Sunday, November 17, 2013


Hon. Tanzania Foreign Minister Benard Membe, who is a new CMAG Chairperson, in a photo with Ms. Mmasekgoa Masire-Mwamba (left), the Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General and a representative of the Guyana Foreign Affairs Minister (right)
Hon. Minister Membe (2nd right), in a group photo with Ambassador Kallaghe (2nd left), together with Foreign Service Officers Mr. Amos Msanjila (left) and Ms. Eva Ng'itu (right), from the Tanzania Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation. 
Hon. Minister Membe (center), in a photo with Ambassador Kallaghe (left) and Ambassador Celestine Mushy, Director of the Department of Multilateral Co-operation.
Foreign Service Officer Ms. Eva Ng'itu congratulates Hon. Minister Membe. 
Foreign Service Officer Mr. Amos Msanjila congratulates Hon. Minister Membe. 
Communication Officer Ms. Tagie Daisy Mwakawago congratulates hon. Minister Membe for his appointment as a new CMAG Chairperson.
Hon. Minister Membe (left), held discussion with Ambassador Kallaghe (2nd left)Prof. Severine Rugumamu (2nd right) and Ambassador John William Herbert Kijazi (right) High Commissioner of the United Republic of Tanzania in India with accreditation to the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.  Minister Bernard K. Membe (MP) was unanimously elected Chairperson of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group on the Harare Principles (CMAG) in Colombo, Sri Lanka today.
Congratulations to Ms. Eva Ng'itu and Mr. Amos Msanjila for a job well done!

Colombo, Sri Lanka

Tanzania Foreign Minister Bernard K. Membe (MP) was unanimously elected Chairperson of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group on the Harare Principles (CMAG) in Colombo, Sri Lanka today. 
“We appoint you as our new Chairperson because of your strong institutional of knowledge and active mind,” said Hon. Samura M. W. Kamara, Sierra Leone Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.  He said that the decision to elect Tanzania was easy, hoping that Tanzania will continue to spearhead CMAG’s values during her tenure.

The eight group members of CMAG comprised of Commonwealth countries of Cyprus, India, Sri Lanka, Solomon Islands, Pakistan, Guyana, New Zealand and Sierra Leone expressed their confidence with Tanzania Foreign Minister Membe for his experience and wisdom.  Tanzania sums up the total nine group members of CMAG.
The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group also elected Hon. Murray McCully, Foreign Minister of New Zealand as a Vice-Chair. 

Speaking as a new CMAG Chair, Hon. Membe said that he appreciated tremendously the unanimous support received from fellow members.  “I am truly humbled by your decision to elect me as your new Chair.  I assure you of my unwavering commitment in protecting the core groundwork that CMAG stands for,” said Minister Membe.

The Ministers also jointly agreed the removal of Maldives from CMAG’s formal agenda, after receiving an update from the Commonwealth observers that the Presidential elections held this week in that country were declared credible and peaceful. Earlier this week CMAG had agreed to table Maldives on the Group’s formal agenda pending free and fair presidential elections in the country.
In a joint statement issued after their meeting, the Ministers congratulated the people of Maldives for showing their firm commitment to democracy, and for exercising their franchise in record numbers.  “We welcomed the successful conclusion of the presidential election and noted the interim statement of the Commonwealth Observer Group, which stated that the election had been ‘credible and peaceful’, noted the CMAG statement.  

Commenting on Sri Lanka as host of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, Minister Membe congratulated the country for their hospitality and commitment in restoring normalcy.  “You have demonstrated good leadership and endurance despite the turbulences you had faced in the past,” said Minister Membe. 

On his part, Sri Lankan External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris said that hosting CHOGM had enabled foreign representatives to witness his country emerging from the shadow of war conflicts.  “This is a true characteristic of our Sri Lankans for their resilience and ability to bounce back,” said Prof. Peiris. 

Minister Membe has been in Sri Lanka for the past three days participating in the Foreign Ministers side-meetings as a preparatory meeting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings (CHOGM).  President Kikwete led the Tanzania delegation and participated in the Heads of State meetings from 15-17 November here in Sri Lanka.  

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