COMMONWEALTH OF NATIONS

  • by IAS Score

What is commonwealth of nations?

• It is an intergovernmental organisation of 53 member states that were mostly territories of the former British Empire.
• It was formally constituted by the London Declaration in 1949, w
• Objective – ensuring world peace; promotion of representative democracy and individual liberty; the pursuit of equality and opposition to racism; the fight against poverty, ignorance, and disease; and free trade.


• HQ –London, UK
• Member states – 53
• Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) – it is tasked with assessing and dealing with serious or persistent violations of the core values represented in the charter.

Q A
What is commonwealth of nations? It is an intergovernmental organisation of 53 member states that were mostly territories of the former British Empire.

It was formally constituted by the London Declaration in 1949, w

Objective – ensuring world peace; promotion of representative democracy and individual liberty; the pursuit of equality and opposition to racism; the fight against poverty, ignorance, and disease; and free trade.

HQ –London, UK

Member states – 53

Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) – it is tasked with assessing and dealing with serious or persistent violations of the core values represented in the charter.

What is Commonwealth charter? It was accepted by the 53 members of the Commonwealth in 2012

The 16-point charter makes it incumbent on member states to hold free, fair and credible elections; ensure the separation of the powers of the executive, legislature and judiciary; ensure the independence of the judiciary; provide space for an opposition and civil society to function freely; and give the media a level playing field to function in.

Its significance? Role of the CMAG has been considerably strengthened because of the charter guidelines. Commonwealth group has been strengthened by its adoption.

Is it relevant today? The organisation has become an incubator for big-ticket ideas such as the Multilateral Debt Swap for Climate Action adopted at the last Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Malta.

Because of its composition, if the Commonwealth can agree on something important, it is already a prototype of a global idea.

Many countries have come on the agenda of the CMAG. Most recently, it gave the Maldives government a one-month ultimatum to begin talks with the opposition in the country.

The Commonwealth set up programmes to cover financial risks faced by small states in trading, like the multilateral debt swap and the Climate Finance Access hub.

Several programmes have grown exponentially. One of them is Common Health, a dedicated Web platform to advance public health and the leading health hub after the World Health Organisation.

Challenges ahead for it? ; Recent criticism of its role? Criticism of the Commonwealth’s role and Mr. Sharma’s leadership peaked in the lead-up to CHOGM 2013 in Sri Lanka. Human rights groups and pro-Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam organisations in Britain accused him of soft-pedalling the human rights abuses of the Rajapaksa regime, which in turn led to some heads of government boycotting the meeting.

Challenges remain. There is still widespread resistence within several Commonwealth countries to the legalisation of gay rights, and to correcting gender and religious inequalities.

WORD FROM TEAM GS-SCORE –

Context
Relevant for International affairs of GS:2
For further detail Refer article titled “commonwealth is a great global good” from The Hindu dated march 22, 2016