Small states are especially vulnerable to things like climate change or developmental challenges. All maps, graphics, flags, photos and original descriptions © 2020 worldatlas.com. It is possible for states to be suspended from the Commonwealth if they fail to abide by the democratic principles outlined in the Harare Declaration. Leaders of the Commonwealth meet every two years to at the Heads of Government Meeting, where they discuss issues of mutual … The Commonwealth of the Philippines was the administrative body that governed the Philippines from 1935 to 1946, aside from a period of exile in the Second World War from 1942 to 1945 when Japan occupied the country. On a geo-political scale, the Commonwealth of Nations is an achievement that has surpassed many expectations and continues to be an impressive show of the force of a peaceful alliance. The nations who enter into the Commonwealth do so voluntarily, and the government of any member nation can withdraw at any time, without consequence or obligation. The Commonwealth aims to create strong links between rich and poor countries, bringing together a variety of religious faiths and demographics in one institution. In the contemporary political doctrine of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, "our state is a Republic (or Commonwealth) under the presidency of the King". In the case of certain nations, like Canada and Australia, bi-lateral agreements exists where citizens of either country in a third nation can get representation by the other country in cases where it is impossible to be served by your own ambassador. The Commonwealth introduced a doctrine of religious tolerance called Warsaw Confederation, had its own parliament Sejm (although elections were restricted to nobility and elected kings, who were bound to certain contracts Pacta conventa from the beginning of the reign). For a nation to join the Commonwealth, it must first recognize Elizabeth II as the head of the Commonwealth. Myanmar and Aden (now part of Yemen) are the only former British colonies who elected not to join the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth is an association of 54 countries working towards shared goals of prosperity, democracy and peace. "Commonwealth" was first proposed as a term for a federation of the six Australian crown colonies at the 1891 constitutional convention in Sydney. The name was used officially for the confederal country formed by Poland and Lithuania 1569–1795. Republic is still an alternative translation of the traditional name of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.  The term literally meant "common well-being". The Commonwealth's membership includes both republics and monarchies.  The term was finally incorporated into law in the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900, which established the federation. Between 1838 and 1847, Liberia was officially known as the "Commonwealth of Liberia". Is the United States in the Commonwealth? Three countries – Australia, the Bahamas, and Dominica – have the official title "Commonwealth", as do four U.S. states and two U.S. territories. The small Caribbean republic of Dominica has used the official style Commonwealth of Dominica since 1978. By Jasmine P. Smith on April 6 2018 in World Facts. The CIS has developed as a forum by which the member-states can co-operate in economics, defence, and foreign policy.. It has no political or economic power, and former immigration advantages between Commonwealth countries largely cease to exist. Overall, 2.328 billion people belong to the Commonwealth, representing one-third of the world population. The four are: Two organized but unincorporated U.S. territories are called commonwealths. Labour MP Tony Benn sponsored a Commonwealth of Britain Bill several times between 1991 and 2001, intended to abolish the monarchy and establish a British republic.  Originally a phrase (the common-wealth or the common wealth – echoed in the modern synonym "public wealth") it comes from the old meaning of "wealth", which is "well-being", and is itself a loose translation of the Latin res publica (republic). Many countries that belong to the Commonwealth are very new. Although the group has been criticized for being more symbolic than useful, it has helped to create strong diplomatic ties between its oldest members. Other criteria are equally important and include racial equality and the embrace of world peace, liberty, human rights, equality, and free trade.A member-state must also be sovereign, accept English as the primary means of communication wit… The noun "commonwealth", meaning "public welfare general good or advantage", dates from the 15th century. There are 54 countries in the Commonwealth, in Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and the Pacific. Its government during that time was given the title mancomunidad (Catalan: mancomunitat), which is translated into English as "commonwealth". A member-state must also be sovereign, accept English as the primary means of communication within the Commonwealth, and have a desire among its citizens to be a part of the organization. Commonwealth governments also work together in international forums to support members whose territorial integrity has been challenged or which are vulnerable to the vicissitudes of climate and global economic forces. The term 'Commonwealth' was first used by British Liberal politician Lord Rosebery in Adelaide, Australia, in 1884. In spite of the organization having very little political or economic clout, it does offer the opportunities for smaller nations to sit down with larger nations at the bi-annual Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), which allows them to make their projects and concerns known, something that has shown to bear fruit. From 1653 to 1659, although still legally known as a Commonwealth, the republic, united with the former Kingdom of Scotland, operated under different institutions (at times as a de facto monarchy) and is known by historians as the Protectorate. The countries of the Commonwealth are not directly linked by any defence treaty, although some are members of NATO and other defence pacts, so we are often fighting alongside one another. The Commonwealth was created in the early 1900s when nations that were formerly a part of the British Empire began to secede. Australia operates under a federal system, in which power is divided between the federal (national) government and the state governments (the successors of the six colonies). A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good. . Other criteria are equally important and include racial equality and the embrace of world peace, liberty, human rights, equality, and free trade. As of 1997, a nation must have a ''direct constitutional link'' with any current member-state.
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