Former British Empire territories that joined together to create the Commonwealth of Nations are known as the Commonwealth. 54 countries from Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Pacific region make up the Commonwealth.
Over 2.4 billion people call the member nations home. Because of its members’ self-governance and the fact that they were all former British colonies, it was formerly referred to as the British Commonwealth.
It’s very uncommon for people to mistake the Commonwealth with the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), another international organization comprised of former Soviet Union countries.
Commonwealth of Nations Countries in 2022:
|Antigua and Barbuda||India||Saint Kitts and Nevis|
|Bahamas||Kenya||Saint Vincent and the Grenadines|
|Eswatini||Nauru||Trinidad and Tobago|
|Grenada||Papua New Guinea||Vanuatu|
The structure and goals of the Commonwealth of Nations
The nations of the Commonwealth of Nations, in contrast to the countries of the Council of Europe and CARICOM, are geographically dispersed, much like the countries of the United Nations.
They also provide a wide range of styles and colors to choose from. Canadians and Indians make up a big portion of the Commonwealth. Some island nations are among the smallest in the world in the Commonwealth.
Members of the Commonwealth are not legally bound to one another, but they have a common history and usage of the English language, which binds them together.
According to the Commonwealth Charter, all member nations share a commitment to democracy, human rights, and the rule of law as fundamental principles.
According to the Charter, the Commonwealth is a voluntary organization of independent and sovereign governments, each accountable for its policies, consulting and co-operating to promote international understanding and world peace, and influencing global society to the benefit of all via shared principles and values.
Three intergovernmental organizations make up the Commonwealth. To realize the Commonwealth’s objectives, the Commonwealth Secretariat provides help to member nations.
The Commonwealth Foundation’s mission is to promote democratic participation and economic growth. It is the goal of the Commonwealth of Learning to encourage open and online learning.
Members of the United Nations are supported by approximately 80 intergovernmental, professional, civic, and cultural organizations in addition to these three major ones.
A chronology of the Commonwealth’s history
The Balfour Declaration at Imperial Conference in 1926 established the Commonwealth, which the United Kingdom ratified in 1931.
Formed by eight nations signed a document titled London Declaration in 1949: the United Kingdom (UK), Australia (NZ), South Africa, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka (Sri Lanka), and Canada. The member nations of the United Nations were declared “free and equal” in the London Declaration.
King George VI of England served as the Commonwealth’s first head of state. Queen Elizabeth II succeeded him as head of the Commonwealth after his death.
In other words, it does not automatically pass down via the British Royal Family or across nations having royal families, but rather is chosen by each country’s members.
Membership in the Commonwealth of Nations is subject to certain conditions.
Since the Commonwealth was founded, its conditions for membership have undergone several revisions.
As a general rule, the Commonwealth now requires new members to have a direct constitutional relationship to present members. When Mozambique joined the Commonwealth in 1995, this flexible interpretation allowed it to do so without directly connecting to another member.
The Harare Commonwealth Declaration of 1991 stipulates that all member nations must be independent governments, acknowledge the Queen as the Commonwealth’s head, and embrace and abide by the values laid forth in that document.
Also See: CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) Countries 2022
In addition, they aim to eradicate poverty, illiteracy, sickness, and economic inequality across the globe by promoting world peace, individual liberty, and egalitarianism.
The members of the Commonwealth must accept the use of English as a medium of communication, and they must also respect the general public’s desires in relation to participation in the Commonwealth.
Every two years, the heads of government of the Commonwealth countries convene in London (CHOGM). The gatherings serve as a forum for the member nations to debate policies and issues of common concern.
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|Antigua and Barbuda||current||1981|
|Fiji||current||1970||left 1987, rejoined 1997, suspended 2000-2001, 2006-2014|
|Ireland||expired||1931||Joined as Irish Free State, changed name to Ireland 1937, left 1949|
|New Zealand||current||1931||ratified 1947|
|Pakistan||current||1947||left 1972, rejoined 1989, suspended 1999-2004|
|Papua New Guinea||current||1975|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||current||1983|
|Saint Vincent and The Grenadines||current||1979|
|South Africa||current||1931||Left 1961, rejoined 1994|
|Tanzania||current||1964||Also see Tanganyika and Zanzibar|
|Trinidad and Tobago||current||1962|
|Zimbabwe||expired||1980||suspended 2002, left 2003|