Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group

Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group

The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG)  deals with serious or persistent violations of the Harare Declaration, which contains Commonwealth's fundamental political values. It was established by Commonwealth Heads of Government in Auckland, New Zealand, in 1995.

CMAG's task is to assess the nature of infringements and recommend measures for collective Commonwealth action aimed at speedy restoration of democracy and constitutional rule.

The Group is convened by the Commonwealth Secretary-General and made up of a representative of the Commonwealth’s Chairperson-in-Office and a rotating group of foreign ministers from eight countries. It is reconstituted at every Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. Ministers generally serve two terms. CMAG's composition, terms of reference and operation is decided and reviewed every two years.

CMAG was given an enhanced mandate at the 2011's Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth, Australia.

The current membership of the group is: Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Jamaica, Maldives, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago and Vanuatu.

CMAG has remained a unique body since it was established. Its authority to suspend a member country from the association is unique amongst international organisations.

It can be convened by the Secretary-General when required to deal with a perceived violation of the Commonwealth principles and values. CMAG meets annually in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.  It can meet in extraordinary session when required.

In situations where a member of CMAG is under scrutiny by the Group itself, its membership is suspended as long as it remains on the formal agenda of the group.