Always the Friendly Games: The Commonwealth Games still reflect the spirit of friendliness in which they were conceived over 100 years ago. The first of what was then called the British Empire Games in 1930 was hosted by the Canadian city of Hamilton; enshrined ever since is the notion that these Games should be 'merrier and less stern', substituting the 'stimulus of novel adventure' for the pressure of international rivalry.
Shared Inheritance in Diversity: Enjoying racial and religious diversity, the Commonwealth today is a community with shared interests based largely, but not exclusively, on a shared heritage. Most Commonwealth countries have a common language and similar legal and education systems.
HM the Queen - Head of the Commonwealth: HM the Queen's role as Head of the Commonwealth is purely symbolic, carrying no constitutional functions. Her relationship with Commonwealth countries is a warm and personal one, which enables her to act as a focus for the association.
Meeting the Challenges Together: Foremost among the Commonwealth's shared belief in fundamental political values is its commitment to democracy, human rights, the rule of law and good government. These principles were reaffirmed in the Harare Declaration of 1991 which set the course for the progressive work of the Commonwealth as it approaches the 21st century.
Towards Shared Prosperity: The Commonwealth includes 13 of the world's fastest growing economies and 14 of the world's poorest. To help developing states, Commonwealth experts advise on national debt problems, economic restructuring and other macroeconomic questions. Targetting smaller businesses, the Commonwealth Secretariat carries out feasibility studies, transfers know-how and helps with education and training.