The Commonwealth, also known as the Commonwealth of Nations, formerly (1931-1949) British Commonwealth:It is a free federation of sovereign states that includes the United Kingdom and a number of previous dependencies that have chosen to maintain friendly relations and practical cooperation and which acknowledge the British monarch as the symbolic head of their association. In 1965, the Commonwealth Secretariat was established in London to organize and coordinate the activities of the Commonwealth.
_ Member States.
There are 54 countries in the Commonwealth, in Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Europe and the Pacific. The countries of the Commonwealth are diverse – they are among the largest, smallest, richest, and poorest countries in the world.
32 of our members are classified as Small Countries. Small countries are especially vulnerable to things like climate change or development challenges.
_Countries by Region:
( Africa )
United Republic of Tanzania.
the moldive Islands.
(Caribbean and Americas)
Antigua and Barbuda.
Saint Kitts and Nevis.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
Trinidad and Tobago.
( Pacific )
Papua New Guinea.
Historically, the Commonwealth was an evolutionary outgrowth of the British Empire. The traditional British policy of allowing a great deal of autonomy in its colonies led to the existence of many dependent states by the nineteenth century that were largely populated by Europeans accustomed to forms of parliamentary government and possessing substantial measures of sovereignty. By 1931, they were recognized as having a special status within the empire through the Westminster Act, which specifically referred to the “British Commonwealth of Nations”. The rapid growth of nationalism in other parts of the empire since the 1920s resulted in a long series of granting independence, beginning with the granting of independence to India in 1947, and requiring a redefinition of the Commonwealth.
In 1947 India and Pakistan became members of the Commonwealth, the first to have a mainly non-European population. In 1948 Burma.
(Myanmar) became independent and refused membership. In 1949, India announced its intention to become a republic, which would have required its withdrawal from the Commonwealth under the current rules, but at a meeting of Commonwealth Heads of Government in London in April 1949, it was agreed that India could continue its membership if it accepted the British Crown as ” Free Union symbol “only members of the Commonwealth.This proclamation was the first to drop the British adjective, after which the official name of the organization became the Commonwealth of Nations, or simply the Commonwealth.
The Commonwealth also experienced other difficulties, with some members choosing to withdraw from the organization, as did Ireland (1949), South Africa (1961) and Pakistan (1972), although South Africa and Pakistan eventually returned (the first in 1994) and the latter in 1989. ).
The organization has grown to include Mozambique (joined in 1995), which was the first country to be granted entry that was never part of the British Empire or under the control of any member.
The Commonwealth differs from other international bodies. It has no formal constitution or bylaws. Members have no legal or official obligation to each other; They are held together by common traditions, institutions, and experiences as well as by economic self-interest.
The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting is held every two years.
Britain has huge foreign investments, both governmental and private, in the Commonwealth.
Many of the Commonwealth’s exports go to other member states. In 1996, the Commonwealth African Investment Fund was established to increase investment in that continent.
In addition to the independent members, the Commonwealth also includes dependent territories, which are formally governed by the United Kingdom, Australia or New Zealand.
The dependencies include Anguilla, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, and the Turks and Caicos Islands (United Kingdom); Christmas Island, Cocos Islands, Coral Sea Islands, Norfolk Island (Australia); Niue and Tokelau (New Zealand).
The United Kingdom pursued a policy of driving dependencies towards self-government by establishing regional governments in it. These governments consist of a law-making body (often called the legislature); An executive body (called the Executive Council), which together with the Governor is the executive branch; It is an independent judiciary.
Member countries، من موقع: thecommonwealth.org،
Commonwealth ، من موقع: www.britannica.com