The Commonwealth

The modern Commonwealth was established in 1949 as an association of free and equal sovereign states which had been part of the British Empire but were now independent and, in the case of India and Pakistan, on the verge of becoming republics. There are now 53 member states, listed below, with a combined population of 2.2 billion (approximately 30% of the world’s population).

The Royal Commonwealth Society - The Commonwealth

Caribbean and Americas

Antigua and Barbuda
The Bahamas
Barbados
Belize
Canada
Dominica
Grenada
Guyana
Jamaica
St Kitts and Nevis
St Lucia
St Vincent and The Grenadines
Trinidad and Tobago

Europe

Cyprus
Malta
United Kingdom

Africa

Botswana
Cameroon
Ghana
Kenya
Lesotho
Malawi
Mauritius
Mozambique
Namibia
Nigeria
Rwanda
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
South Africa
Swaziland
Uganda
United Republic of Tanzania
Zambia

Asia

Bangladesh
Brunei Darussalam
India
Malaysia
Maldives
Pakistan
Singapore
Sri Lanka

Pacific

Australia
Fiji
Kiribati
Nauru
New Zealand
Papua New Guinea
Samoa
Solomon Islands
Tonga
Tuvalu
Vanuatu

Rwanda, the newest member joined in 2009, despite having no direct link to Britain. The Gambia left the Commonwealth in 2013, Zimbabwe withdrew in 2003 and Fiji is currently suspended.

The Commonwealth is an association of governments and peoples, built around shared language, institutions, challenges, aspirations and values. Unlike most other international associations, the Commonwealth works on a consensus model and membership is voluntary, predicated primarily on a country’s commitment to upholding shared values and principles, including the protection and promotion of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.

The Affirmations underlie the intrinsic values which the entire Commonwealth shares. Click here to read the Affirmations