The role and future of the Commonwealth - Foreign Affairs Committee Contents

4  Enhancing global status and influence

The potential of the Commonwealth

42. As well as upholding its values in its own member states, the Commonwealth clearly has the potential to be a highly influential voice in the wider international community. The diversity of the Commonwealth, its membership taking in some of the smallest states in the world as well as some of the largest, and including both very poor countries and some of the richest, was seen as a particular strength. In written evidence, the Editorial Board of The Round Table: the Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, talked of the Commonwealth's "global reach and ... presence in most parts of the world".[49] It is not surprising then that Senator Hugh Segal should call the Commonwealth "an organisation that, if properly led, motivated and resourced, can make a huge difference in almost every part of the world".[50]

43. In past decades, the Commonwealth has used these advantages to good effect, making a major impact around the world on the outcome of key issues. The Editorial Board of The Round Table identified subjects such as debt relief, climate change, HIV/Aids and the vulnerabilities of small states on which the Commonwealth had "led—and helped change—the global perspective".[51] Mr Sharma observed that at the end of the Uruguay round of world trade negotiations, it was a small ministerial group from the Commonwealth that "enabled an outcome..."[52] The Ramphal Institute gave us other examples of the past activism of the Commonwealth's governments working together, describing the work of expert groups that between 1975 and 1990 had examined issues such as promoting successful negotiations for the Law of the Sea.[53] Richard Bourne, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, identified a more recent example of Commonwealth leadership on issues with a "global resonance"—the Ramphal Commission on Migration and Development, a Commonwealth group which published three reports in 2010-2011.[54]

44. As an international organisation, the Commonwealth currently operates on a more crowded stage than it did in the past, with more and more global and regional representative bodies playing similar roles. Politicians and business people in Commonwealth countries appear increasingly to identify themselves with such new groupings, like the BRICS countries of leading emerging economies,[55] rather than with the Commonwealth. Dr Sriskandarajah noted what he called "the incredible investment that the Indian Government are making in other forums, not least the G20 and IBSA [India, Brazil and South Africa]".[56] He accepted that "when you go to India that there is a lot of warmth about the Commonwealth," but he said that the new generation of Indian policy makers and Indian business people "will know relatively little about the modern Commonwealth ... the Commonwealth is nowhere near the top of their foreign policy priorities".[57] Some of our visits to Commonwealth countries confirmed this impression; in several we were told by people in public life that the Commonwealth was increasingly irrelevant to them. A poll conducted by the political consultancy Etoile Partners among 100 senior UK "influencers" from media, parliament, the law and the civil service found that only 25% of respondents correctly identified the Commonwealth when its activities were described to them.[58]

45. If elites are sometimes increasingly indifferent to the Commonwealth, awareness among other groups, especially young people, appears to be even lower. The public diplomacy of the Commonwealth needs urgent attention, because, to many in member countries, the organisation is inactive. Hard evidence of public indifference is contained in the results of the Commonwealth Conversation, the largest public consultation on the subject. Carried out in 2009 and 2010 by the Royal Commonwealth Society, and gathering the opinions of tens of thousands of people, the Conversation confirmed "what many had feared about the plummeting profile of the Commonwealth and public cynicism toward the institution".[59] On average, it found that people in developing countries were twice as likely as those in developed countries to believe that the Commonwealth was of value to them. Indians valued the Commonwealth more than those in America or South Asia. Most worrying of all, other influences loomed larger than the Commonwealth for many people in member states. Canadians were four times more likely to value America higher than the Commonwealth, Australians were twice as likely to value Asia higher, and, for Britons, the Commonwealth came a distant third behind Europe and America. The RCS noted that "In general, of the countries polled, the Commonwealth was least valued in Great Britain."[60] Dr Sriskandarajah of the RCS believed that the Commonwealth was "encumbered by misperception". It was regarded by some as "just a British colonial club". He said that "fewer and fewer people know about the Commonwealth, let alone care about it".[61]

46. Public indifference and ignorance may be one reason why the Commonwealth appears to be failing to realise its diplomatic potential. Another key weakness of the Commonwealth as an actor on the world stage, according to Dr Sriskandarajah, was the need to achieve consensus for firm action. He said that this could easily lead to an impasse. He concluded from this that "the Commonwealth needs to revisit not only the way that it makes decisions but the sorts of levers that it has at its disposal".[62]

47. One of the key themes of our visits to Commonwealth countries was that the organisation was missing opportunities and needed to be much more active in agreeing and promoting common positions on international issues. Mr Richard Bourne described the impact of recent diplomatic efforts by the Commonwealth as "fitful." For instance he expressed disappointment that, following the adoption of an "important proposal" for a climate mitigation fund by Heads of Government at the Port of Spain CHOGM in 2009, just prior to the Copenhagen climate change conference, "no senior Secretariat figure went to Copenhagen to assist Commonwealth delegations in the subsequent talks." He criticised the fact that the Perth CHOGM of 2011 "had little to say" about the world's economic crisis, although five of its governments were due to attend the G20 meeting in Cannes only a few days later. He also observed that there was little expectation of follow-up for the statement on Food Security at Perth, and that the Commonwealth Secretariat had had no capacity to follow through with a leaders' commitment demanding urgent action to stop the depletion of marine fish stocks.[63]

48. There were also alleged shortcomings in Commonwealth coordination and leadership in arms trade negotiations in the summer of 2012. Many Commonwealth states suffer from the effects of armed violence, and unregulated trade in arms is widely seen as playing a major part in promoting that violence.[64] Ms Daisy Cooper, Director of the Commonwealth Advisory Bureau, observed that individual Commonwealth countries had been well represented among the states pressing (unsuccessfully) for the conclusion of a strong arms trade treaty at the Diplomatic Conference on the issue in New York, but she expressed concern that the seat reserved for the Commonwealth's delegation at the Conference had been left empty and that no Commonwealth statement had been delivered.[65]

49. The Royal Commonwealth Society told us that "the Secretariat struggles to demonstrate results ..." criticising what it saw as the Commonwealth's "worrying decline into impotence and irrelevance".[66]

Reforming the Commonwealth Secretariat

50. Our evidence confirms the need for reform of the Commonwealth Secretariat and other institutions. The Secretariat can certainly do good work. Alicia Rocha Menocal, a Research Fellow at the Overseas Development Institute, for example told us that the Secretariat was valuable and distinctive in some of its interventions, enjoying a combination of "highest level access, trust and confidence in its relations with partner countries, as well as the perception of being devoid of a political agenda".[67] However the Commonwealth Advisory Bureau told us that the Commonwealth Secretariat and Commonwealth Foundation must become "fit for purpose".[68] The Eminent Persons Group made a number of proposals for reform, notably a suggestion that the work of the Secretariat should be "retired" if it "enjoys no specific Commonwealth advantage" or where the size of the Commonwealth Secretariat's resources is too small "to make a significant impact".[69] The EPG also suggested that the operations of the Secretariat should be reviewed by the Secretary-General to "improve the integration, cohesion and efficiency of its divisions and their capacity to deliver the mandates set by member states."[70]

51. The Commonwealth Secretariat told us that it had responded to the recommendations of the EPG in the preparation of its next strategic plan. It describes this as "a significant step forward". Rather than the plan reflecting "the sum total of ambitions of its 54 member governments' national priorities" as had been the case in the past, the Secretariat will develop a "synthesised, narrower, and more focussed work programme" aimed toward streamlining goals onto fewer priorities where the organisation has a comparative advantage and where it can "demonstrate real impact".[71] Mr Sharma suggested that this strategy would be carried out using partnership with other organisations, not just UN organisations but also private ones.[72] The change would be accompanied by what Senator Segal saw as a "tough reorganisation" of the Secretariat to match new priorities.[73] Mr Sharma indicated that the Secretariat would in future be concentrating, among other things, on work to help countries build institutions of governance, support for natural resource management and work with young people.[74] On development, Senator Segal, speaking about another EPG recommendation, told us the Secretariat could play a distinctive role, helping provide the right environment for effective development programmes by promoting good governance rather than delivering programmes itself.[75]

52. The Commonwealth has in the past often launched influential initiatives on key global issues. However, it has appeared less active and less publicly visible in recent years and there is disturbing evidence that it is missing opportunities to influence events. The Commonwealth Secretariat must sharpen, strengthen and promote its diplomatic performance—along the lines proposed by the Eminent Persons Group—if the Commonwealth is to realise its full potential as a major player on the world stage.

53. Mr Sharma reassured us that implementation of the Eminent Persons Group recommendations was now "moving extremely well".[76] However, Senator Segal warned of the danger of some of the EPG recommendations being consigned to the "long grass". He demanded "a focus on implementation, because nothing is worse than an approved recommendation about which nothing is done". Senator Segal called for "lawnmower committees across the Commonwealth" to cut through the long grass and ensure implementation.[77]

54. It is now nearly a year since the acceptance of many Eminent Persons Group recommendations at the 2011 CHOGM. The lengthy period of consultation and discussion over the EPG since October 2011 must not cause a loss of momentum in the process of implementing those recommendations. The FCO should monitor implementation closely, and should continue to press for action on all key recommendations, reporting back to this Committee on progress every six months.

Promoting UK interests and influence


55. During the inquiry we assessed the Government's progress towards achieving its ambitions for the Commonwealth. The Foreign Secretary has described the Commonwealth as "a cornerstone of our foreign policy".[78] Lord Howell told us that the Government recognised that "more activity and dialogue is necessary" and that its aim was to "reinvigorate the whole organisation".[79] In June 2011 Lord Howell epitomised the Government's stated ambitions for the Commonwealth, describing it as "the soft power network of the future".[80] Sir Malcolm Rifkind told us "The present Government have been more committed to the Commonwealth, not just in rhetoric but in policy, than any Government I can remember, Tory or Labour, for the last 25 or 30 years."[81]

56. The ministerial role played by Lord Howell when he was Minister of State was seen by a number of our witnesses as particularly constructive. Professor Philip Murphy said that Lord Howell had made "a remarkable impact", and that it was difficult to think of a Minister over the past 40 years in the Foreign Office who had been "so very committed to the Commonwealth and making it work".[82] Mr Mark Robinson endorsed this view, saying that the present Foreign Secretary and Lord Howell had made "tremendous efforts to promote soft power". He observed that at the Perth CHOGM Lord Howell was "everywhere". He added that "these things are both noticed and appreciated".[83] On 4 September 2012, Lord Howell stepped down as Minister of State at the FCO.

57. As Minister of State, Lord Howell worked very effectively to raise the profile of the Commonwealth in the UK and overseas, and he deserves considerable credit for his contribution.

58. However, the success or failure of UK diplomatic efforts on Commonwealth issues will not be assured by the work of a single Minister. Some witnesses suggested that fulfilment of the UK's ambitions for the Commonwealth could be hampered by history, and that the experience of the acquisition and loss of Empire has inevitably sapped the confidence of the UK in its dealings with the Commonwealth. Professor Philip Murphy, for instance, saw the UK as reluctant to exert its influence in the Commonwealth, because it risked "being accused of some kind of post-imperial plot".[84] Some of our witnesses urged the Government to accept that the UK should no longer be held back by post-imperial guilt and could now play a stronger leadership role in the Commonwealth. Mr Mark Robinson told us that "colonialism is a long way behind us" and that Britain could afford to be more proactive in initiatives in the Commonwealth.[85] The Ramphal Institute urged the FCO and other government departments to put more effort into coordinating positions with a wider range of Commonwealth partners in Commonwealth and international negotiations.[86] The FCO told us that the UK "will need to maintain and build on partnerships based on shared interests and values in order to deal with global issues," and that a revitalised Commonwealth "offers the UK a ready-made network" to do this. The Department claimed to see "a rise in the influence of a largely Commonwealth-focussed small states grouping who look to the UK and the other four Commonwealth members of the G20 to champion their causes".[87]

59. However some witnesses questioned whether, when it came to Commonwealth issues, the reality of the Government's efforts matched the rhetoric. There were for instance varying views on the effectiveness of UK diplomacy. When there is an urgent demand for a concerted diplomatic effort on a Commonwealth issue, as was the case with the preparation for publication of the Eminent Persons Group report in 2011, the FCO is certainly capable of delivering. The efforts of the FCO to promote the EPG's findings and recommendations were appreciated by the Group, Senator Segal telling us that in all the activities that the EPG undertook, including visits to Africa and elsewhere, the FCO and the British Council had gone "out of their way to be constructive and to facilitate broad public discussion and public diplomacy". He said he had no complaints about the UK's diplomatic support over that period.[88]

60. Mark Robinson argued that Commonwealth membership was important to the success of many bilateral visits.[89] The Ramphal Institute was, on the other hand, sceptical of the diplomatic value of Commonwealth connections, observing that "Other governments do not look first to the Commonwealth in seeking to build alliances."[90] The Commonwealth Advisory Bureau more generally expressed concern that "the UK continues to have an uneasy relationship with the Commonwealth," and was still sometimes seen by other Commonwealth governments and commentators, as "'clumsy' or worse, as a 'bully'".[91] Tellingly, we did not hear, for instance, on any of our visits to Commonwealth countries or from our witnesses, of any occasion on which the fact of shared Commonwealth membership had proved crucial in achieving any of the United Kingdom's key diplomatic goals in, for instance, the United Nations Security Council.

61. There are also questions over the Government's long-term strategy for the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth Advisory Bureau was highly critical, saying that currently, the UK Government was full of "warm words for the Commonwealth", but that it lacked any sort of engagement strategy.[92] Richard Bourne pointed to the range of Government departments with an interest in Commonwealth matters, and called for a joined-up Government strategy to focus on long-term diplomatic and political goals where the Commonwealth adds value.[93]

62. Despite Lord Howell's enthusiastic advocacy, we are concerned that the UK Government as a whole has not had a clear and co-ordinated strategy for its relations with the Commonwealth. The several Government departments with an interest in Commonwealth matters should work together to develop a strategy for engagement with the Commonwealth, aimed at ensuring that the UK makes the most of the opportunities presented by the Commonwealth. The FCO needs to ensure its 'warm words' are substantiated by its actions.

63. Confidence in the ability of the UK and other member states to influence key Commonwealth decisions was shaken by suggestions that the Eminent Persons Group report had been suppressed at the Perth CHOGM. Sir Malcolm Rifkind described the delay to publication of the EPG report as "certainly a mistake". He noted that the EPG report was a report that the Group had been asked to provide for the Heads of Government. The Group did not itself have the authority at that stage to publish it, but they had sent it to the Heads of Government some time before the conference. He said that the Group had "strongly recommended" that the whole report should be published at an early date so that there could be a wider debate among Commonwealth organisations. They had wanted to make it as wide a debate as possible, "not simply a private debate between ourselves and the Heads of Government."[94]

64. Sir Malcolm said that:

To our disappointment, some countries blocked the advance publication of our report. When the Heads of Government went into their private retreat on the second day, it had still not been published and we believed that that was grossly improper ... We called a press conference, and handed the press copies of the report. We said that it was not the private property of the Heads of Government, and that it should be available to the Commonwealth as a whole. Within an hour of our doing that, the Heads of Government decided, after all, that it was timely to publish the report—so crisis resolved.[95]

65. Lord Howell denied that there was a deliberate attempt to suppress the report, but he believed that there had been "an administrative mistake." The Group had argued that the Report should be published early on, but the Commonwealth Secretariat, "advised by a whole range of Commonwealth members", had argued that, as it was a report to the heads of Government, it should be delayed until it was produced at Perth, by which time, predictably, it had leaked to several papers anyway. Lord Howell's view was that "it was the wrong decision".[96]

66. Mr Sharma admitted that there was "possibly an issue at Perth", when it was decided by the member states that this report should be first seen by the Heads, "because the Heads had asked for the report before it was publicly released". However, Mr Sharma said that "It was not, by any stretch of the imagination, an effort to suppress the report."[97]

67. We conclude that the treatment of the Eminent Persons Group report by a number of Heads of Government at Perth has damaged the Commonwealth's reputation.

The role of Ministers

68. British diplomacy will only be effective in Commonwealth circles if Ministers, and not just Ministers from the FCO, take it seriously. Mr Mark Robinson urged the FCO to do more to make sure that Departments are "properly represented"[98] at Commonwealth ministerial meetings. He gave the example of a Commonwealth Education Ministers' meeting, at which he was struck by the expression on "the High Commissioner's face when he heard that there was not even going to be a Minister from Britain." Luckily, Mr Robinson said, that was corrected, and although the Whips would only allow the Minister, David Lammy, to come for a day, "his presence during that day was enormously appreciated".[99]

69. Professor Murphy noted the benefits of allowing Ministers—Finance Ministers, Foreign Ministers, Defence Ministers— to attend Commonwealth meetings, warning that if UK Ministers at a senior level are not using that facility, "they are missing something very important in the Commonwealth."[100] Stuart Mole was concerned that the Commonwealth is just seen as "the briefest of stops on the Ministerial itinerary." He said that there had to be "genuine, sustained engagement".[101]

70. Mr Robinson urged a more concerted approach to ministerial attendance at Commonwealth meetings, with the Foreign Office taking responsibility for making sure that other Departments of State "connect when Commonwealth meetings come up".[102] The Commonwealth Advisory Bureau also called for a more organised approach to diplomatic contacts with the Commonwealth, complaining that governments—including the UK Government—did not have a comprehensive strategy for maximising the opportunities that these meetings afford—such as advancing bilateral relations, and advancing foreign policy objectives. The Bureau suggested that "If the UK is about to enter into tricky negotiations on any global issue, it could work with other key and influential Commonwealth governments to call a meeting of Commonwealth Ambassadors/High Commissioners in the relevant capital to hear all the major arguments and build consensus."[103]

71. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office should be much more proactive across Whitehall in ensuring that Ministers participate in Commonwealth meetings where there is a clear UK interest in the outcome.

Resources for the diplomatic effort

72. Some witnesses questioned whether the Government was devoting enough human and financial resources to support work on Commonwealth issues. Stuart Mole said that he did not believe the amounts spent by the FCO on Commonwealth diplomacy were adequate, describing the money spent by the FCO on the Commonwealth as "a minuscule amount"[104] Comparing expenditure on the Commonwealth with the amounts spent by the UK on some other international organisations is instructive. In 2011-12, the FCO subscription for the Commonwealth Secretariat was £5.74 million, against equivalent figures of £98.14 million for the United Nations, £26.53 million for the Council of Europe and £12.45 million for the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.[105]

73. Dr Danny Sriskandarajah saw the situation positively, viewing the Commonwealth as "incredible value for money" The size of the UK publicly-funded commitment to Commonwealth institutions, he said, was "tiny", but the value that Britain derived from the Commonwealth was "immense".[106] The FCO told us that the Government had "demonstrated [its] renewed commitment [to the Commonwealth]" in May 2010 partly by increasing the size of the FCO Commonwealth Unit from two to six officials.[107] This number is still, however, smaller than the seven which was the complement of the Commonwealth Co-ordination Department of the FCO when our predecessor Committee carried out an inquiry into the issue in 1996.[108] Richard Bourne observed that in practice the FCO interest in the Commonwealth was narrowly-focussed, largely concentrated on the biennial CHOGMs and on interaction with the Commonwealth Secretariat.[109]

74. While there has been a modest increase in FCO-based resources dedicated to Commonwealth matters, closures of diplomatic posts and other reductions in British influence have occurred in Commonwealth countries, as elsewhere. Stuart Mole in particular lamented the loss of High Commissions and other missions in the Pacific which, he said, had saved "a relatively small amount of money" but was "hugely noticed in the Pacific" and damaged British interests.[110] The Commonwealth Advisory Bureau also voiced concern at the closure of a number of diplomatic posts in smaller Commonwealth countries, especially in the Pacific, and Lord Howell expressed regret that such closures had taken place.[111] Other countries were said to be ready to fill any vacuums that arose across the Commonwealth. On our visit to the Caribbean we heard a great deal about reductions in British support for defence force training and increasing Canadian involvement; it was observed, for instance, that Canada had four permanent staff at the Caribbean military training college, while there was only one UK staff member.

75. Quality as well as quantity of diplomatic effort concerned Dr Sriskandarajah, who urged the Government to be more imaginative and Commonwealth-minded in its approach in individual countries. He praised the work of Diane Corner, the British High Commissioner to Tanzania, who "thought it odd that she never really got together with her Commonwealth colleagues who were based in Dar es Salaam". He said that for the past year or so, informally, many of the Commonwealth High Commissioners in Dar es Salaam now "get together to talk about issues and start to act like a community." He welcomed the fact that such initiatives were now happening in many other parts of the world.[112]

76. We believe that the Government already makes a good return on its modest investment in relations with the Commonwealth. Given the unrealised potential of the Commonwealth, the UK could usefully invest more. In its programme of reopening posts across the world, and in the plans for the staffing of Whitehall departments, the Government should maintain and strengthen links with the Commonwealth. The Committee praises the recent announcement by the Foreign Secretary that the UK and Canada will share premises and services at missions abroad.

77. The virtues of the unofficial Commonwealth were emphasised to us by Dr Sriskandarajah. He suggested that by going beyond formal diplomacy the Government could achieve better value for money, using more of its very limited funds to "pump-prime the people's Commonwealth." He said that with proper funding a "robust and independent civil society ... can be an incredibly effective way of pursuing soft power objectives" In this way, strengthening informal networks could help the Foreign Secretary "perhaps almost hedge [his] bets against failure of reform at the intergovernmental level".[113] The value of sporting links was mentioned by several of our witnesses, and Richard Bourne argued that the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014 could provide the opportunity for the Government to launch a strategy for youth involvement which he saw as "as crucial for the long-term health of the Commonwealth."[114]

78. We urge the Government to make the fullest possible use of the Commonwealth's informal networks. Although formal diplomatic processes will always be important, the highly developed and well-established networks of "the people's Commonwealth" offer excellent opportunities for the exercise of "soft power", which can also be more cost-effective than the work of the official institutions of the Commonwealth. We would welcome a clear statement of the UK Government strategy for engagement with the informal Commonwealth.

Accountability to Parliament

79. We were urged by Richard Bourne to strengthen the accountability of the FCO to Parliament for progress on Commonwealth issues, and especially to arrange more regular evidence sessions with the Foreign Secretary on the outcomes of key meetings.[115]

80. Parliament, and especially this Committee, can play a part in a more serious and sustained UK approach to Commonwealth issues. After every CHOGM and other major Commonwealth meeting, we will invite the Foreign Secretary and FCO Permanent Under Secretary to report on the outcome of that meeting and to report on what governments, the Secretariat and other Commonwealth agencies have done to implement previous Commonwealth decisions.

BBC World Service cuts

81. Another recent development which risks undermining the Government's profession of support for a stronger Commonwealth was the decision to close some sections of the BBC World Service. In our April 2011 report on the issue we were especially critical of the planned closure of the BBC Hindi shortwave service, describing it as:

a matter of deep concern ... We note that India is a major rising economic power and that the Government has professed its wish to improve bilateral relations as a priority. We further note that the estimated savings from reducing World Service operations in India, at £680,000, are small in relation to the nearly 11 million listeners that will be lost.[116]

In the event, after publication of our report, money was found to pay for the continuation of the Hindi shortwave service.[117]

82. Other BBC World Service cuts to affect Commonwealth countries were the complete closure of the Caribbean service and the Portuguese for Africa service and the reduction in the Urdu service. During this inquiry we heard some criticism that the cuts would seriously diminish the UK's ability to exert 'soft power' across large parts of the Commonwealth.[118] However, Lord Howell did not agree, restating the Government's belief that "these cuts could be consolidated and managed without damaging the momentum and effectiveness of the BBC World Service." He told us that when the World Service went under the direct management of the BBC after 2014, would be "more effective still".[119]

83. In our report on the BBC World Service we concluded that the Service had suffered "a disproportionate reduction in its future Grant-in-Aid under the Spending Review settlement, by comparison with that of the 'core FCO'" and warned that "the relatively small monetary savings to be achieved through this ... reduction in spending ... are disproportionate to the World Service's actual worth to the UK".[120]

84. We stand by the conclusions of our previous report on the BBC World Service. The Government needs to see the big picture when considering the funding of the BBC World Service, not least the fact that the vacuum left by departing services could quickly be filled by others. Modest savings achieved through ill-thought-out cuts could lead to a damaging loss of influence in highly important countries, including a number of Commonwealth countries.

49   Ev 64 Back

50   Q 2 Back

51   Ev 65 Back

52   Q 193 Back

53   Ev 149 Back

54   Ev 112 Back

55   Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa Back

56   Q 142 Back

57   Q 142 Back

58   Ev 128 Back

59   Ev 79 Back

60   Ev 80-1 Back

61   Q 120 Back

62   Q 134 Back

63   Ev 149 Back

64   Royal Commonwealth Society, Report of the Roundtable on the 'Arms Trade Treaty and the Commonwealth', 28 May 2012, p 2 Back

65  Back

66   Ev 83 Back

67   Ev 143 Back

68   Ev 61 Back

69   EPG Report, 2011, p 107 Back

70   EPG Report, 2011, p 107 Back

71   Ev 99 Back

72   Q 196  Back

73   Q 9 Back

74   Q 197 Back

75   Q 9 Back

76   Q 205 Back

77   Q 22 Back

78   Foreign Secretary, Speech to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, 27 July 2011 Back

79   IbidBack

80   Lord Howell, Speech to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, 26 July 2011 Back

81   Q 222 Back

82   Q 31 Back

83   Q 105 Back

84   Q 44 Back

85   Q 104 Back

86   Ev 149 Back

87   Ev 91 Back

88   Q 14 Back

89   Ev 157 Back

90   Ev 149 Back

91   Ev 63 Back

92   IbidBack

93   Ev 112 Back

94   Q 213 Back

95   IbidBack

96   Q 163 Back

97   Q 207 Back

98   Q 104 Back

99   IbidBack

100   Q 29 Back

101   Q 64 Back

102   Q 105 Back

103   Ev 62 Back

104   Q 54 Back

105   Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Annual Report and Accounts 2011-12, HC 59, p.94  Back

106   Q 119 Back

107   Ev 84. On 31 March 2012 the FCO had 4,581 UK based civil service staff. FCO, Annual Report and Accounts 2011-12, p 53 Back

108   Foreign Affairs Committee, First Report of Session 1995-96, The Future Role of the Commonwealth, HC 45, para 38 Back

109   Ev 114 Back

110   Q 56 Back

111   Ev 63, Q 150 Back

112   Q 140 Back

113   Q 139 Back

114   Ev 112 Back

115   Ev 112 Back

116   Foreign Affairs Committee, Sixth Report of Session 2010-11, The Implications of Cuts to the BBC World Service, HC 849, 13 April 2011, para 39  Back

117   HC Deb, 22 June 2011, col 15W Back

118   Q 44 Back

119   Q 150 Back

120   Foreign Affairs Committee, The Implications of Cuts to the BBC World Service, para 15 Back

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© Parliamentary copyright 2012
Prepared 15 November 2012