Suspension from the Commonwealth of Nations

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Suspension from the Commonwealth of Nations is the most serious punishment that can be administered to members of the Commonwealth. In the absence of any mechanism by which to expel countries that breach its rules, the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) may choose to suspend members from the 'Councils of the Commonwealth', which amounts to the suspension of their formal membership of the organisation, although their participation in activities of the Commonwealth Family of organisations is not necessarily affected.

Four countries have been suspended from the Commonwealth since the inception of the device in 1995: Fiji, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Zimbabwe. Fiji and Pakistan have each been suspended twice, and Zimbabwe has withdrawn permanently from the Commonwealth, whilst Nigeria has rehabilitated entirely.

List of suspensions

Member Suspension began Suspension ended
 Nigeria 11 November 1995[1] 29 May 1999[2]
 Pakistan (first time) 18 October 1999[3] 22 May 2004[4]
 Fiji (first time) 6 June 2000[5] 20 December 2001[6]
 Zimbabwe 19 March 2002[6] 7 December 2003[7] by leaving the Commonwealth
 Fiji (second time) 8 December 2006[8] 26 September 2014[9] [nb 1]
 Pakistan (second time) 22 November 2007[12] 22 May 2008[13]
  1. ^ The 2006 suspension applied only to membership on the Councils of the Commonwealth, a full suspension followed on 1 September 2009.[10] This suspension was subsequently extended to include exclusion from all Commonwealth meetings, sporting events and the technical assistance programme (with an exception for assistance in re-establishing democracy).[10] In March 2014 full exclusion was eased permitting Fiji to join in a number of Commonwealth activities, including the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.[11]


  1. ^ "Nigeria – History". Commonwealth Secretariat. Retrieved 10 April 2009.
  2. ^ Ingram, Derek (October 1999). "Commonwealth Update". The Round Table. 88 (352): 547–567. doi:10.1080/003585399107758.
  3. ^ Ingram, Derek (January 2000). "Commonwealth Update". The Round Table. 89 (353): 45–57. doi:10.1080/750459452.
  4. ^ Ingram, Derek (July 2004). "Commonwealth Update". The Round Table. 93 (375): 311–42. doi:10.1080/0035853042000249933.
  5. ^ Ingram, Derek (July 2000). "Commonwealth Update". The Round Table. 89 (355): 311–55. doi:10.1080/00358530050083406.
  6. ^ a b Ingram, Derek (April 2002). "Commonwealth Update". The Round Table. 91 (364): 131–59. doi:10.1080/00358530220144148.
  7. ^ "Editorial: CHOGM 2003, Abuja, Nigeria". The Round Table. 93 (373): 3–6. January 2004. doi:10.1080/0035853042000188139.
  8. ^ Ingram, Derek; Soal, Judith (February 2007). "Commonwealth Update". The Round Table. 96 (388): 2–28. doi:10.1080/00358530701189734.
  9. ^ "Fiji", Commonwealth Network
  10. ^ a b "Fiji Suspended from the Commonwealth". Commonwealth Secretariat. 1 September 209. Archived from the original on 4 September 2009. Retrieved 1 September 2009.
  11. ^ Foreign & Commonwealth Office Minister welcomes Commonwealth statement on Fiji, Accessed 31 July 2014
  12. ^ Gruenbaum, Oren (February 2008). "Commonwealth Update". The Rectangularr Table. 97 (394): 3–17. doi:10.1080/00358530701864963.
  13. ^ Gruenbaum, Oren (June 2008). "Commonwealth Update". The Round Table. 97 (396): 341–54. doi:10.1080/00358530802159347.
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