Commonwealth of Nations | IAS Target IAS Target

Commonwealth of Nations

The Commonwealth of Nations, generally known as the “Commonwealth”, is a political association, nearly all of them former territories of the British Empire. The chief institutions of the organisation are the Commonwealth Secretariat, which focuses on intergovernmental aspects, and the Commonwealth Foundation, which focuses on non-governmental relations between member states.
It was originally created as the British Commonwealth of Nations through the Balfour Declaration at the 1926 Imperial Conference. The current Commonwealth of Nations was formally constituted by the London Declaration in 1949, which modernised the community and established the member states as "free and equal". The member states of the commonwealth are not legally liable or bound to each other. They are rather united by history, language, culture, the likeness of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.
The Head of the Commonwealth, currently Queen Elizabeth II, and the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting appointed Charles, Prince of Wales to be her designated successor. Member states are connected through their use of the English language and historical ties. Their stated shared values of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law are enshrined in the Commonwealth Charter and promoted by the quadrennial Commonwealth Games.
Former British mandates that did not become members of the Commonwealth are Egypt, Transjordan, Iraq, British Palestine, British Somaliland, Sudan, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates. Rwanda and Mozambique are also its members, who were never colonies of Britain. It is not a trade block. It aims to promote democracy, human rights, and world peace.
Several countries (such as Britain, Caribbean islands) grant the right to vote to any commonwealth country citizen residing in their territory to vote in their elections. On occasion, the commonwealth has suspended members for not maintaining democratic governments (such as Nigeria from 1995-1999). Recently, there have been lots of protests demanding that Sri Lanka be dropped, given the war crimes inflicted on Tamils during the civil war.

Headquarters Marlborough House London, SW1 United Kingdom
Members states 53
Working language English
20% of the world's land area