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Commonwealth Summit in Uganda Ends United on Pakistan, Split on Climate

  • VOA News

The three-day Commonwealth summit in Uganda ended Sunday with united action against Pakistan but divided on other issues, including climate change.

Key decisions included the suspension of Pakistani from the 53-nation federation of mostly former British colonies, after Pakistan's military ruler Pervez Musharraf missed deadlines to lift emergency rule and step down as army chief.

Another important issue discussed at the summit was climate change.

The leaders issued a statement on climate-change policy Saturday, but they were unable to agree on any plan that would require them to reduce greenhouse-gas emmissions blamed on the global warming trend.

Environmental group Greenpeace criticized the statement as lacking any sense of urgency.

Outgoing Commonwealth Secretary-General Don McKinnon acknowledged the statement was not as strong as some members would have liked, but said it was a worthwhile step forward.

In a separate development Saturday at the summit in Kampala, Indian diplomat Kamalesh Sharmar was unanimously appointed as the new Commonwealth secretary-general.

Sharmar, the federation's first Asian leader, will replace McKinnon of New Zealand, who will step down in April after eight years.
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