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Friday, 7 September, 2001, 07:04 GMT 08:04 UK
Text of Zimbabwe agreement
No-go sign on farm settlement in Harare, Zimbabwe
Self-styled war veterans have held the country hostage
Zimbabwe has agreed at a Commonwealth meeting to end all illegal occupations of white-owned farmland and return the country to the rule of law, in return for financial assistance.

The following is the text of the agreement, in full, as presented by the Nigerian Government and signed by all parties.

The meeting recognised that as a result of historical injustices, the current land ownership and distribution needed to be rectified in a transparent and equitable manner. It also agreed on the following:

  • Land is at the core of the crisis in Zimbabwe and cannot be separated from other issues of concern to the Commonwealth such as the rule of law, respect for human rights, democracy and the economy. A programme of land reform is, therefore, crucial to the resolution of the problem
  • Such a programme of land reform must be implemented in a fair, just and sustainable manner, in the interest of all the people of Zimbabwe, within the law and constitution of Zimbabwe
  • The crisis in Zimbabwe also has political and rule of law implications which must be addressed holistically and concurrently. The situation in Zimbabwe poses a threat to the socio-economic stability of the entire sub-region and the continent at large
  • The need to avoid a division within the Commonwealth, especially at the forthcoming CHOGM [Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting] in Brisbane, Australia, over the situation in Zimbabwe
  • The orderly implementation of the land reform can only be meaningful and sustainable if carried out with due regard to human rights, rule of law, transparency and democratic principles. The commitment of the government of Zimbabwe is therefore crucial to this process.

The committee recognises the need for the adoption of confidence-building measures to ensure the implementation of the conclusions of the meeting. In this regard, the meeting welcomed assurances given by the Zimbabwe delegation as follows:

  • Commitment to the Harare Commonwealth Declaration and the Millbrook Commonwealth Action Programme on the Harare Declaration
  • There will be no further occupation of farm lands
  • To speed up the process by which farms that do not meet set criteria are de-listed
  • For farms that are not designated, occupiers would be moved to legally acquired lands
  • Acceleration of discussions with the UNDP [United Nations Development Programme] with a view to reaching agreement as quickly as possible
  • Commitment to restore the rule of law to the process of land reform programme
  • Commitment to freedom of expression as guaranteed by the constitution of Zimbabwe and to take firm action against violence and intimidation
  • Invitation by the foreign minister to the committee to visit Zimbabwe.

The meeting agreed, in the overall context of the statement, that the way forward is for Zimbabwe's international partners

  • to engage constructively with the UNDP and the government of Zimbabwe in pursuing an effective and sustainable land reform programme on the basis of the UNDP proposals of December 2000
  • to respond positively to any request from the government of Zimbabwe in support of the electoral process
  • to continue to contribute to poverty reduction programmes for the benefit of the people of Zimbabwe and that those partners present (Australia, Canada and United Kingdom) would actively pursue these objectives.

The meeting also welcomed the re-affirmation of the United Kingdom's commitment to a significant financial contribution to such a land reform programme and its undertaking to encourage other international donors to do the same.

The BBC's Rageh Omaar reports from Abuja
"This agreement represents a key turning point"
The BBC's James Robbins
looks at the background to the deal
The BBC's Dan Isaacs
""Nobody... expected such a smooth transition to a deal"
See also:

06 Sep 01 | Africa
Zimbabwe deal: Mugabe's U-turn
05 Sep 01 | Africa
Zimbabwe welcomes farmers' offer
25 Aug 01 | From Our Own Correspondent
Gauging opinion in troubled Zimbabwe
17 Aug 01 | Africa
Fleeing Zimbabwe for UK
16 Aug 01 | Africa
Diplomatic options over Zimbabwe
02 Aug 01 | Africa
Zimbabwe targets more white farms
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