The Secretary-General’s Good Offices offers support to member countries, upon request, to defuse political tensions and prevent conflict by assisting countries to resolve internal differences through dialogue, mediation, persuasion and moral authority. Through the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy, the Commonwealth supports Zambian-led political dialogue efforts in the country. Professor Ibrahim Gambari is Nigeria’s former Minister of Foreign Affairs, an African elder statesman and a senior UN diplomat. In July 2016, the Secretary-General appointed him as Commonwealth Special Adviser on Political Dialogue to Zambia. Professor Gambari is working with national stakeholders to establish mechanisms to promote national cohesion, tolerance and conflict prevention and resolution. His mission is intended to foster an inclusive, time-bound, constructive political dialogue that culminates in a roadmap for reform ahead of the 2021 general elections.
Professor Gambari’s engagement has received widespread commendation, including from the president and the leader of the opposition, the chair of the Electoral Commission of Zambia, civil society and Zambian High Commissioner to London HE Muyeba Chikonde. However, the Secretary-General’s Good Offices has established a strong grounding from which to support peacebuilding efforts in Zambia.