- September 18, 2020
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Before it celebrates its 55th anniversary of independence from British rule in November 2021, the prosperous West Indies nation will make history by becoming the first country in almost three decades to sever ties with the British royal family and become a republic.
- The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 54 independent and equal countries.
- It is home to 2.4 billion people, and includes both advanced economies and developing countries. 32 of our members are small states, including many island nations.
- The Commonwealth is one of the world’s oldest political associations of states. Its roots go back to the British Empire, when countries around the world were ruled by Britain.
- The 1926 Imperial Conference was attended by the leaders of Australia, Canada, India, the Irish Free State, Newfoundland, New Zealand and South Africa.
- At the 1926 conference Britain and the Dominions agreed that they were all equal members of a community within the British Empire. They all owed allegiance to the British king or queen, but the United Kingdom did not rule over them. This community was called the British Commonwealth of Nations or just the Commonwealth.
- The Dominions and other territories of the British Empire gradually became fully independent of the United Kingdom.
- India became independent in 1947. India wanted to become a republic which didn’t owe allegiance to the British king or queen, but it also wanted to stay a member of the Commonwealth.
- At a Commonwealth Prime Ministers meeting in London in 1949, the London Declaration said that republics and other countries could be part of the Commonwealth. The modern Commonwealth of Nations was born.
- Since 1949 independent countries from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Pacific have joined the Commonwealth. Membership today is based on free and equal voluntary co-operation.
- The last 2 countries to join the Commonwealth – Rwanda and Mozambique – have no historical ties to the British Empire.
- The Commonwealth Secretariat was created in 1965 as a central inter governmental organisation to manage the Commonwealth’s work.