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Mbeki appointed as first Commonwealth chairman

South African President Thabo Mbeki has been appointed as the first chairman of the Commonwealth, media reports said on Tuesday. The new position was created by the organisation at the end of their meeting in Durban on Monday.

Mbeki will hold the position until the next Commonwealth meeting in 2001. Traditionally the head of state of the host nation has held the position of chairman for that particular meeting only. Commonwealth heads of state agreed that the chairman should play more of a representative role between meetings to give the Commonwealth a voice in other international institutions.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information:

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