June 16

Diplomatic quid pro quo

Rwanda is backing Australia's bid for a temporary Security Council seat when it becomes vacant in 2014, announced Foreign Minister Stephen Smith on 15 June . “In a quid pro quo, the tiny African nation gets Australia's strong support for its bid to become the 53rd member of the Commonwealth,” reports Mark Dodd in The Australian, (16/5)

The decision to seek the temporary seat is a matter for the government, and within their discretion.  It has been and will be criticised. The Governor-General recently went as Head of State to Africa; any ciritcism of the fact of the visit should be directed at  the government.

Rwanda is one of a number of countries, some never part of the British Empire, and seeking membership of the Commonwealth. The Queen is Head of the Commonwealth, which is one international organisation which maintains standards.  


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