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An Inclusive Commonwealth – our theme for 2016

The Commonwealth theme for 2016 celebrates the diversity of the Commonwealth, which is made up of more than two billion people.

Every person is different, and each has something unique to offer. The Commonwealth Charter asserts that everyone is equal and deserves to be treated fairly, whether they are rich or poor, without regard to their race, age, gender, belief or other identity. The Commonwealth builds a better world by including and respecting everybody and the richness of their personalities.

The theme informs events organised by governments, schools, community groups and individuals to celebrate Commonwealth Day, and helps to guide activities by Commonwealth organisations throughout the year.

Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma said: “An Inclusive Commonwealth refers to the values of tolerance, respect and understanding, as well as equity and fairness, set out in the Commonwealth Charter, and the richness of the Commonwealth as a family of nations in which each member state is valued equally and has an equal voice.

“In changing times, the need for the Commonwealth to act as an inclusive network for mutual support, development and growth of opportunity and rights for all is as great as ever.”

Commonwealth Day is marked every year on the second Monday in March. In 2016 it is celebrated on 14 March.

Individuals and groups are encouraged to draw inspiration from and interpret the theme in their own ways, for example by organising a community debate or art competition.

Events and activities

Tell us how you plan to celebrate the theme of 'An Inclusive Commonwealth'. Contact [email protected] and share your stories and photos for posting on our website.

Social media

Tag your posts on social media, including Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #InclusiveCommonwealth

Show your support for an #inclusivecommonwealth by joining: https://t.co/01aJNrhJc4 #humanrights #equalityforall pic.twitter.com/gTbswpKZKB

— The Commonwealth (@commonwealthsec) February 17, 2016


Posters and other materials are available to order from the Commonwealth Secretariat from the beginning of February. Please email Cathy Price at [email protected].

More information about past themes