Commonwealth summits are notoriously difﬁcult to predict. They are intended to review work over the previous two years and set the agenda for future cooperation. But events have a tendency to cut across the best laid plans.
The 1995 Auckland summit should have been a celebration of the Commonwealth commitment to democracy – it was the ﬁrst attended by President Nelson Mandela following South Africa’s re-entry after a thirty ﬁve-year absence - but was hijacked by the Nigerian government’s judicial murder of Ken Sara-Wiwa.
Little else was discussed and, unsurprisingly, Nigeria had its membership suspended under the Millbrook Action Programme, which was hastily concocted to strengthen the 1991 Harare Declaration of Commonwealth principles.