Commonwealth of Nations
Learn more about Commonwealth of Nations
|Head of the Commonwealth||Queen Elizabeth II|
|Secretary-General||Don McKinnon (since 1999)|
|Deputy Secretary-General||Ransford Smith|
|Date of Establishment||1926 (as an informal "British" Commonwealth), 1949 (as the modern Commonwealth)|
|Number of Member States||53|
It was once known as the British Commonwealth of Nations or British Commonwealth, and some still call it by that name, either for historical reasons or to distinguish it from the other commonwealths around the world.<ref>Hansard debates Address byDon McKinnon</ref> The full name, Commonwealth of Nations, is sufficient to distinguish the Commonwealth from other commonwealths such as the Commonwealth of Independent States or the Commonwealth of Australia.
Queen Elizabeth II is the Head of the Commonwealth, and as such is the symbol of the free association of its members. This title, however, does not imply any political power over Commonwealth member states, and does not automatically belong to the British monarch. In practice Queen Elizabeth heads the Commonwealth in only a symbolic capacity, and it is the Commonwealth Secretary-General who is the chief executive of the organisation.
Although Queen Elizabeth is the Head of State of sixteen members of the Commonwealth, called Commonwealth Realms, the majority of the members of the Commonwealth have their own, separate Heads of State: thirty-one members are Commonwealth republics and six members have their own monarchs (Brunei, Lesotho, Malaysia, Samoa, Swaziland, and Tonga). These members still recognise the Queen as Head of the Commonwealth.
The Commonwealth is primarily an organisation in which countries with diverse economic backgrounds have an opportunity for close and equal interaction. The primary activities of the Commonwealth are designed to create an atmosphere of economic co-operation between member nations, as well as the promotion of democracy, human rights, and good governance in those nations.
Although performing a vastly different function, the Commonwealth is the successor of the British Empire. In 1884, whilst visiting Adelaide, South Australia, Lord Rosebery described the changing British Empire, as some of its colonies became more independent, as a "Commonwealth of Nations".
 British Empire weakens
Conferences of British and colonial Prime Ministers had occurred periodically since 1887, leading to the creation of the Imperial Conferences in the late 1920s.<ref name="history">Template:Cite web</ref> The formal organisation of the Commonwealth developed from the Imperial Conferences, where the independence of the self-governing colonies and especially of dominions was recognised, particularly in the Balfour Declaration at the Imperial Conference in 1926, when Britain and its dominions agreed they were "equal in status, in no way subordinate one to another in any aspect of their domestic or external affairs, though united by common allegiance to the Crown, and freely associated as members of the British Commonwealth of Nations". This relationship was eventually formalised by the Statute of Westminster in 1931.
 Many members gain independence
After World War II, the Empire was gradually dismantled, partly owing to the rise of independence movements in the then-subject territories (such as that started in India under the influence of Mohandas Gandhi, Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Subhash Chandra Bose), and partly owing to the British Government's strained circumstances resulting from the cost of the war. The word "British" was dropped in 1949 from the title of the Commonwealth to reflect the changing position.<ref name="timeline">Template:Cite web</ref>Burma (1948), and Aden (1967) are the only former colonies not to have joined the Commonwealth upon independence. Among the former protectorates and mandates, Iraq (1932), Jordan (1946), Israel (1948), Egypt (1953), Sudan (1956), Kuwait (1961), Bahrain (1971), Oman (1971), Qatar (1971), and the United Arab Emirates (1971) never became members of the Commonwealth. The Republic of Ireland left the Commonwealth upon becoming a republic in 1949. However, the Ireland Act 1949 passed by the Parliament of Westminster gave citizens of the Republic of Ireland a status similar to that of other citizens of the Commonwealth in UK law.
 Republics as members
The issue of republican status within the Commonwealth was resolved in April 1949 at a Commonwealth prime ministers' meeting in London. India agreed that when it became a republic in January 1950 it would accept the King as "symbol of the free association of its independent member nations and as such Head of the Commonwealth". The other Commonwealth countries in turn recognised India's continuing membership of the association. (At Pakistan’s insistence, India was not regarded as an exceptional case and it was assumed that other states would be accorded the same treatment as India.) The London Declaration is often seen as marking the beginning of the modern Commonwealth.
 Old, New and White Commonwealth
As the Commonwealth grew, Britain and pre-1945 Dominions (a term formally dropped in the 1940s) became informally known as the "Old Commonwealth", particularly since the 1960s when some of them disagreed with poorer, African and Asian (or New Commonwealth) members about various issues at Commonwealth Heads of Government meetings. Accusations that the old, "White" Commonwealth had different interests from African Commonwealth nations in particular, and charges of racism and colonialism arose during heated debates about Rhodesia in the 1960s and 1970s, the imposition of sanctions against apartheid-era South Africa in the 1980s and, more recently, about whether to press for democratic reforms in Nigeria and then Zimbabwe. The term New Commonwealth is also used in the United Kingdom (especially in the 1960s and 1970s) to refer to recently decolonised countries, which are predominantly non-white and underdeveloped. It was often used in debates about immigration from these countries.
In recent years, the term "White Commonwealth" has been used in a derogatory sense to imply that the wealthier, white nations of the Commonwealth had different interests and goals from the non-white, and particularly the African members. Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has used the term frequently to allege that the Commonwealth's attempts to catalyse political changes in his country is motivated by racism and colonialist attitudes and that the White Commonwealth dominates the Commonwealth of Nations as a whole.
There have been attempts made by groups such as the Federal Commonwealth Society to unite the commonwealth and provide closer ties both culturally and economically, starting with the "White Commonwealth" and expanding to include other nations within the commonwealth generally.
The Commonwealth comprises 53 countries, almost a third of the world's countries, and has a combined population of 1.7 billion people, about a quarter of the world population.<ref> The population figures are given by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office</ref> The total GDP is about US$7.8 trillion (about 16% of the total world economy). The land area of the Commonwealth nations is about 12.1 million square miles (about 21% of the total world land area).
The four largest economies are India at US$4,300 billion, the United Kingdom at US$2,000 billion, Canada at US$1,220 billion, and Australia at US$700 billion based on purchasing power parity analysis; see List of countries by GDP estimates for 2007 (PPP)
The largest military spenders are the United Kingdom at US$48 billion, India at US$21 billion, Australia at US$10.5 billion, and Canada at US$10.5 billion. The Commonwealth of Nations is not a military alliance. see : List of countries by military expenditures
Tuvalu is the smallest member, with only 11,000 people.
Membership is open to countries that accept the association's basic aims and have a present or past constitutional link to a Commonwealth member. Not all members have had direct constitutional ties to Britain: some South Pacific countries were formerly under Australian or New Zealand administration, while Namibia was governed by South Africa from 1920 until independence in 1990. Cameroon joined in 1995 although only a fraction of its territory had formerly been under British administration through the League of Nations mandate of 1920–46 and United Nations Trusteeship arrangement of 1946–61. There is only one member of the present Commonwealth that has never had any constitutional link to the British Empire or a Commonwealth member: Mozambique, a former Portuguese colony, was admitted in 1995 on the back of the triumphal re-admission of South Africa and Mozambique's first democratic elections, held in 1994. The move was supported by Mozambique's neighbours, all of whom were members of the Commonwealth and who wished to offer assistance in overcoming the losses incurred from the country's opposition to white minority regimes in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and South Africa. In 1997, amid some discontent, Commonwealth Heads of Government agreed that Mozambique's admission should be seen as a special case and not set a precedent.
During the late 1940s and early 1950s, the government of Norway reportedly made serious attempts at joining the Commonwealth (as well as adopting the Pound Sterling as its official currency), despite having no history of direct British rule.<ref>"Kongebesøk i øyriket" (Report on the visit to Great Britain by the Norwegian royal family), Aftenposten 26 October 2005</ref> Because of the close ties between Britain and Norway, inaugurated in 1905 with Norway's independence from Sweden, informal proceedings were opened, but they stranded because the Bank of England rejected the proposed monetary union, and because of protocol issues, as the Commonwealth would, upon Norway's entry, have two separate royal heads of state among its members.
Israel, Egypt, Burma and Iraq have never shown an interest in joining the Commonwealth, although they are eligible to do so, having histories of British rule. Sudan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan, The United States Of America and Oman similarly are not members.
Other countries with historical links to the United Kingdom or other Commonwealth countries that could be potential Commonwealth members, but have shown no indication of a wish to join, include Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
 Current and possible future applicants
Rwanda and Yemen have applied to join the Commonwealth, and there was some interest expressed by the Palestinian Authority.<ref>Commonwealth Secretariat reference (1997 Heads of Government meeting communiqué)</ref>
It has also been suggested that Jordan, Israel, and Algeria, being formerly administered by the United Kingdom, might consider joining,<ref>Palestine, Rwanda, Yemen, Algeria, and Israel are among the countries that have expressed interest in joining the Commonwealth, the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Mr Don McKinnon, told a distinguished audience at Trinity College, the University of Melbourne, today. Mr McKinnon was answering questions after delivering the 2006 Commonwealth Lecture for the Commonwealth Round Table in Australia (CRTA) at Trinity. (Wednesday, 2006-03-22) University of Melbourne Web site</ref> while the Republic of Ireland could rejoin. A number of Irish politicians, notably cabinet minister Éamon Ó Cuiv (a grandson of Éamon de Valera), have advocated rejoining, and the government of Seán Lemass considered doing so in the 1960s; Lemass in the mid 1960s had his Minister for Justice Brian Lenihan raise the issue. Lenihan described his actions as flying a kite to gauge the public reaction. In the aftermath of the 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising the idea was controversial and was dropped. It has been raised since by, among others, John M. Kelly (Minister for Foreign Affairs July-October 1981) and by Lenihan again in the late 1980s. The current Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern has suggested that it is unlikely to happen. Others have suggested that it would be the final "piece in the jigsaw" for the current Northern Ireland peace process.
Should Somaliland and Southern Sudan gain independence or international recognition it is likely they will want to join the Commonwealth too. Any internationally recognised split of the island of Cyprus might also see both the Greek and Turkish halves of the island as Commonwealth members (currently Cyprus is officially a unitary member of the Commonwealth).
The various remaining territories and dependencies of the United Kingdom and several other Commonwealth countries would almost certainly gain admission to the Commonwealth in their own right should they become independent. These include Anguilla, Bermuda, the British Indian Ocean Territory(when residents are allowed to return), the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Christmas Island, the Cocos Islands, the Cook Islands, the Falkland Islands (possibly including South Georgia which has no native population), Gibraltar, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, Jersey, Montserrat, Niue, Pitcairn, Saint Helena, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Tokelau and Norfolk Island.
The four nations that comprise the United Kingdom, England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, have in recent years moved towards a system of asymmetrical devolution. The question of Scotland or Wales becoming independent nations is still very much part of the political scene in those nations. There is also growing unrest in English poltical circles that England is badly represented in the current devolved settlement. Similarly, the island of Nevis, currently part of Saint Kitts and Nevis, may eventually separate from its larger neighbour. These would all be potential Commonwealth members in their own right.
In recent years the Commonwealth has suspended several members "from the Councils of the Commonwealth" for failure to uphold democratic government. Suspended members are not represented at meetings of Commonwealth leaders and ministers, although they remain members of the organisation.
Nigeria was suspended between 1995 and 1999.
Zimbabwe was suspended in 2002 over concerns with the electoral and land reform policies of Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF government, before withdrawing from the organisation in 2003. It had previously been suspended from the Commonwealth under the country's former name of Rhodesia from its unilateral declaration of independence in 1964 until its internationally-recognised independence as Zimbabwe in 1980.
As membership is purely voluntary, member governments can choose at any time to leave the Commonwealth. Pakistan left in 1972 in protest at Commonwealth recognition of breakaway Bangladesh, but rejoined in 1989, was suspended again after the 1999 coup, and regained admission again in 2004. Zimbabwe left in 2003 when Commonwealth Heads of Government refused to lift the country's suspension on the grounds of human rights violations and deliberate misgovernment.
 Other termination
Although Heads of Government have the power to suspend member states from active participation, the Commonwealth has no provision for the expulsion of members. However, Commonwealth Realms that become republics automatically cease to be members, unless (like India in 1950) they obtain the permission of other members to remain in the organisation as a republic.
The Republic of Ireland did not apply for re-admittance after becoming a republic in 1949, as the Commonwealth then did not allow republican membership. But the leader of its Opposition at the time, Eamon de Valera, believed that this was a mistake, and he and his successor as Taoiseach, Sean Lemass, both considered re-applying. Éamon Ó Cuív, a minister in the present Irish Government (and de Valera's grandson), raised the issue of the Republic's possible reapplication a number of times in the 1990s. But the issue arouses both hostility and indifference in Ireland, where many people still associate the Commonwealth with British imperialism, even though the majority of member states are now republics. The Republic of Ireland was the first nation to leave the Commonwealth and not rejoin.
South Africa was prevented from continuing as a member after it became a republic in 1961, due to hostility from many members, particularly those in Africa and Asia as well as Canada, to its policy of apartheid. The South African government withdrew its application to remain in the organisation as a republic when it became clear at the 1961 Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference that any such application would be rejected. South Africa was re-admitted to the Commonwealth in 1994, following the end of apartheid in 1990.
The declaration of a republic in the Fiji Islands in 1987, after military coups designed to deny Indo-Fijians political power in Fiji, was not accompanied by application to remain. Commonwealth membership was held to have lapsed until 1997, after racist provisions in the republican constitution were repealed and reapplication for membership made.
 Organisation and objectives
Queen Elizabeth II is the nominal Head of the Commonwealth. Some members of the Commonwealth, known as Commonwealth Realms, also recognise the Queen as their head of state. However, the majority of members are republics, and a handful of others are indigenous monarchies. The Queen's position as Head of the Commonwealth is not hereditary, and when and if the Prince of Wales becomes King, it will be for Commonwealth Heads of Government to decide whether he assumes the role of Head of the Commonwealth.<ref>The position of Head of the Commonwealth was discussed at the 1997 Edinburgh Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. The consensus was that the title should remain annexed to the Sovereign.</ref>
Since 1965 there has been a London-based Secretariat. The current (2006) Commonwealth Secretary-General is Don McKinnon, a former Foreign Minister of New Zealand. The organisation is celebrated each year on Commonwealth Day, the second Monday in March.
The Commonwealth has long been distinctive as an international forum where highly developed economies (the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand) and many of the world's poorer countries seek to reach agreement by consensus. This aim has sometimes been difficult to achieve, as when disagreements over Rhodesia in the late 1960s and 1970s and over apartheid in South Africa in the 1980s led to a cooling of relations between Britain and African members.
The main decision-making forum of the organisation is the biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), where Commonwealth presidents or prime ministers assemble for several days to discuss matters of mutual interest. CHOGM is the successor to the Prime Ministers' Conferences and earlier Imperial Conferences and Colonial Conferences dating back to 1887. There are also regular meetings of finance ministers, law ministers, health ministers, etc.
The most important statement of the Commonwealth's principles is the 1991 Harare Declaration, which dedicated the organisation to democracy and good government, and allowed for action to be taken against members who breached these principles. Before then the Commonwealth's collective actions had been limited by the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other members.
 Benefits of membership and contemporary concerns
The Commonwealth has often been likened to an English gentlemen's club, and the issue of who is and who is not a member often seems to be more important, and certainly attracts much more attention, than what the organisation actually does. This is because the main benefit of membership is the opportunity for close and relatively frequent interaction, on an informal and equal basis, between members who share many ties of language, culture, and history.
In its early days, the Commonwealth also constituted a significant economic bloc. Commonwealth countries accorded each others' goods privileged access to their markets ("Commonwealth Preference"), and there was a free or preferred right of migration from one Commonwealth country to another. These rights have been steadily eroded, but their consequences remain. Within most Commonwealth countries, there are substantial communities with family ties to other members of the Commonwealth, going beyond the effects of the original colonization of parts of the Commonwealth by settlers from the British Isles. Furthermore, consumers in Commonwealth countries retain many preferences for goods from other members of the Commonwealth, so that even in the absence of tariff privileges, there continues to be more trade within the Commonwealth than might be predicted. On Britain's entry to the European Community, the Lomé Convention preserved some of the preferential access rights of Commonwealth goods to Britain market.
But in recent decades there has been a mutual decline of interest in maintaining active inter-Commonwealth relations, and the organisation's direct political and economic importance has declined. Realist critics have argued that in the 21st Century the organisation is an inherently arbitrary alliance with members that are united only through a historical accident of British colonialism. They argue that the organisation lacks a balanced membership, and point out that it is very unusual for any international organisation to exclude highly important regions of the world such as most of Western Europe and South America from membership. Indeed, many Commonwealth members look increasingly to regional partners, non-Commonwealth as well as Commonwealth, to form their most important alliances.
Britain has forged closer relationships with other European countries through the European Union; this was widely felt as a betrayal by citizens of the "Old Commonwealth" whose economies had been developed on the assumption of access to British markets. Similarly, former British colonies have forged closer relationships with non-Commonwealth trading partners and closer geographic neighbours. Reaction to immigration from the new Commonwealth countries into Britain in the 1950s and early 1960s led to the restriction of the right of migration. The Commonwealth today mainly restricts itself to encouraging community between nations and to placing moral pressure on members who violate international laws, such as human rights laws, and abandon democratically-elected government. Key activities today include training experts in developing countries and assisting with and monitoring elections.
Some Commonwealth countries give Commonwealth citizens privileges that are not accorded to aliens. For example, in Britain the right to vote is given to all Commonwealth citizens resident in that country. This is reciprocated mainly in the Commonwealth Caribbean, even to the point that in some countries (including Britain) resident Commonwealth citizens may even be elected or appointed to the national legislature. But these privileges are largely not reciprocal, and it is up to each country to decide what privileges it accords to Commonwealth citizenship, except for the Commonwealth Scholarship. Other privileges that Britain grants Commonwealth citizens include access to immigration programmes such as the working holidaymaker visa. Some privileges offered by individual countries have eroded over the last few decades, but most countries continue to afford special treatment for immigration (e.g. right of abode in UK for some) and visas.
 Cultural links
The Commonwealth is also useful as an international organisation that represents significant cultural and historical links between wealthy first-world countries and poorer nations with diverse social and religious backgrounds. The common inheritance of the English language and literature, the common law, and British systems of administration all underpin the club-like atmosphere of the Commonwealth.
Mostly due to their history of British rule, many Commonwealth nations share certain identifiable traditions and customs that are elements of a shared Commonwealth culture. Examples include common sports such as cricket and rugby, driving on the left, parliamentary and legal traditions, and the use of British rather than American spelling conventions (see Commonwealth English). None of these is universal within the Commonwealth countries, nor exclusive to them, but all of them are more common in the Commonwealth than elsewhere.
Commonwealth countries share many links outside government, with over a hundred Commonwealth-wide non-governmental organisations, notably for sport, culture, education and charity. A multi-sports championship called the Commonwealth Games is held every four years, in the same year as the Winter Olympic Games. As well as the usual athletic disciplines, the games include sports popular in the Commonwealth such as bowls. The Association of Commonwealth Universities is an important vehicle for academic links, particularly through scholarships, principally the Commonwealth Scholarship, for students to study in universities in other Commonwealth countries. There are also many non-official associations that bring together individuals who work within the spheres of law and government, such as the Commonwealth Lawyers Association and the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.
In recent years the Commonwealth model has inspired similar initiatives on the part of France, Spain and Portugal and their respective ex-colonies, and in the former case, other sympathetic governments: the organisation internationale de la Francophonie , the "Comunidad Iberoamericana de Naciones" (Organization of Ibero-American States) and the Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa (Community of Portuguese-speaking countries).
The shared history of British rule has also produced a substantial body of writing in many languages - Commonwealth literature. There is an Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies (ACLALS) with nine chapters worldwide. ACLALS holds an international conference every three years. The 13th Triennial was held in Hyderabad, India, in August 2004; the next will be held in 2007 in Vancouver, Canada from August 17 - 22, 2007.
In 1987, the Commonwealth Foundation established the Commonwealth Writers Prize "to encourage and reward the upsurge of new Commonwealth fiction and ensure that works of merit reach a wider audience outside their country of origin." Caryl Phillips won the Commonwealth Writers Prize 2004 for A Distant Shore. Mark Haddon won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize 2004 Best First Book prize worth £3,000 for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.
Although not affiliated with the Commonwealth in an official manner, the prestigious Booker Prize is awarded annually to an author from a Commonwealth country or the Republic of Ireland. This honour is one of the highest in literature.
 Commonwealth Business Council
The Commonwealth Business Council (CBC) was formed at the Edinburgh CHOGM in 1997. The aim was to utilise the global network of the Commonwealth more effectively for the promotion of global trade and investment for shared prosperity.
The CBC acts as a bridge for cooperation between business and government, concentrating efforts on these specific areas:
- Enhancing Trade
- Mobilising Investment
- Promoting Corporate Citizenship
- Facilitating ICT for Development
- Public Private Partnerships
Commonwealth countries are major stakeholders in the process and success of the Doha Development Agenda. Together the 53 member countries account for 30% of the world’s population, 25% of international trade and investment, and 40% of WTO membership.
CBC’s trade development objectives include encouraging trade facilitation and further liberalisation of services; encouraging developing countries to play an active role in the WTO, and in new trade rounds, by maximising their negotiating strength through cooperative action.
The CBC helps to mobilise investment into Commonwealth countries through measures including ensuring access to international capital markets; strengthening 26 domestic capital markets; encouraging regional integration; committing the private sector to work together with governments to help achieve a successful market economy for generating investment.
A key feature of CBC is its global membership, comprising corporate members from both developed and developing countries. This gives CBC the capacity to make a special contribution to the debate on corporate citizenship, dominated by developed countries.
The CBC has been working to involve the private sector in facilitating the implementation of an Information Communications Technologies for Development programme. The CBC programme enhances collaborative partnerships between the various stakeholders including governments, private sector, donor agencies and civil society. Major goals include:
- Bridging the digital divide for social and economic development.
- Promoting ICT for development in Commonwealth countries.
- Promoting an experience exchange among stakeholders in Commonwealth countries.
- Promoting business and government cooperation for development.
- Creating awareness and enhancing the knowledge of policy makers about economic, technical and legal aspects of implementation of ICT for development.
- Providing and facilitating training and capacity building.
CBC believes that there remains a significant gap for independent support to emerging market governments in the structuring and transacting of ICT infrastructure opportunities. The key CBC objectives are:
- Examine how support from highly experienced individuals can assist through the creation of an infrastructure technical advisory unit.
- Provide senior-level government support to provide focused advice.
- Provide mechanisms that will help governments leverage the huge capacity of the private sector to address the demand for better infrastructure.
- The Constitutional Structure of the Commonwealth, by K C Wheare. Clarendon Press, 1960. ISBN 0-313-23624-0
 List of Commonwealth members
- List of members of the Commonwealth of Nations by continent
- List of members of the Commonwealth of Nations by date joined
- List of members of the Commonwealth of Nations by name
- List of members of the Commonwealth of Nations by population
 See also
- Federal Commonwealth Society
- British Empire
- British Empire and Commonwealth Museum
- British Overseas Territory
- Commonwealth citizen
- Commonwealth Games
- High Commissioner
- List of Commonwealth visits made by Queen Elizabeth II
- Commonwealth of Learning
- Commonwealth Realm
- Commonwealth Republic
- Commonwealth of Independent States
- Community of Portuguese Language Countries
- La Francophonie
- Organization of Ibero-American States
- French Union (defunct)
- French Community (defunct)
 Further reading
- The Commonwealth in the World, by J D B , by N Mansergh. University of Toronto Press, 1982. ISBN 0-8020-2492-0
- Making the New Commonwealth, by R J Moore. Clarendon Press, 1988. ISBN 0-19-820112-5
 External links
- The Commonwealth of Nations website
- The Commonwealth Secretariat
- The Commonwealth Institute, London
- The Commonwealth - UK government site*Commonwealth of Learning
- The Royal Commonwealth Society
- The Royal Commonwealth Society (of Canada)
- British Empire & Commonwealth Museum, Bristol, England
- Association of Commonwealth Universities
- The Federal Commonwealth Society
- University of London Institute of Commonwealth Studies
- Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies
- The Commonwealth as a popular club
- What is the Commonwealth
- The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
- The Commonwealth Meeting in Malta, 2005
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