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The Commonwealth Secretariat

The Commonwealth Secretariat is the intergovernmental organisation that supports member countries to achieve the Commonwealth's aims of development, democracy and peace.


  • are a voice for small and vulnerable states
  • champion young people
  • promote justice and human rights
  • address threats like climate change, debt and inequality
  • help grow economies and boost trade
  • support decision-makers to make good laws and deliver policies
  • help strengthen governance and build inclusive public institutions
  • provide technical help and training
  • send experts and observers to countries to give impartial advice and help solve national problems
  • provide systems, software and research for managing resources.


At Commonwealth summits, we bring government leaders together to make decisions which impact the lives of all Commonwealth citizens. By uniting our member countries, we amplify their voices and help them work together on global challenges.

Leaders agree priority areas of work at Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings (CHOGM), which happen every 2 years. The next CHOGM summit is in Rwanda in 2021.


The Commonwealth Secretariat’s structure is split into 3 areas:

Commonwealth Secretariat Organogram - Senior Management Committee (SMC) Members and Direct Reports (PDF)

How the Commonwealth and the Secretariat is run

Our vision

To help create and sustain a Commonwealth that is mutually respectful, resilient, peaceful and prosperous and that cherishes equality, diversity and shared values. 

Our mission

We support member governments, and partner with the broader Commonwealth family and others, to improve the well-being of all Commonwealth citizens and to advance their shared interests globally.

“The establishment of the Commonwealth Secretariat in 1965 emphasised the equality of all members, and gave final discouragement to the lingering sentiment that one member had a right to some predominance over others. It has enabled the Commonwealth to develop along independent lines in accordance with the interest of all its members.”  Julius Nyerere, President of Tanzania (1973).