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Commonwealth stories from the archive


Commonwealth leaders that agreed on sanctions against apartheid-era South Africa in 1986Sanctions agreed against apartheid-era South Africa

August 1986: Commonwealth puts pressure on white minority rule government.

A Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation expert provides lifeboat training in BangladeshThe birth of the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation

Plans by Arnold Smith, the first Commonwealth Secretary-General, to provide Commonwealth countries with a fund for multilateral aid came to fruition in the early 1970s.

Commonwealth Secretary-General Shridath RamphalThe Holdgate Report on climate change

Landmark Commonwealth study gave world a ‘wake-up call’ on climate change and sea level rise.

One section of Commonwealth leaders sitting on a stage in rowsHarare Declaration sets out fundamental values

Commonwealth vows to safeguard democracy and human rights.

Commonwealth leaders relax at the Gleneagles Hotel, Scotland in 1977 Gleneagles Agreement on Sport

Landmark accord banning sport contacts mounts pressure on apartheid-era South Africa.

Commonwealth Finance Ministers Meeting in Toronto, Canada, 1984Commonwealth highlights debt crisis in developing countries

Finance ministers welcome major Commonwealth report on the debt crisis.

1979 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, Lusaka, ZambiaCommonwealth Lusaka Declaration on Racism

Accord on racism sets out Commonwealth duty to tackle discrimination and apartheid.

Commonwealth Secretary-General Arnold SmithAlliances can create ‘responsible and just world society’

Commonwealth Parliamentarians heard how it was in their “common interest” to strengthen regional alliances.