Commonwealth of Nations is a free and voluntary association of 53 sovereign states nearly all of which are successors of the British Empire. Following the Balfour Declaration of 1926, Britain accepted the growing political and diplomatic independence of its colonies and dominions under specific regulations that they are ‘’equal in status, in no way subordinate one to another in any aspect of their domestic or external affairs, though united by a common allegiance to the Crown, and freely associated as members of the British Commonwealth of Nations.’’ The organization started gaining influence over the relations between Britain and its Dominions after the Statute of Westminster, which removed the ability of the British parliament to legislate for the Dominions of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Union of South Africa. As a result of Britain’s nonviolent policies throughout the decolonization era, nearly entire pre-colonies of the British Empire joined the Commonwealth under three goals: “Economic, Social and Sustainable Development”, “Governance and Peace” and “Trade, Oceans, and Natural Resources”. Currently, under the Singapore Declaration, the Commonwealth aims obtainment of 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. Under the Commonwealth Charter, members are united under language, culture, history, and values while they have no legal obligations on each other.

This year, the Commonwealth will focus on advancing its role in strengthening democracy and enhancing political & judicial institutions among the Member States with a special focus on SDG 16 and elaborating on the trade opportunities in the post-Brexit era.

• Advancing the role of the Commonwealth in strengthening democracy and enhancing political & judicial institutions among Member States with a special focus on SDG 16

• Enhancing economic cooperation by addressing trade opportunities and free movement for the Commonwealth in the post-Brexit era