Saturday, October 29, 2011

Rogues like Frank’s Junta in Firing Line

The West Australian

The Commonwealth needs to find new tools to call recalcitrant countries such as Fiji and Zimbabwe to account other than simply banning them from the organisation, Foreign Affairs Minister Kevin Rudd says.

The warning comes amid growing frustration over the Commonwealth’s inability to prevent or punish human rights abuses in member states and warnings the body risks becoming irrelevant.

Speaking in Perth after meeting other Commonwealth foreign ministers, Mr Rudd admitted the organisation was in danger of being seen as always acting too late in the face of a crisis.

He said the Commonwealth needed new weapons to rebuke or penalise rogue nations other than expelling or suspending them from the group.

“Once a military coup occurs, then the one blunt instrument available to the Commonwealth is one of suspension or expulsion,” Mr Rudd said. “On the pre-emptive diplomacy side there may be other means that we can deploy.”

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