring the empire back
Only enemies of the Commonwealth make any link to the British Empire (Mozambique, for example, was never part of the British Empire). Whereas the British Empire was a matter of symbiotic development, the Commonwalth of Nations is, unambiguously, an international development body. That the United Kingdom takes more interest in the Commonwealth than any other country means only that we're most interested in the well-being of the 46 developing nations amongst the membership.

The Commonwealth of Nations is vitally important, and is possibly the world's most efficient inter-governmental organisation.
  • It demands of its members respect for human rights.
  • It encourages good governance and peace between neighbours, and funds and observes elections.
  • It funds economic and social development, particularly in the provision of clean water and fight against HIV and AIDS.
  • It organises the world's second largest multi-sport event, the Commonwealth Games.
  • It helps education in developing countries through the Commonwealth Scholarship and the Association of Commonwealth Universities.
  • It promotes cultural ties, the arts, and the English language.
  • It facilitates free trade and capital between members.
  • It punishes wayward members or ex-members to enforce its laws and international law (in Rhodesia in the 70s, South Africa in the 70s and 80s, Nigeria in the 90s, and Zimbabwe today).
  • It acts as another diplomatic channel, allowing freer negotiations between members that would otherwise not talk (notably Pakistan and India).
How could an organisation that does that, on a shoe-string budget, without doing anything offensive, be irrelevant or undesirable?

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old November 23rd, 2005, 07:37 Thread Starter
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I'm enemy of none, especially not British empire. It was ment to be a joke

I asked a genuine question. Commonwealth political impact is limited, but its political relevance is substantial or not?

tHats what i meant by my opening post. Nothing else implied
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old November 23rd, 2005, 13:31
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Originally Posted by aca
I asked a genuine question. Commonwealth political impact is limited, but its political relevance is substantial or not?
And I gave a genuine answer. Its impact in developing countries is massive. Its relevance is, therefore, undeniable.
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Originally Posted by aca
I'm enemy of none, especially not British empire. It was ment to be a joke
I know it was a joke, but only because you were the one that wrote it. There are some people, both here and in the presidential palace in Harare, that think that the Commonwealth is the Empire reborn, that it's an Old Boys' Club, and that it's there simply for the UK to cling on to its former possessions (as the Community of Portuguese Language Countries is).

I could understand Maltese or Cypriot people questioning the validity of the Commonwealth. They're in the awkward position of being republics, not being great recipients of Commonwealth aid, and not wealthy enough to justify membership as a means of channelling aid to other countries. Those in the 46 developing countries in the Commonwelth and in the five major development patrons in the Commonwealth recognise its value.

BTW, some more Commonwealth successes come to mind:
  • It potects areas of outstanding natural beauty or great environmental value.
  • It looks after the war graves of its members.
  • It researches international issues of interest to its members.
  • It combats discrimination by gender, ethnicity, age, or sexuality.
All irrelevant, I guess.

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old November 23rd, 2005, 15:42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bastin
The Commonwealth of Nations is vitally important, and is possibly the world's most efficient inter-governmental organisation.
  • It demands of its members respect for human rights.
  • It encourages good governance and peace between neighbours, and funds and observes elections.
  • It funds economic and social development, particularly in the provision of clean water and fight against HIV and AIDS.
  • It organises the world's second largest multi-sport event, the Commonwealth Games.
  • It helps education in developing countries through the Commonwealth Scholarship and the Association of Commonwealth Universities.
  • It promotes cultural ties, the arts, and the English language.
  • It facilitates free trade and capital between members.
  • It punishes wayward members or ex-members to enforce its laws and international law (in Rhodesia in the 70s, South Africa in the 70s and 80s, Nigeria in the 90s, and Zimbabwe today).
  • It acts as another diplomatic channel, allowing freer negotiations between members that would otherwise not talk (notably Pakistan and India).
How could an organisation that does that, on a shoe-string budget, without doing anything offensive, be irrelevant or undesirable?
Ludicrous!
The focal aim of the Commenwealth is to spread the plague of cricket!
End of .

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old November 23rd, 2005, 16:40
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What did you think I meant by 'cultural ties'? Literature and cinema? Pah!

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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old November 23rd, 2005, 17:25
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Cyprus takes its role in the Commonwealth very seriously as it is a means through which they make contact with other nations and can bring to lightr the continuing occupation of Cyprus by a NATO member state - Turkey.

In addition to Mozambique, I believe that Cameroon is also a member of the Commonwealth, whilst Ireland is not.

The Commonwealth has since South Africa joined been more effective in terms of sanstions against miscreant states, though its attmepts to bring Zimbabwe into line have failed mainly because countires such as south Africa agree with the land policy of mugabe.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old November 24th, 2005, 00:43
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Cyprus takes its role in the Commonwealth very seriously as it is a means through which they make contact with other nations and can bring to lightr the continuing occupation of Cyprus by a NATO member state - Turkey.
That's what I've heard from every Cypriot to whom I've ever talked on the subject, and, for that matter, from every Maltese. I'm guessing, from aca's original post, that there's some sort of debate about it in Malta, now that HMS Illustrious has returned to Valetta harbour. Having thought of reasons for any possible Maltese opposition, it instantly occurred to me that the same apply to Cyprus. Obviously, there are other factors to Cyprus' membership, not least Turkey's occupation and the hundreds of thousands of Cypriots in the UK and Australia. If you can assure me that Cyprus is not ungrateful, selfish, and bigoted enough to question its membership, that's good enough for me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by panicos
In addition to Mozambique, I believe that Cameroon is also a member of the Commonwealth, whilst Ireland is not.
The Cameroons (that is, the coastal region of Cameroon) were a Trust Territory of the United Kingdom until independence, upon unification with the French part. Thus, although Cameroon did not become a Commonwealth member until 1995, part of Cameroon was in the British Empire, making Mozambique the only member that never was.

The Republic of Ireland was part of the British Empire, but there are several other countries that were but aren't members of the Commonwealth. The USA, Egypt, Sudan, Israel, Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, the UAE, Oman, Yemen, Zimbabwe, Burma, and Afghanistan all received their independence from the UK, and, yet, aren't members of the Commonwealth. Furthermore, parts of Senegal, Libya, Somalia, China, Indonesia, Netherlands, France, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Spain, Greece, Nicaragua, and Surinam were also parts of the British Empire at different times. The Republic of Ireland is not even close to being the only exception, which just goes to show how far removed from the Empire that the Commonwealth of Nations is.
Quote:
Originally Posted by panicos
The Commonwealth has since South Africa joined been more effective in terms of sanstions against miscreant states, though its attmepts to bring Zimbabwe into line have failed mainly because countires such as south Africa agree with the land policy of mugabe.
Southern Africa is certainly the #1 area of Commonwealth interest, and the common development and democratisation policy should have succeeded after the admission of South Africa, Namibia, and Mozambique. The ANC's shameful policy towards dictatorship, forgetting that Mugabe is as bad as Malan, has ended that hope.

The issue of Mugabe and the ANC could fill a thread on its own. The aspect of that issue that relates to this thread is whether the Commonwealth should maintain its own independent means of enforcing sanctions, rather than relying on consensus amongst member states. Personally, I believe that it should, but, given that any centralisation of power will seem like a 'White Commonwealth' 'power grab', the price may be some goodwill with the African and Caribbean members that such a move would seek to help.

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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old November 24th, 2005, 07:59 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bastin
That's what I've heard from every Cypriot to whom I've ever talked on the subject, and, for that matter, from every Maltese. I'm guessing, from aca's original post, that there's some sort of debate about it in Malta, now that HMS Illustrious has returned to Valetta harbour. Having thought of reasons for any possible Maltese opposition, it instantly occurred to me that the same apply to Cyprus. Obviously, there are other factors to Cyprus' membership, not least Turkey's occupation and the hundreds of thousands of Cypriots in the UK and Australia. If you can assure me that Cyprus is not ungrateful, selfish, and bigoted enough to question its membership, that's good enough for me.
HMS Illustrious received a hero's welcome two days ago. There is a deep connection between that ship (it's predecessor) and Maltese people dating back to WW2. Captain of the ship actually asked for permition from the UK goverment to fire 21 gun sallute as it entered the harbour and it was reciprocated by the maltese armed forces. It was very emotional event and it was reported as such in the papers.

There is no debate as such about relevance of the commonwealth in the local media, just that few of the local editorials kind of considered the idea.

Me, being a complete tabula raza when it comes to Commonwealth or history of empire, cricket and so on....opened the thread.

i opened a paper today and there is nothing else to read but about commonwealth so i guess i'll have no choice but to get to know something....
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old November 24th, 2005, 08:58
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Originally Posted by aca
There is no debate as such about relevance of the commonwealth in the local media, just that few of the local editorials kind of considered the idea.

Me, being a complete tabula raza when it comes to Commonwealth or history of empire, cricket and so on....opened the thread.
So, you decided to open a thread asking people the relevance of an entity whose relevance has never previously been called into question, without providing any of your own arguments? Isn't anyone going to try to argument that the Commonwealth of Nations isn't important or relevant? I don't blame ya, really.

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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old November 24th, 2005, 09:17 Thread Starter
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I had to have a stand before asking a question?

I asked a question because i wanted to know what kind of stand to take, expecting info rather than arguing for or against anything.

i guess my intentions were not clear and i apologize for that.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old November 24th, 2005, 09:18
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will someone open a thread about amendmends to japanese constitution? ( removing it's pacifist clauses, 50th anniversary of koizumi's party, remilitarization, US&japan aliance agaist china etc..). I am not good at opening threads . It will be better than CHOGM.


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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old November 24th, 2005, 09:22
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Indeed CHOGM is relevent. but there is clear split between the white nations (UK,new zealand, Australia on one side and Africans on the other side) and the others. The rift widened when the whites wanted to bring on sanctions and restrictions on zimbabwe. And as far as i have seen india is playing a less important role in CHOGM.


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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old November 24th, 2005, 09:56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aca
I had to have a stand before asking a question?

I asked a question because i wanted to know what kind of stand to take, expecting info rather than arguing for or against anything.

i guess my intentions were not clear and i apologize for that.
Oh, geez, don't make me apologise, too! Argh. Apologies for the misunderstanding.

As far as I can tell, there's no debate about the role of the Commonwealth. For the reason of that, see the list of its achievements above.
Quote:
Originally Posted by blitzkreig
Indeed CHOGM is relevent. but there is clear split between the white nations (UK,new zealand, Australia on one side and Africans on the other side) and the others. The rift widened when the whites wanted to bring on sanctions and restrictions on zimbabwe.
It's not the 'Whites' that wanted to place sanctions on Zimbabwe. It's only South Africa, Namibia, Tanzania, and Nigeria that opposed them back in 2002. Now, it's just South Africa that are sticking to their guns.
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And as far as i have seen india is playing a less important role in CHOGM.
Which is probably because much of its legitimacy in South Asian affairs (where India has a major role to play) has been undermined over the past few years, cumulating in the abysmal SAARC conference in Dhaka.

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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old November 24th, 2005, 10:04 Thread Starter
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Oh, geez, don't make me apologise, too! Argh. Apologies for the misunderstanding.


In any case, i will look a little bit further into commowealth for sure

Dont you find it strange that there are 54 heads of state (couple of ministers of Foreign affairs i think), Blairs are here, Queen and so on, yet BBC news, Sky News, Cnn gave it no mention neither in their news bulletins nor on their home page?
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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old November 24th, 2005, 10:19
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Dont you find it strange that there are 54 heads of state (couple of ministers of Foreign affairs i think), Blairs are here, Queen and so on, yet BBC news, Sky News, Cnn gave it no mention neither in their news bulletins nor on their home page?
This is certainly not the usual state of affairs. One only has to look at the coverage affored in the past few years, particularly relating to Zimbabwe, to see how it's usually embraced. I'd describe the lack of media attention as a hangover from several important summits of other organisations this year that have concentrated on the same sorts of issues. After all, if SAARC, CARICOM, and the OECS are sorting things out by themselves, and the big boys are discussing global development at the G8, the Commonwealth is sidelined somewhat.

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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old November 24th, 2005, 10:24 Thread Starter
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http://www.timesofmalta.com/core/index.php

www.independent.com.mt

Local newspapers in english. They'll give a detailed account of whats going on.
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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old November 24th, 2005, 10:38
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Why would the GWU hold a protest march during the summit? Is there an ongoing labour dispute, or is this a silly left-wing pseudo-anti-imperialist thing?

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