Member states of the Commonwealth of Nations

The Commonwealth of Nations is a voluntary association of 53 sovereign states. Nearly all of them are former British colonies or dependencies of those colonies.

No one government in the Commonwealth exercises power over the others, as is the case in a political union. Rather, the Commonwealth is an international organisation in which countries with diverse social, political, and economic backgrounds are regarded as equal in status, and cooperate within a framework of common values and goals, as outlined in the Singapore Declaration issued in 1971.[1] Such common values and goals include the promotion of democracy, human rights, good governance, the rule of law, individual liberty, egalitarianism, free trade, multilateralism, and world peace, which are promoted through multilateral projects and meetings, such as the Commonwealth Games, held once every four years.[2]

The symbol of this free association is Queen Elizabeth II, who serves as the Head of the Commonwealth. This position, however, does not imbue her with any political or executive power over any Commonwealth member states; the position is purely symbolic, and it is the Commonwealth Secretary-General who is the chief executive of the Commonwealth.[3]

The Commonwealth was first officially formed in 1931 when the Statute of Westminster gave legal recognition to the sovereignty of dominions. Known as the "British Commonwealth", the original members were the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Irish Free State, and Newfoundland, although Australia and New Zealand did not adopt the statute until 1942 and 1947 respectively.[4] In 1949, the London Declaration was signed and marked the birth of the modern Commonwealth and the adoption of its present name.[5] The newest member is Rwanda, which joined on 29 November 2009.[6] The most recent departure was the Maldives, which severed its connection with the Commonwealth on 13 October 2016.

As of April 2017, of the states that are members of the Commonwealth of Nations, three are in Europe, twelve in North America and the Caribbean, one in South America, nineteen in Africa, seven in Asia, and eleven in Oceania. There are seven former members, four of which no longer exist as independent entities (but form part of current member states). The members have a combined population of 2.4 billion, almost a third of the world population, of whom 1.21 billion live in India, and 95% live in Asia and Africa combined.[7]

Currently sixteen of the member states are Commonwealth realms, with the Head of the Commonwealth as their head of state. Five others are monarchies with their own individual monarchs (Brunei, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malaysia, Tonga) and the rest are republics. Republic of Ireland (from 1949 according to the Commonwealth; 1936 according to Irish government), Zimbabwe (2003), and Maldives (2016) are former members of the Commonwealth. South Africa, Pakistan and The Gambia left and later rejoined the Commonwealth.

Commonwealth of Nations
Current Commonwealth members (dark blue), former members (orange), and British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies (light blue)

Current members

All dates below are provided by the Commonwealth of Nations Secretariat members list, and population figures are as of 1 January 2018.[8]

Country Joined Continent Population[9] Notes[A]
Antigua and Barbuda Antigua and Barbuda[D] 1 November 1981 Caribbean 94,195
Australia Australia[D] 11 December 1931 Oceania 25,215,000 Granted nominal independence (Dominion status) on 1 January 1901. Australia was one of the original Dominions at the time of the Statute of Westminster 1931, although the statute was not adopted in Australia until 1942 (with retroactive effect from 1939).[10] The Australia Act 1986 established specifically, only the State Premier could now advise the Queen on appointment or removal of a State Governor. Nonetheless, the Queen could still exercise any of her powers with respect to the State if she was "personally present" in the State.[11]
The Bahamas The Bahamas[D] 10 July 1973 Caribbean 402,576
Bangladesh Bangladesh 18 April 1972[12] Asia 165,867,307 Declared independence from Pakistan in 1971.[13]
Barbados Barbados[D] 30 November 1966 Caribbean 286,618
Belize Belize[D] 21 September 1981 North America 379,636
Botswana Botswana 30 September 1966 Africa 2,377,831
Brunei Brunei 1 January 1984 Asia 439,022
Cameroon Cameroon 13 November 1995[14] Africa 24,836,674 Most of the country was the formerly French mandate territory (later UN trust territory) of Cameroun and gained independence from France on 1 January 1960, uniting with the much smaller former British mandate/trust territory of Southern Cameroons on its gaining independence from the United Kingdom on 1 October 1961.
Canada Canada[D] 11 December 1931 North America 36,885,861 Granted nominal independence (Dominion status) on 1 July 1867. Canada was the first among the several original Dominions at the time of the Statute of Westminster 1931.[15] Incorporated another original Dominion, Newfoundland, on 31 March 1949.[16] The Canada Act 1982 formally ended the "request and consent" provisions of the Statute of Westminster 1931 in relation to Canada, whereby the British parliament had a general power to pass laws extending to Canada at its own request.
Cyprus Cyprus[E] 13 March 1961[17] Eurasia 1,197,667 Gained independence from the United Kingdom on 16 August 1960.
Dominica Dominica 3 November 1978 Caribbean 72,975
Eswatini Eswatini[F] 6 September 1968 Africa 1,336,933
Fiji Fiji[B] 10 October 1970 Oceania 909,024 Left in 1987; rejoined in 1997; suspended on 6 June 2000;[18] suspension lifted on 20 December 2001;[19] again suspended on 8 December 2006 because of the 2006 Fijian coup d'état.[20][21] Suspension lifted on 26 September 2014.
The Gambia The Gambia 18 February 1965 Africa 2,155,958 Withdrew on 3 October 2013 citing "neo-colonialism".[22][23] Following the election of Adama Barrow as President of Gambia in 2016, it submitted an application to re-join the Commonwealth on 22 January 2018,[24] and rejoined on 8 February 2018.[25]
Ghana Ghana 6 March 1957 Africa 29,088,849
Grenada Grenada[D] 7 February 1974 Caribbean 107,894
Guyana Guyana 26 May 1966 South America 773,808
India India 15 August 1947 Asia 1,353,014,094 Incorporated former French India (Chandannagar from 2 May 1950 and Puducherry, Karaikal, Yanam and Mahé from 1 November 1954), former Portuguese India (Goa, Daman and Diu from 19 December 1961 and Dadra and Nagar Haveli formally from 1961) and Sikkim (from 16 May 1975).
Jamaica Jamaica[D] 6 August 1962 Caribbean 2,819,888
Kenya Kenya 12 December 1963 Africa 49,167,382
Kiribati Kiribati 12 July 1979 Oceania 117,636
Lesotho Lesotho 4 October 1966 Africa 2,199,492
Malawi Malawi 6 July 1964 Africa 18,558,768
Malaysia Malaysia 31 August 1957[26][27] Asia 31,505,208 Joined as the Federation of Malaya in 1957; reformed as Malaysia on 16 September 1963 with its federation with Singapore (which became a separate state on 9 August 1965), North Borneo, and Sarawak.[28]
Malta Malta 21 September 1964 Europe 422,212
Mauritius Mauritius 12 March 1968 Africa 1,286,240
Mozambique Mozambique 13 November 1995[29] Africa 29,977,238 Gained independence from Portugal on 26 June 1975. The first country to be admitted to the Commonwealth without any former colonial or constitutional links with the United Kingdom.[30]
Namibia Namibia 21 March 1990 Africa 2,600,857 Gained independence from South Africa.[31] Includes Walvis Bay and the Penguin Islands transferred by South Africa at midnight 28 February 1994.
Nauru Nauru[B] 1 November 1968 Oceania 10,387 Gained independence on 31 January 1968 from joint trusteeship of Australia, New Zealand and United Kingdom. A special member from 1 November 1968 until 1 May 1999, when it became a full member,[32] before reverting to special status in January 2006.[33] A full member again since June 2011.[34]
New Zealand New Zealand[D] 11 December 1931 Oceania 4,609,755 Granted nominal independence (Dominion status) on 26 September 1907. One of the original Dominions at the time of the Statute of Westminster 1931, although the Statute was not adopted in New Zealand until 1947.[35] Removed final links with the British Parliament in 1986.
Nigeria Nigeria 1 October 1960 Africa 194,615,054 Incorporated the former British mandate/trust territory of Northern Cameroons on 31 May 1961. Suspended in 1995, suspension lifted in 1999.[36]
Pakistan Pakistan 14 August 1947[C] Asia 199,031,265 Includes the city of Gwadar, transferred from Muscat and Oman on 8 September 1958. Included Bangladesh (then known as East Pakistan) until 1971.[13] Left Commonwealth in 1972, rejoined 1989; suspended in 1999, suspension lifted in 2004; again suspended in 2007,[37] suspension lifted in 2008.[38]
Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea[D] 16 September 1975 Oceania 8,034,630 Gained independence from Australia.
Rwanda Rwanda 29 November 2009[6] Africa 12,322,920 Gained independence from Belgium on 1 July 1962. The second country (after Mozambique) to be admitted to the Commonwealth without any former colonial or constitutional links with the United Kingdom.[30] Unlike Mozambique, has adopted English as an official language since joining.
Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Kitts and Nevis[B][D] 19 September 1983 Caribbean 56,632
Saint Lucia Saint Lucia[D] 22 February 1979 Caribbean 189,000
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Saint Vincent and the Grenadines[D] 27 October 1979 Caribbean 109,501 A special member from 27 October 1979 until 1 June 1985.
Samoa Samoa[B] 28 August 1970 Oceania 196,954 Gained independence from New Zealand on 1 January 1962. Joined as Western Samoa, subsequently changing its name to Samoa on 4 July 1997.[39]
Seychelles Seychelles 29 June 1976 Africa 98,248
Sierra Leone Sierra Leone 27 April 1961 Africa 6,818,117
Singapore Singapore[B] 9 August 1966 (effective from 9 August 1965)[40] Asia 5,889,117 Gained independence from the United Kingdom and joined Federation of Malaysia on 16 September 1963. Became independent on 9 August 1965.[41]
Solomon Islands Solomon Islands[D] 7 July 1978 Oceania 614,497
South Africa South Africa 11 December 1931 Africa 56,007,479 Granted nominal independence (Dominion status) on 31 May 1910. One of the original Dominions at the time of the Statute of Westminster 1931. Left on 31 May 1961; rejoined 1 June 1994.[42]
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka 4 February 1948 Asia 20,979,811 Joined as the Dominion of Ceylon, subsequently changing its name in 1972. Became a republic in 1972
Tanzania Tanzania 9 December 1961 Africa 57,790,062 Joined as Tanganyika and later Zanzibar, which subsequently merged to form Tanzania on 26 April 1964.[43]
Tonga Tonga 4 June 1970 Oceania 107,228
Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago 31 August 1962 Caribbean 1,376,801 Granted nominal independence (Dominion status) on 31 August 1962. Became a republic within the Commonwealth on August 1, 1976 under the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago Constitution Act 1976, passed by the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago.
Tuvalu Tuvalu[B][D] 1 October 1978 Oceania 10,116 A special member from 1 October 1978 until 1 September 2000.[44]
Uganda Uganda 9 October 1962 Africa 42,288,962
United Kingdom United Kingdom 11 December 1931 Europe 65,746,853 The Parliament of the United Kingdom enacted the Statute of Westminster 1931.
Vanuatu Vanuatu[B] 30 July 1980 Oceania 279,953 Gained independence from joint rule of France and United Kingdom.
Zambia Zambia 24 October 1964 Africa 17,470,471

^ A. Unless otherwise noted, independence was gained from the United Kingdom on the date (shown in column 2) of joining the Commonwealth.
^ B. Not a member of the Commonwealth Foundation.
^ C. Though Pakistan celebrates 14 August 1947 as its independence day, independence was officially granted at midnight, 15 August 1947. Therefore, its date of joining the Commonwealth would be 15 August 1947.
^ D. Commonwealth realms, recognising Queen Elizabeth II as their head of state since the day of their independence, distinctly from her being the sovereign of the United Kingdom.
^ E. Geopolitically part of Europe, but geographically part of Asia.

Former members

Country Joined Continent Left Notes
Republic of Ireland Republic of Ireland 11 December 1931 Europe 18 April 1949 One of the original Dominions at the time of the Statute of Westminster 1931.[16] Withdrew after passing the Republic of Ireland Act in 1948, accepted by the United Kingdom in 1949 Ireland Act 1949.[13]
Maldives Maldives 9 July 1982 Asia 13 October 2016 Gained independence from the United Kingdom on 26 July 1965.[45] A special member from 9 July 1982 until 20 July 1985.[46] Announced on 13 October 2016 that it has withdrawn from the Commonwealth.[47][48]

The cabinet of Ibrahim Mohamed Solih announced on November 26, 2018 that the Maldives is to return to its status as a Commonwealth republic and the application to rejoin was submitted on December 10, 2018.[49][50]

Zimbabwe Zimbabwe 1 October 1980 Africa 7 December 2003 Suspended on 19 March 2002.[19] Withdrew voluntarily on 7 December 2003.[51]

On 15 May 2018, President Emmerson Mnangagwa submitted an application to rejoin the Commonwealth.

Dissolved members

Former country Joined Continent Dissolved Rejoined as part of Notes
Federation of Malaya Malaya 31 August 1957 Asia 31 July 1963[27] Malaysia Malaysia Reformed as the Federation of Malaysia with Singapore (became a separate member in 1965), Sabah, and Sarawak.
Dominion of Newfoundland Newfoundland 11 December 1931 North America 31 March 1949 Canada Canada One of the original Dominions at the time of the Statute of Westminster 1931. Government suspended on 16 February 1934, merged into Canada on 31 March 1949.[16]
Tanganyika Tanganyika 9 December 1961 Africa 26 April 1964 Tanzania Tanzania The two countries merged to form Tanzania on 26 April 1964.[43]
Zanzibar 10 December 1963

Prospective members

Country Applied Continent Population Notes
Somaliland Somaliland 2009[52] Africa ~3,500,000[F] Somaliland is an unrecognised self-declared sovereign state internationally recognised as part of Somalia. It has applied to join the Commonwealth under observer status.[52] Its borders approximate to those of British Somaliland, which was a protectorate from 1884 to 1960.
Sudan Sudan 2009[53] Africa 42,425,989 Sudan was a condominium of the United Kingdom and Egypt known as Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, but in practice the structure of the Condominium ensured full British control over the Sudan until its independence in 1956. Sudan has expressed an interest in joining the Commonwealth.[54]
South Sudan South Sudan 2011[55] Africa 13,670,642 Gained independence from Britain as part of Sudan in 1956. Gained independence from Sudan in 2011.[56]
Suriname Suriname[57] 2012 South America 555,934 English colony of Willoughbyland from 1650 to 1667 and controlled by the British from 1799 to 1816. Subsequently, a Dutch colony. In 2012, Suriname announced plans to join the Commonwealth[58] and the British government has made it a priority to provide guidance to Suriname in applying for Commonwealth membership.[59]
Burundi Burundi[60] 2013 Africa 10,524,117
Zimbabwe Zimbabwe 2018[61] Africa 16,150,362 In recent years, under the presidency of Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe has dominated Commonwealth affairs, creating acrimonious splits in the organisation. Zimbabwe was suspended in 2002 for breaching the Harare Declaration. In 2003, when the Commonwealth refused to lift the suspension, Zimbabwe withdrew from the Commonwealth. Since then, the Commonwealth has played a major part in trying to end the political impasse and return Zimbabwe to a state of normality.

On May 15, 2018, President Mnangagwa submitted an application to rejoin the Commonwealth

^ F. The population figure is based on 2014 estimates.

Other states which have expressed an interest in joining the Commonwealth over the years or states which may be eligible to join the Commonwealth include Algeria, Bahrain[54], Cambodia, Egypt[54], Eritrea[54], Israel[62], Libya[54], Madagascar, Palestine, United States[54] and Yemen.[63][64]

See also

References

  1. ^ "FAQs". Commonwealth Secretariat. Archived from the original on 14 May 2008. Retrieved 16 June 2008.
  2. ^ "Singapore Declaration of Commonwealth Principles 1971". Commonwealth Secretariat. Archived from the original on 11 May 2008. Retrieved 12 June 2008.
  3. ^ "Head of the Commonwealth". Commonwealth Secretariat. Archived from the original on 30 September 2006. Retrieved 16 June 2008.
  4. ^ "The Commonwealth–History–Dominion Status". Commonwealth of Nations. Retrieved 16 June 2008.
  5. ^ "The Commonwealth–History–Modern Commonwealth". Commonwealth Secretariat. Archived from the original on 11 May 2008. Retrieved 16 June 2008.
  6. ^ a b Josh Kron (29 November 2009). "Rwanda Joins British Commonwealth". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 November 2009.
  7. ^ "Country Comparisons – Population". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. 19 March 2009. Retrieved 22 March 2009.
  8. ^ "Members". Commonwealth Secretariat. Retrieved 15 February 2008.
  9. ^ "World population - Countrymeters". Retrieved 6 March 2018.
  10. ^ "Australia". Commonwealth Secretariat. Archived from the original on 2008-02-14. Retrieved 2008-02-15.
  11. ^ There is no equivalent provision as to the Commonwealth. However, for both the Commonwealth and the States, constitutional convention effectively excludes the monarch from any personal exercise of governmental power. The 1986 proclamation was an exception, approved by Australian ministers.
  12. ^ Kohen, Marcelo G. (2006). Secession. London: Cambridge University Press. p. 122. ISBN 978-0-521-84928-9.
  13. ^ a b c "Wind of Change". Commonwealth of Nations. 2016. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  14. ^ Pondi, Jean-Emmanuel (October 1997). "Cameroon and the Commonwealth of Nations". The Round Table. 86 (344): 563–570. doi:10.1080/00358539708454389.
  15. ^ "Canada – History". Commonwealth Secretariat. Archived from the original on 18 April 2008. Retrieved 15 February 2008.
  16. ^ a b c "Dominion Status". Commonwealth of Nations. 2016. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  17. ^ McIntyre, W. David (January 2000). "Britain and the creation of the Commonwealth Secretariat". Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History. 28 (1): 135–158. doi:10.1080/03086530008583082.
  18. ^ Ingram, Derek (July 2000). "Commonwealth Update". The Round Table. 89 (355): 311–55. doi:10.1080/00358530050083406.
  19. ^ a b Ingram, Derek (April 2002). "Commonwealth Update". The Round Table. 91 (364): 131–59. doi:10.1080/00358530220144148.
  20. ^ Ingram, Derek; Soal, Judith (February 2007). "Commonwealth Update". The Round Table. 96 (388): 2–28. doi:10.1080/00358530701189734.
  21. ^ Fiji suspended from the Commonwealth Archived 2011-04-29 at the Wayback Machine. Commonwealth Secretariat, 1 September 2009; retrieved 11 April 2011.
  22. ^ "Statement by Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma on The Gambia". The Commonwealth. 4 October 2013. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
  23. ^ "Gambia quits the Commonwealth". The Guardian. 2 October 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
  24. ^ "The Gambia presents formal application to re-join the Commonwealth" (Media Release). The Commonwealth. 23 January 2018. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  25. ^ "The Gambia rejoins the Commonwealth". Commonwealth Secretariat. 8 February 2018.
  26. ^ Federation of Malaya Independence Act 1957
  27. ^ a b Malaysia Act 1963
  28. ^ "Malaysia – History". Commonwealth Secretariat. Archived from the original on 3 February 2008. Retrieved 15 February 2008.
  29. ^ Ingram, Derek (April 1996). "Commonwealth Update". The Round Table. 85 (338): 153–165. doi:10.1080/00358539608454302.
  30. ^ a b "Rwanda becomes a member of the Commonwealth". BBC News. 29 November 2009. Retrieved 29 November 2009.
  31. ^ Chronology of Namibian Independence
  32. ^ "Nauru Accedes to Full Membership of the Commonwealth". Commonwealth Secretariat. 12 April 1999. Archived from the original on 26 April 2009. Retrieved 30 January 2009.
  33. ^ "Nauru–History". Commonwealth Secretariat. Archived from the original on 3 September 2008. Retrieved 15 February 2008.
  34. ^ "Nauru back as full Commonwealth member". Radio New Zealand International. 26 June 2011. Retrieved 23 October 2011.
  35. ^ "New Zealand – History". Commonwealth Secretariat. Archived from the original on 2 March 2008. Retrieved 15 February 2008.
  36. ^ "Nigeria | The Commonwealth". thecommonwealth.org. Retrieved 2017-06-05.
  37. ^ "Pakistan suspended from the Commonwealth". Commonwealth Secretariat. 22 November 2007. Archived from the original on 25 August 2012. Retrieved 15 June 2008.
  38. ^ "Commonwealth lifts Pakistan suspension". Commonwealth Secretariat. 12 May 2008. Archived from the original on 20 January 2012. Retrieved 15 June 2008.
  39. ^ "Constitution Amendment Act (No 2) 1997". Retrieved 27 November 2007.
  40. ^ Singapore Act 1966
  41. ^ "Road to Independence". AsiaOne. Archived from the original on 13 October 2013. Retrieved 28 June 2006.
  42. ^ "South Africa". Commonwealth Secretariat. Retrieved 2016-01-25.
  43. ^ a b "Tanzania – History". Commonwealth Secretariat. Archived from the original on 3 September 2008. Retrieved 15 February 2008.
  44. ^ "Tuvalu Accedes to Full Membership of the Commonwealth". Commonwealth Secretariat. 14 August 2000. Archived from the original on 11 October 2008. Retrieved 30 January 2009.
  45. ^ "Maldives – History". Commonwealth Secretariat. Archived from the original on 5 July 2008. Retrieved 15 February 2008.
  46. ^ "The Maldives and the Commonwealth". Republic of Maldives. Retrieved 30 January 2009.
  47. ^ "Commonwealth Secretariat". 2016-10-13. Retrieved 2016-10-13.
  48. ^ "Maldives quits Commonwealth over alleged rights abuses". The Guardian. 13 October 2016. "The Maldives has announced it will leave the Commonwealth after mounting pressure from the 53-nation group over corruption and deteriorating human rights in the Indian Ocean state. The country’s government, which has been fending off rumours of an impending coup and allegations of money laundering, said the decision on Thursday to cancel its membership was 'difficult but inevitable'. Its foreign ministry said in a statement it had been treated 'unjustly and unfairly' by the organisation’s Commonwealth ministerial action group (CMAG), which has been scrutinising the government since the former president, Mohamed Nasheed, was ousted in 2012 in what his supporters say was a coup. 'The CMAG and the Commonwealth secretariat seem to be convinced that the Maldives, because of the high and favourable reputation that the country enjoys internationally, and also perhaps because it is a small state that lacks material power, would be an easy object that can be used,' the statement said. It added that it was being targeted 'in the name of democracy promotion, to increase the [Commonwealth’s] own relevance and leverage in international politics'."
  49. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-11-21. Retrieved 2018-11-26.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  50. ^ Chris Baynes (December 10, 2018). "Maldives applies to rejoin the Commonwealth after defeat of isolationist president Abdulla Yameen". The Independent. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  51. ^ "Editorial: CHOGM 2003, Abuja, Nigeria". The Round Table. 93 (373): 3–6. January 2004. doi:10.1080/0035853042000188139.
  52. ^ a b Somaliland on verge of observer status in the Commonwealth. Qaran News, 16 November 2009
  53. ^ Howden, Daniel (26 November 2009). "The Big Question: What is the Commonwealth's role, and is it relevant to global politics?". The Independent. London.
  54. ^ a b c d e f te Velde-Ashworth, Victoria (10 October 2005). "The future of the modern Commonwealth: Widening vs. deepening?". Commonwealth Policy Studies Unit. Archived from the original (doc) on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 16 September 2006.
  55. ^ "South Sudan Launches Bid to Join Commonwealth". gurtong.net.
  56. ^ South Sudan on Track to Join Commonwealth.
  57. ^ "Welcome to Allvoices". allvoices.com. Archived from the original on 2013-06-25.
  58. ^ Staff Writer. "Suriname eying membership of Commonwealth". Stabroek News.
  59. ^ "Strengthening Guyana's participation in the Commonwealth and providing guidance to Suriname as it considers applying for membership". www.gov.uk.
  60. ^ "Burundi Applies to Join Commonwealth to Bolster Angolophone Ties". Bloomberg.com. 13 November 2013.
  61. ^ Adebayo, Bukola (21 May 2018). "Zimbabwe applies to re-join Commonwealth, 15 years after leaving". CNN.
  62. ^ "Israelis and Palestinians could join Commonwealth". The Telegraph. 17 December 2006.
  63. ^ Howden, Daniel (26 November 2009). "The Big Question: What is the Commonwealth's role, and is it relevant to global politics?". The Independent. London.
  64. ^ Osike, Felix (24 November 2007). "Rwanda membership delayed". New Vision. Archived from the original on 23 January 2013. Retrieved 29 November 2009.

External links

Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda ( (listen); an-TEE-g(w)ə ... bar-B(Y)OO-də) is a country in the West Indies in the Americas, lying between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. It consists of two major islands, Antigua and Barbuda, and a number of smaller islands (including Great Bird, Green, Guiana, Long, Maiden and York Islands and further south, the island of Redonda). The permanent population numbers about 81,800 (at the 2011 Census) and the capital and largest port and city is St. John's on Antigua. Lying near each other (the main Barbuda airport is less than 0.5° of latitude, or 30 nautical miles, north of the main Antigua airport), Antigua and Barbuda are in the middle of the Leeward Islands, part of the Lesser Antilles, roughly at 17°N of the equator.

The island of Antigua was explored by Christopher Columbus in 1493 and named for the Church of Santa María La Antigua. Antigua was colonized by Britain in 1632; Barbuda island was first colonized in 1678. Antigua and Barbuda joined the West Indies Federation in 1958. With the breakup of the federation, it became one of the West Indies Associated States in 1967. Following by self-governing on its internal affairs, independence was granted from United Kingdom on 1 November 1981.

Antigua and Barbuda remains a member of the Commonwealth and Elizabeth II is the country's queen and head of state.

Armistice Day

Armistice Day is commemorated every year on 11 November to mark the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France at 5:45 am, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning—the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" of 1918. But, according to Thomas R. Gowenlock, an intelligence officer with the US First Division, shelling from both sides continued for the rest of the day, only ending at nightfall. The armistice initially expired after a period of 36 days and had to be extended several times. A formal peace agreement was only reached when the Treaty of Versailles was signed the following year.The date is a national holiday in France, and was declared a national holiday in many Allied nations.

During World War II, many countries changed the name of the holiday. Member states of the Commonwealth of Nations adopted Remembrance Day, while the US chose Veterans Day. In some countries Armistice Day coincides with other public holidays.On 11 November 2018, the centenary of the World War One Armistice, commemorations were held globally. In France, more than 60 heads of government and heads of state gathered at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

Barbados

Barbados ( (listen) or ) is an island country in the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies, in the Caribbean region of North America. It is 34 kilometres (21 miles) in length and up to 23 km (14 mi) in width, covering an area of 432 km2 (167 sq mi). It is situated in the western area of the North Atlantic and 100 km (62 mi) east of the Windward Islands and the Caribbean Sea; therein, Barbados is east of the Windwards, part of the Lesser Antilles, roughly at 13°N of the equator. It is about 168 km (104 mi) east of both the countries of Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and 400 km (250 mi) north-east of Trinidad and Tobago. Barbados is outside the principal Atlantic hurricane belt. Its capital and largest city is Bridgetown.

Inhabited by Kalinago people since the 13th century, and prior to that by other Amerindians, Barbados was visited by Spanish navigators in the late 15th century and claimed for the Spanish Crown. It first appeared in a Spanish map in 1511. The Portuguese claimed the island in 1536, but later abandoned it, with their only remnants being an introduction of wild hogs for a good supply of meat whenever the island was visited. An English ship, the Olive Blossom, arrived in Barbados in 1625; its men took possession of it in the name of King James I. In 1627, the first permanent settlers arrived from England, and it became an English and later British colony. As a wealthy sugar colony, it became an English centre of the African slave trade until that trade was outlawed in 1807, with final emancipation of slaves in Barbados occurring over a period of years from 1833.

On 30 November 1966, Barbados became an independent state and Commonwealth realm with Elizabeth II as its queen. It has a population of 287,010 people, predominantly of African descent. Despite being classified as an Atlantic island, Barbados is considered to be a part of the Caribbean, where it is ranked as a leading tourist destination. Forty percent of the tourists come from the UK, with the US and Canada making up the next large groups of visitors to the island.

Cameroon

Cameroon ( (listen); French: Cameroun), officially the Republic of Cameroon (French: République du Cameroun), is a country in Central Africa. It is bordered by Nigeria to the west and north; Chad to the northeast; the Central African Republic to the east; and Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and the Republic of the Congo to the south. Cameroon's coastline lies on the Bight of Biafra, part of the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean. Although Cameroon is not an ECOWAS member state, it is geographically and historically in West Africa with the Southern Cameroons which now form her Northwest and Southwest Regions having a strong West African history. The country is sometimes identified as West African and other times as Central African due to its strategic position at the crossroads between West and Central Africa.

French and English are the official languages of Cameroon. The country is often referred to as "Africa in miniature" for its geological and cultural diversity. Natural features include beaches, deserts, mountains, rainforests, and savannas. The highest point at almost 4,100 metres (13,500 ft) is Mount Cameroon in the Southwest Region of the country, and the largest cities in population-terms are Douala on the Wouri river, its economic capital and main seaport, Yaoundé, its political capital, and Garoua. The country is well known for its native styles of music, particularly makossa and bikutsi, and for its successful national football team.

Early inhabitants of the territory included the Sao civilisation around Lake Chad and the Baka hunter-gatherers in the southeastern rainforest. Portuguese explorers reached the coast in the 15th century and named the area Rio dos Camarões (Shrimp River), which became Cameroon in English. Fulani soldiers founded the Adamawa Emirate in the north in the 19th century, and various ethnic groups of the west and northwest established powerful chiefdoms and fondoms. Cameroon became a German colony in 1884 known as Kamerun.

After World War I, the territory was divided between France and the United Kingdom as League of Nations mandates. The Union des Populations du Cameroun (UPC) political party advocated independence, but was outlawed by France in the 1950s, leading to the Bamileke War fought between French and UPC militant forces until early 1971. In 1960, the French-administered part of Cameroon became independent as the Republic of Cameroun under President Ahmadou Ahidjo. The southern part of British Cameroons federated with it in 1961 to form the Federal Republic of Cameroon. The federation was abandoned in 1972. The country was renamed the United Republic of Cameroon in 1972 and the Republic of Cameroon in 1984. Large numbers of Cameroonians live as subsistence farmers. Since 1982 Paul Biya has been President, governing with his Cameroon People's Democratic Movement party. The country has experienced tensions coming from the English-speaking territories. Politicians in the English-speaking regions have advocated for greater decentralisation and even complete separation or independence (as in the Southern Cameroons National Council) from Cameroon. In 2017, tensions in the English-speaking territories escalated into open warfare.

Guyana

Guyana (pronounced or ), officially the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, is a country on the northern mainland of South America. It is often considered part of the Caribbean region because of its strong cultural, historical, and political ties with other Anglo-Caribbean countries and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Guyana is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north, Brazil to the south and southwest, Venezuela to the west, and Suriname to the east. With an area of 215,000 square kilometres (83,000 sq mi), Guyana is the third-smallest sovereign state on mainland South America after Uruguay and Suriname.

The region known as "the Guianas" consists of the large shield landmass north of the Amazon River and east of the Orinoco River known as the "land of many waters". Major rivers in Guyana include the Essequibo, the Berbice, and the Demerara. Originally inhabited by many indigenous groups, Guyana was settled by the Dutch before coming under British control in the late 18th century. It was governed as British Guiana, with a mostly plantation-style economy until the 1950s. It gained independence in 1966, and officially became a republic within the Commonwealth of Nations in 1970. The legacy of British rule is reflected in the country's political administration and diverse population, which includes Indian, African, Amerindian, and multiracial groups.

Guyana is the only South American nation in which English is the official language. The majority of the population, however, speak Guyanese Creole, an English-based creole language, as a first language. Guyana is part of the Anglophone Caribbean. CARICOM, of which Guyana is a member, is headquartered in Guyana's capital and largest city, Georgetown. In 2008, the country joined the Union of South American Nations as a founding member.

India–South Africa relations

The bilateral relations between the Republic of India and the Republic of South Africa have grown strong since the end of apartheid in South Africa in 1994. Both countries have since developed close strategic, cultural and economic ties. Both are former British colonies and full member states of the Commonwealth of Nations as Commonwealth republics.

India and South Africa also share an extensive energy partnership. In 2010, India imported 1.4 million tonnes of South African coal in February, making it the largest purchaser of coal from the country. Ties with further solidified with South Africa's 2011 acceptance into the BRICS group.

Legislative assembly

Legislative assembly is the name given in some countries to either a legislature, or to one of its branches.

The name is used by a number of countries, including member-states of the Commonwealth of Nations and other countries. It is also used by their sub-national divisions, such as the Indian states and union territories, Australian states and Canadian provinces.

Lesotho–South Africa relations

Lesotho–South Africa relations refers to the current and historical bilateral relations of South Africa and Lesotho. Lesotho, which is completely surrounded by South Africa, depends on South Africa for most of its economic affairs, and its foreign policy is often aligned with that of Pretoria. Both are member states of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Southern African Customs Union and the Southern African Development Community.

List of Ambassadors and High Commissioners of India

This is a list of ambassadors and high commissioners of India to individual sovereign nations of the world, states with limited recognition, and to international organizations. High Commissioners represent diplomatic missions in member states of the Commonwealth of Nations and Ambassadors represent diplomatic missions in other states. The head of a diplomatic mission to an international organization is called a Permanent Representative.

List of Ambassadors and High Commissioners of Malaysia

The following is the list of Ambassadors and High Commissioners of Malaysia. High Commissioners represent member states of the Commonwealth of Nations and ambassadors represent other states. Note that some diplomats are accredited by, or to, more than one country.

List of Ambassadors and High Commissioners to India

The following is the list of Ambassadors and High Commissioners to India. High Commissioners represent member states of the Commonwealth of Nations and Ambassadors represent other states. Note that some diplomats are accredited to more than one country.

List of Ambassadors and High Commissioners to Malaysia

The following is the list of Ambassadors and High Commissioners to Malaysia. High Commissioners represent member states of the Commonwealth of Nations and ambassadors represent other states. Note that some diplomats are accredited by, or to, more than one country.

List of Commonwealth of Nations countries by GDP (PPP)

This is a list of Commonwealth of Nations countries by gross domestic product at purchasing power parity (PPP). Gross domestic product is the value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year. The GDP dollar estimates presented here are calculated at market or government official exchange rates. Values are given in millions of US dollars. Dependent territories are shown in italics and are not ranked, and their flags are shown alongside the country of which they are a territory.

The table below shows the latest PPP and PPP per capita data for Commonwealth countries and territories of the member countries. Most figures (including for the world) are 2017 data from the International Monetary Fund, and are shown in international dollars. Other figures are estimates from The World Factbook of the Central Intelligence Agency (for GDP and GDP per capita), and are noted beside the figures along with the year of estimate.

Click on one of the small triangles in the headings to re-order the list according to that category.

Note: The figures for the dependent territories are slightly outdated (e.g. the GDP per capita figure for the Cayman Islands is from 2004), therefore they may not be easily compared with more recent figures for sovereign states.

List of Commonwealth of Nations countries by GDP (nominal)

This is a list of Commonwealth of Nations countries by GDP in nominal values. Gross domestic product is the value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year. The GDP dollar estimates presented here are calculated at market or government official exchange rates. Values are given in millions of US dollars. Dependent territories are shown in italics and are not ranked, and their flags are shown alongside the country of which they are a territory.

The following lists show the latest figures for GDP and GDP per capita. Most figures are 2017 data from the International Monetary Fund; figures for dependent territories (both GDP and GDP per capita) are 2016 data from the United Nations. Figures from other sources and years are noted as such.

Click on one of the small triangles in the headings to re-order the list according to that category.

List of member states of the Commonwealth of Nations by population

This is a list of member states of the Commonwealth of Nations by population, which is sorted by the 2015 mid-year normalized demographic projections.

Republics in the Commonwealth of Nations

The republics in the Commonwealth of Nations are the sovereign states in the organization with a republican form of government. As of May 2017, 31 out of the 53 member states were republics. Elizabeth II, who is the British monarch in the Commonwealth realms, is also still the titular Head of the Commonwealth in a personal capacity, but this role does not carry with it any power; instead, it is a symbol of the free association of Commonwealth members.Except for the former Portuguese possession of Mozambique and the former Belgian trust territory of Rwanda, they are all former British (or partly British) colonies or self-governing colonies that have evolved into republics. Most of the Commonwealth's members achieved independence while keeping the British monarch as their own individual head of state (in a form of personal union) and later became republics within the Commonwealth by abolishing the monarchy. In some other instances, the countries became republics after achieving independence from other former British colonies (as Bangladesh did from Pakistan in 1971).

Saint Lucia

Saint Lucia ( (listen); French: Sainte-Lucie) is a sovereign island country in the West Indies in the eastern Caribbean Sea on the boundary with the Atlantic Ocean. The island was previously called Iyonola, the name given to the island by the native Amerindians and later, Hewanorra, the name given by the native Caribs. Part of the Lesser Antilles, it is located north/northeast of the island of Saint Vincent, northwest of Barbados and south of Martinique. It covers a land area of 617 km2 (238 square miles) and reported a population of 165,595 in the 2010 census. Its capital is Castries.

The French were the island's first European settlers. They signed a treaty with the native Island Caribs in 1660. England took control of the island from 1663 to 1667. In ensuing years, it was at war with France fourteen times, and the rule of the island changed frequently (it was ruled seven times each by the French and British). In 1814, the British took definitive control of the island. Because it switched so often between British and French control, Saint Lucia was also known as the "Helen of the West Indies" after the Greek mythology "Helen of Troy".

Representative government came about in 1840 (universal suffrage was established in 1953). From 1958 to 1962, the island was a member of the West Indies Federation. On 22 February 1979, Saint Lucia became an independent state and a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. Saint Lucia is a mixed jurisdiction, meaning that it has a legal system based in part on both the civil law and English common law. The Civil Code of St. Lucia of 1867 was based on the Quebec Civil Code of 1866, as supplemented by English common law-style legislation. It is also a member of Organisation internationale de la Francophonie.

Seychelles

Seychelles ( (listen) say-SHELZ; French: [sɛʃɛl] or [seʃ-]), officially the Republic of Seychelles (French: République des Seychelles; Creole: Repiblik Sesel), is an archipelago country in the Indian Ocean. The capital of the 115-island country, Victoria, lies 1,500 kilometres (932 mi) east of mainland East Africa. Other nearby island countries and territories include Comoros, Mayotte (region of France), Madagascar, Réunion (region of France) and Mauritius to the south; as well as the Maldives and British Indian Ocean Territory to the east. With a population of roughly 94,228, it has the smallest population of any sovereign African country.Seychelles is a member of the African Union, the Southern African Development Community, the Commonwealth of Nations, and the United Nations. After proclamation of independence from the United Kingdom in 1976, Seychelles has developed from a largely agricultural society to a market-based diversified economy, with agriculture being supplanted by rapidly rising service and public sectors as well as tourism. From 1976 until 2015, nominal GDP output has increased nearly sevenfold and the purchasing power parity nearly sixteenfold. In late 2010s, the President Danny Faure and the National Assembly presented plans to encourage foreign investment in order to further upgrade these sectors.

Today, Seychelles boasts the highest nominal per capita GDP in Africa, excluding the French regions. It is one of only a handful of countries in Africa with a high Human Development Index. Despite the country's newfound economic prosperity, poverty remains widespread due to a high level of economic inequality, one of the highest in the world, and unequal wealth distribution among the populace which vastly favors the upper and ruling class.

The Bahamas

The Bahamas ( (listen)), known officially as the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, is a country within the Lucayan Archipelago. The archipelagic state consists of more than 700 islands, cays, and islets in the Atlantic Ocean, and is located north of Cuba and Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic), northwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands, southeast of the U.S. state of Florida, and east of the Florida Keys. The capital is Nassau on the island of New Providence. The designation of "the Bahamas" can refer either to the country or to the larger island chain that it shares with the Turks and Caicos Islands. The Royal Bahamas Defence Force describes the Bahamas territory as encompassing 470,000 km2 (180,000 sq mi) of ocean space.

The Bahamas is the site of Columbus's first landfall in the New World in 1492. At that time, the islands were inhabited by the Lucayans, a branch of the Arawakan-speaking Taíno people. Although the Spanish never colonised the Bahamas, they shipped the native Lucayans to slavery in Hispaniola. The islands were mostly deserted from 1513 until 1648, when English colonists from Bermuda settled on the island of Eleuthera.

The Bahamas became a British crown colony in 1718, when the British clamped down on piracy. After the American Revolutionary War, the Crown resettled thousands of American Loyalists in the Bahamas; they brought their slaves with them and established plantations on land grants. Africans constituted the majority of the population from this period. The slave trade was abolished by the British in 1807; slavery in the Bahamas was abolished in 1834. Subsequently, the Bahamas became a haven for freed African slaves; the Royal Navy resettled Africans there liberated from illegal slave ships, North American slaves and Seminoles escaped here from Florida, and the government freed slaves carried on US domestic ships that had reached the Bahamas due to weather. Today, Afro-Bahamians make up nearly 90% of the population.

The Bahamas became an independent Commonwealth realm in 1973 with Elizabeth II as its queen. In terms of gross domestic product per capita, the Bahamas is one of the richest countries in the Americas (following the United States and Canada), with an economy based on tourism and finance.

History
Governance
Heads of government
Commonwealth Family
Members
Culture
Lists
Sovereign states
(Members)
Dependencies
of Members

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.