A silent club has no future

Gambia has declared that it is withdrawing from the Commonwealth, a “neocolonial institution”, according to the country’s President, Yahya Jammeh. No further reasons were given, but the decision may well be related to the poor relationship between Jammeh and the U.K. He’s accused Britain of backing his political opposition, and this year the Foreign Office criticised Gambia’s human rights record. In today’s crowded marketplace of international organisations, the Commonwealth is caught in an existential crisis about its role. it has no great budget and resources. It cannot deliver substantial programmes, instead having to rely on nudging governments to do better. Gambia’s decision signals the beginning of the end for this once great institution. The secretariat is accused of actively dodging any politically sensitive issue, and its reticence to speak out means that the Commonwealth suffers from a very low public profile. A 2009 poll in seven countries showed than only a third of people could identify what the Commonwealth does.

Source: http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/a-silent-club-has-no-future/article5201809.ece

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