For the first thirty years after Independence in 1965, the Gambia had a respected place on the international scene. It played an important role in conflict resolution in the Middle East during the Iran – Iraq conflict and peace keeping in Liberia and Sudan. It was recognized for its excellent respect for human rights. It was in recognition of this record that the erstwhile continental organization the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the precursor of the African Union, voted to establish the headquarters of the African Centre for Human Rights Studies and the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights in Gambia. However, since the coup d’état which in 1994 overthrew the democratically elected government of the day, the country has been the object throughout the world of criticism and condemnation for its abysmal human rights record and absence of the rule of law.
The Gambia’s reputation at the level of the sub region particularly the West African Economic Community ECOWAS - has not been smooth sailing. This explains why the Gambian Head of State has never been able after twenty years in power to get elected as Chairman of this sixteen member regional integration grouping.
Relations with the neighboring sister Republic of Senegal, with which the Gambia is inextricably linked by ethnicity, history and religion and culture, have also been at most times troublesome and erratic, to the detriment of the welfare and wellbeing of the two sisterly countries.
A UDP government will rectify this recalcitrant image that the country has been known for in the past two decades and to this effect, will predicate our external relations on the following principles;
i). Mutual recognition of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of other nation-states;
ii). Non-aligned, and, non-interference with the internal affairs of other states;
iii). Basing our bi-lateral and multi-lateral relationships and partnerships for the mutual benefits of all partners;
The above tenets will lead The Gambia to:
Play a more positive role in regional, continental and international groupings, such as, ECOWAS, wherein we shall unequivocally respect and be bound by treaties and protocols we assent to.
Re apply and restore full membership of the Commonwealth of Nations from which the President unconstitutionally withdrew the country from in 2015.
Forge closer ties with Senegal and in this regard, a UDP government will enter into discussions with Senegal with a view to working out a more practical and lasting form of cooperation between our two countries that would be mutually beneficial
Work sincerely and in a proactive manner with Senegal to find a lasting solution to the protracted conflict in the southern Senegal region of Casamance, which has a devastating effect on the sustainable development of our two countries.
Rationalize its international and diplomatic representation based on wider interest of the Gambian people by reducing the unnecessary and costly diplomatic missions that have proliferated under the present regime