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Lusaka Declaration

Lusaka Declaration

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The Lusaka Declaration on the Commonwealth on Racism and Racial Prejudice was a declaration
Declaration may refer to:* Declaration , specifies the identifier, type, and other aspects of language elements* Declaration , when the captain of a cricket team declares its innings closed...

 of the Commonwealth of Nations
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 on the issues of racism
Racism is the belief that inherent different traits in human racial groups justify discrimination. In the modern English language, the term "racism" is used predominantly as a pejorative epithet. It is applied especially to the practice or advocacy of racial discrimination of a pernicious nature...

 and egalitarianism
Egalitarianism is a trend of thought that favors equality of some sort among moral agents, whether persons or animals. Emphasis is placed upon the fact that equality contains the idea of equity of quality...

 within and between Commonwealth member states. It was agreed and issued on 7 August 1979 in Lusaka
Lusaka is the capital and largest city of Zambia. It is located in the southern part of the central plateau, at an elevation of about 1,300 metres . It has a population of about 1.7 million . It is a commercial centre as well as the centre of government, and the four main highways of Zambia head...

, Zambia
Zambia , officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. The neighbouring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west....

, at the conclusion of the fifth Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting
Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting
The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, , is a biennial summit meeting of the heads of government from all Commonwealth nations. Every two years the meeting is held in a different member state, and is chaired by that nation's respective Prime Minister or President, who becomes the...


The declaration followed the 1971 Singapore Declaration
Singapore Declaration
The Singapore Declaration of Commonwealth Principles was a declaration issued by the assembled Heads of Government of the Commonwealth of Nations, setting out the core political values that would form the main part of the Commonwealth's membership criteria...

, which laid out the first political, social, and economic membership criteria. In that document, three paragraphs were dedicated to egalitarianism of all forms, of which, one was concentrated entirely upon racism. The impending collapse of the breakaway government of Rhodesia
Rhodesia , officially the Republic of Rhodesia from 1970, was an unrecognised state located in southern Africa that existed between 1965 and 1979 following its Unilateral Declaration of Independence from the United Kingdom on 11 November 1965...

 (then styled as 'Zimbabwe Rhodesia
Zimbabwe Rhodesia
Zimbabwe Rhodesia , officially the Republic of Zimbabwe Rhodesia, was an unrecognized state that existed from 1 June 1979 to 12 December 1979...

' under the Internal Settlement
Internal Settlement
The Internal Settlement was the agreement between Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith and Abel Muzorewa in 1978.-Negotiations:Fed up with the sanctions leveled against Rhodesia by the international community and outright political pressure from South Africa, Great Britain and the United States, the...

) was seen as demanding a restatement of the Commonwealth's principles of racial equality, and so the Lusaka Declaration was made to further expound and clarify the Heads of Governments' position.

The first article of the declaration demanded legal equality
Egalitarianism is a trend of thought that favors equality of some sort among moral agents, whether persons or animals. Emphasis is placed upon the fact that equality contains the idea of equity of quality...

 'without any distinction or exclusion based on race, colour, sex, descent, or national or ethnic origin'. It later stated that no degree of respect for separate cultures could justify racial discrimination, and that the 'infamous policy' of Apartheid was an 'affront to humanity', and that it was the duty of the Commonwealth to effect its 'total eradication'. To compensate for the effects of past colonialism
Colonialism is the establishment, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. It is a process whereby the metropole claims sovereignty over the colony and the social structure, government, and economics of the colony are changed by...

 and racism, it was agreed that special provisions may be made to achieve social and economic redress, paving the way for land reform
Land reform in Zimbabwe
Land reform in Zimbabwe officially began in 1979 with the signing of the Lancaster House Agreement, an effort to more equitably distribute land between the historically disenfranchised blacks and the minority-whites who ruled Zimbabwe from 1890 to 1979...

 in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in the southern part of the African continent, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia and a tip of Namibia to the northwest and Mozambique to the east. Zimbabwe has three...

. In addition to demanding respect and equality for indigenous peoples, the Lusaka Declaration also demanded equal respect for immigrant communities.

The declaration was accompanied by the CHOGM's general communiqué
A communiqué is a brief report or statement released by a public agency.Communiqué may also refer to:* Communiqué , a rock band* Communiqué , 1979* Communiqué , 1987...

, which explicitly iterated these principles with regards to Zimbabwe, and which led to the invitation of Abel Muzorewa
Abel Muzorewa
Bishop Abel Tendekayi Muzorewa served as Prime Minister of Zimbabwe Rhodesia from the Internal Settlement to the Lancaster House Agreement in 1979...

 to take part in the Lancaster House Conference
Lancaster House Agreement
The negotiations which led to the Lancaster House Agreement brought independence to Rhodesia following Ian Smith’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence in 1965. The Agreement covered the Independence Constitution, pre-independence arrangements, and a ceasefire...


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