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.
London, United Kingdom
Commonwealth Heads of Government issued the Singapore Declaration of Commonwealth Principles at their summit in Singapore in 1971
Declaration of the Nairobi Meeting of Commonwealth National Committees on International Humanitarian Law 21 July 2005
Commonwealth Heads of Government issued the Lusaka Declaration on Racism and Racial Prejudice on 7 August 1979 at their summit in Lusaka, Zambia.
Commonwealth Heads of Government issued the 'Perth Declaration on Food Security Principles' at their Summit in Perth, Australia in 2011.