Nauru Accedes to Full Membership of the Commonwealth
12 April 1999
Nauru, the Commonwealth's smallest nation, will become a full member of the Commonwealth on 1 May 1999 after being a 'special' member of the association for nearly 31 years. Commonwealth Secretary-General Emeka Anyaoku made the announcement after consulting member governments who he said had unanimously agreed to the change.
"The Commonwealth responded warmly to the wish of the people of Nauru that their country assume full membership of the Commonwealth," the Secretary-General said. "Their decision to seek full membership reflects the commitment of the Government of Nauru to participate more fully in international affairs and to again renew its commitment to the Commonwealth's core principles of democracy, good governance, the rule of law and sustainable economic development. I look forward to welcoming the President of Nauru in November at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Durban, South Africa."
Note to Editors:
Nauru has held special membership of the Commonwealth since November 1968, following its independence earlier that year. A decision to accord special membership to Nauru at that time was taken by Commonwealth Heads of Government at the request of the then President, Hammer De Roburt. The category of special membership was devised to take account of Nauru's size (Nauru consists of a single island with a total area of 8 square miles) and limited involvement in international affairs. As a Special Member, Nauru was not required to contribute financially to the running of the Commonwealth Secretariat and other Commonwealth intergovernmental bodies. It was however invited to and participated in Commonwealth activities, developmental and other programmes and initiatives at Ministerial and other levels, but did not participate in Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings.
Issued by the Information and Public Affairs Division, Commonwealth Secretariat,
London SW1Y 5HX,
Tel: 0207-839 3411;
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99/21 12 April, 1999