We have heard of Commonwealth Organization. Sometimes, you maybe familiar with the name called ‘CHOGM’ as the CHOGM in 2013 was held in Sri Lanka.
Commonwealth organization countries support each other, and work together towards international goals with their common heritage in language, culture, law, education and democratic traditions, among other things. It is involved in manifold activities, from helping countries with trade negotiations to encouraging women’s leadership, building the small business sector, supporting youth participation at all levels of society and providing experts to write laws.
This organization runs through the intergovernmental consensus, organized by the Commonwealth Secretariat, and non-governmental organizations, organized through the Commonwealth Foundation. The Commonwealth Secretariat promotes democracy, rule of law, human rights, good governance and social and economic development. It is a voice for small states and a champion for youth empowerment.
The Commonwealth was first officially formed in 1931 when the statute of Westminster gave legal recognition to the sovereignty of dominions. It is known as the ‘British Commonwealth’, the original members were the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland, and Newfoundland. Fifty-three countries belong to Commonwealth Organization.
Most are former British colonies or dependencies of these colonies. The newest member is Rwanda, which joined on 29 November 2009.Commonwealth headquarter is situated at Marlborough House London, United Kingdom.
The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) is a summit meeting of the heads of government from all Commonwealth nations. Every two years the meeting is held in a different member state, and is chaired by that nation’s respective Prime Minister or President, who becomes the Commonwealth Chairman-in-Office.
The symbol of this free association is Queen Elizabeth II, who is the Head of the Commonwealth. Presently, Secretary-General of this association is Kamalesh Sharma and Chairperson-in-Office is Sri Lanka President Mithripala Sirisena. Next CHOGM is going to be held in Malta at the end of this year.
The Commonwealth countries cover more than 9,958,050 km2 (11,566,870 sq. mi), almost a quarter of the world land area. Population of this area can be over 2.3 billion, near a third of the world population. Commonwealth countries contribute 20 percent of global trade. The Commonwealth helps member countries take advantage of opportunities for economic growth and improve their ability to manage long-term development.
Commonwealth of Nations celebrates annual celebration of Commonwealth Day on second Monday of March. It was March 9 in 2015.Sri Lanka became a member of the Commonwealth in 1948. Among the Commonwealth of Nations, there is an international multi-sport event called ‘Commonwealth Games’, involving athletes. This is one party of Commonwealth family. The event was first held in 1930, with the exception of 1942 and 1946, which were cancelled due to World War II, has taken place every four years since then.
Last Commonwealth game was held in Glasgow, Scotland. That was the 20th milestone. Sri Lanka contested to get the 21st Commonwealth games event, unfortunately Sri Lanka lost the chance because of fewer votes in election and it goes to Gold coast, Australia. So, next commonwealth game is scheduled to hold from April 4 to 15, 2018 in Australia. 22nd Commonwealth games will be held in Durban, South Africa in 2022.Sri Lanka has been competing in the Commonwealth games since 1938, and has won 10 medals during this time. Only six countries have attended every Commonwealth games: Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand, Scotland, and Wales. Australia has been the highest achieving team for 12 games, England for seven, and Canada for one.
Commonwealth Foundation, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Commonwealth of Learning and Commonwealth Business Council are other branches of Commonwealth family. Commonwealth is not like most other organizations because it is an active foundation to achieve their goals, with immense support from member countries.