Commonwealth of Nations – Members and Functions

The Commonwealth of Nations is an intergovernmental organisation of 53 member states that works for the promotion of values enshrined in the commonwealth charter: democracy, free speech, human rights, rule of law, etc. It organises the Commonwealth Games every four years.


The Commonwealth of Nations has 53 members, most of which are former colonies/territories of the British Empire. Mozambique and Rwanda have never been a British colony, but became commonwealth members due to their relationship with other commonwealth countries.

Non-members: Myanmar and Aden (part of Yemen) are the only former British colonies which chose not to join the commonwealth at the time of their independence. Republic of Ireland, Zimbabwe, and Maldives are former members of the commonwealth.

Maldives quit the commonwealth in 2016 over criticism of human rights abuses. In December 2018, the new government in Maldives reapplied for the membership of the Commonwealth of Nations.

Members of the Commonwealth of Nations. image source: wikimedia.

Functions/Activities of the Commonwealth of Nations

Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM)

Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) is a biennial (meets every two years) decision making forum of the commonwealth, where countries come together for cooperation and discussion in various fields. The 2018 CHOGM meeting held in London resulted in a Commonwealth Cyber Declaration, in which the members committed to evaluate and strengthen their cybersecurity frameworks and response mechanisms.

Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management (CAPAM)

Headquarters: Ottawa, Canada

Formed in 1994, CAPAM works for strengthening public administration and consolidating good governance and democracy among the member states.

Commonwealth Games (CWG)

Commonwealth Games are held every four years. The 2010 CWG was organised in India, 2014 CWG in Glasgow, Scotland, UK, and the latest 2018 CWG was held in Gold Coast, Australia.

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