The Commonwealth is one of the world’s oldest political association of states. Its roots go back to the British Empire when some countries were ruled directly or indirectly by Britain. Some of these countries became self-governing while retaining Britain’s monarch as Head of State. They formed the British Commonwealth of Nations.
In 1949 the association we know today, the Commonwealth came into being. Since then, 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 two countries to join the Commonwealth - Rwanda and Mozambique - have no historical ties to the British Empire.
6 March 1957
Ghana becomes the 9th country to join the Commonwealth.
4 February 1948
Sri Lanka becomes the 8th country to join the Commonwealth.
15 August 1947
India becomes the 6th country to join the Commonwealth.
Theme: The Commonwealth in the 21st Century: Continuity & Renewal
Theme: Globalisation & People-Centred Development
Theme: Promoting Shared Prosperity