Commonwealth of Nations


With the decolonization of the British Empire, Commonwealth has expanded, and between 1957 and 1970, more than 20 former Crown territories joined the group as they attained independence.

As a result of British influence, the majority of Commonwealth nations have adopted parliamentary systems of government in the Westminster style. These systems typically include elected legislatures with an upper and lower chamber, multi-party democratic elections, and responsible government by ministries chosen from the majority party and answerable to both the elected legislature and its opposition parties.

Shared principles and cooperation

  • The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), an organization having branches in every Commonwealth country, reflects the principles of the Commonwealth in its activity.
  • Through regular international conferences, workshops, and meetings, the CPA seeks to foster communication and cooperation among Commonwealth MPs and to advance high standards of parliamentary practice worldwide.
  • The Commonwealth of Nations and the CPA’s advocacy of parliamentary democracy and good governance continue to be the British Empire’s greatest lasting and promising legacies.
What is the Commonwealth and which nations are members?
  • “Common well-being” was the literal meaning of the phrase. The concept of “commonwealth” changed from its original meaning of “public welfare” or “commonweal” to mean “a state in which the supreme power is vested in the people; a republic or democratic state” in the 17th century.
  • The Commonwealth includes 56 countries from Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe, and the Pacific. Commonwealth countries are diverse; they include some of the world’s largest, smallest, richest, and poorest nations. Small states account for 32 of the members. Tiny states are more sensitive to factors such as climate change and developmental issues.
  • Every two years, member countries gather for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting to discuss issues affecting the Commonwealth and the rest of the globe. Regardless of size or money, all members have an equal voice. This ensures that even the most remote countries have a say in shaping the Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth Secretariat’s contributions are calculated based on each nation’s financial capacity. In 2022, New Zealand gave the Commonwealth Secretariat little under $3 million and the other Commonwealth organizations just over $2 million. Included in this were gifts made voluntarily to:

  • The Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation (CTFC) is a fund that helps developing countries’ access to technical assistance.
  • The Commonwealth tiny States Office helps tiny nations attend UN conferences in New York and Geneva.
  • Through the use of the right technology, the Commonwealth of Learning assists poor countries in increasing access to high-quality remote education.
What role does New Zealand play?
  • As a founding member of the Commonwealth, New Zealand participates actively in many of its initiatives. We have held a great deal of Commonwealth conferences and gatherings.
  • At a meeting held in Queenstown in 1995, the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) was created to discuss and make decisions regarding how to deal with members that transgress the Commonwealth’s standards.
  • New Zealanders have taken part in numerous missions organized by the Commonwealth since 1992 to monitor elections in participating nations.
The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), held every two years

The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), which brings together heads of state and government every two years to decide on Commonwealth policies and initiatives. In 1971, the inaugural CHOGM took place. The meeting was held in New Zealand in 1995.

The 2022 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting was held in Kigali, Rwanda, in June 2022.

Commonwealth organizations and government

Commonwealth Secretariat

The hub for all member states is the Commonwealth Secretariat in London, which oversees the organization’s operations. Governments may receive policy recommendations and helpful support from the Secretariat. It also seeks answers for members’ delicate political and financial problems. Through our High Commission in London, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade communicates with the Secretariat on a regular basis.

Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC, who is from Dominica, is the current Secretary-General. In April 2016, she started in this position. Sir Don McKinnon, a former deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs of New Zealand, held the position from 2000 until 2008.


  1. […] The Commonwealth of Nations, also known as the Commonwealth, is an inclusive group of independent states united by shared historical ties and a dedication to a set of core ideals. The Commonwealth, which has nations from all around the world as members, encourages collaboration, democracy, progress, and understanding between its members. This in-depth talk will cover the Commonwealth of Nations’ goals, standards, benefits, application procedure, famous members, and historical context. […]


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