Commonwealth Countries Agreement

Commonwealth Countries Agreement

After Brexit, there is a chance for trade growth between Commonwealth countries. The UK government has said that strengthening economic, political and other relations with Commonwealth member states is an important priority. Our member countries all have an obligation to deepen trade integration in the Commonwealth as part of the Commonwealth`s prosperity agenda. The 2011 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting reviewed a report by a Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group (EPG) panel that claimed that the organization had lost its relevance and had depreciated itself because of the lack of a mechanism of suspicion of member countries when they violated human rights or democratic norms. [115] The body made 106 “urgent” recommendations, including the adoption of a Commonwealth Charter, the creation of a new Commissioner for the Rule of Law, Democracy and Human Rights to monitor persistent human rights violations and accusations of political repression by Commonwealth member states, recommendations to repeal anti-homosexuality laws in 41 Commonwealth states and ban forced marriage. [116] [117] The failure to publish the report or accept its recommendations for reforms in the area of human rights, democracy and the rule of law was described as “shameful” by former British Foreign Minister Sir Malcolm Rifkind, a member of the EPG, who said at a press conference: “The Commonwealth is facing a very important problem. It is not a problem of hostility or antagonism, it is rather a problem of indifference. Its objective is questioned, its relevance is questioned, and part of it is that its commitment to imposing the values it represents becomes ambiguous in the eyes of many Member States. The Commonwealth is not a private club of governments or secretariats. It belongs to the people of the Commonwealth. [117] Commonwealth countries have many ties outside government, with more than 100 Commonwealth non-governmental organizations, mainly for sport, culture, education, law and charity.

The Association of Commonwealth Universities is an important tool for academic links, including scholarships, including the Commonwealth Scholarship, for students who can study at universities in other Commonwealth countries. There are also many informal associations that bring together people working in the fields of law and government, such as the Commonwealth Lawyers Association and the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.