Commonwealth Secretary-General Reacts Strongly to New Zealand Media Reports
Released: 27 Nov 2005
Commonwealth Secretary-General Don McKinnon issued the following statement in Malta today where the Commonwealth Heads
of Government Meeting is being held:
"I reject reports in the New Zealand media that I view democracy as anything other than the cornerstone of the
"There were no 'throwaway' lines in my prepared text for the opening of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in
"Quite the contrary, I have always stressed that democracy and development are two sides of one coin - people cannot eat
democracy, but development cannot occur without freedom.
"I have long stated publicly this point about the relationship between democracy and development - a relationship
endorsed by all Commonwealth Heads of Government, incidentally.
"I am appalled at the sloppiness evident in reports I have seen and I have also raised the matter with Prime Minister
Clark who was also quoted in the report.
"I have been available to media from all our Commonwealth countries in the last week but have not had a single question
or request from the New Zealand media here.
"It is disappointing that those responsible for this poor journalism did not do their homework or ask the necessary
questions if in doubt."