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The Commonwealth of Nations

Formed in 1931, The Commonwealth of Nations in which all members are equal stands for justice, freedom, democracy and human rights. Today, the Commonwealth is a vibrant and growing association of states working to promote democracy and good governance, respect for human rights and the rule of law, as well as sustainable environmental, economic and social development.

It is a unique global family of 52 member countries. From Africa to Asia, from the Pacific to the Caribbean, from Europe and the Mediterranean to North America, the Commonwealth’s membership stretches across all the world’s continents and oceans and includes 1.8 billion people, or 30% of the world’s population. Over half are young people aged 25 or under.

As voluntary members of the association, the Commonwealth's members work together in a spirit of cooperation, partnership and understanding. They improve the quality of life of their citizens, create stronger economies, and operate under responsible and trustworthy democratic governments and every country, large or small, rich or poor, has an equal voice and decisions are taken by consensus: that is, with the agreement of all.

The Commonwealth has six affirmations, which underline the intrinsic values which the entire Commonwealth shares, regardless of religion.

1: HUMAN WORTH

We affirm that every person – of whatever colour, class, creed or age – possesses unique worth and dignity.


2: STEWARDSHIP OF THE EARTH

We affirm our respect for nature, and that we will be stewards of the earth by caring for every part of it and for it as a whole.


3: EQUALITY, JUSTICE AND PEACE

We affirm our belief in justice for everyone and peace between peoples and nations.

4: THE PRIMACY OF LOVE

We affirm love as the foundation of all human relationships.


5: UNITY IN DIVERSITY – SERVICE AND SACRIFICE

We affirm that we each belong to our own nation and to the whole human family: to the service of both we pledge ourselves.


6: THE SIXTH AFFIRMATION

We affirm Commonwealth Day (the second Monday in March) take an observance of a different theme each year which celebrates the unity, diversity and linkages of the modern Commonwealth and foster greater understanding of the Commonwealth’s achievements and role, particularly among young people.

View Film - Better Than Before

Educational video about the Commonwealth of Nations commissioned by the Edmonton Branch of the Royal Commonwealth Society.

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