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The Commonwealth

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth is head of the Commonwealth
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth is head of the Commonwealth
The United Kingdom supports the work of the Commonwealth in promoting democracy, the rule of law, good governance and human rights, as well as the Commonwealth's economic and developmental work. The United Kingdom is one of the Commonwealth's 53 sovereign, independent member countries and one of its largest contributors. In 2002-2003 direct contributions (subscriptions) by the FCO to the Commonwealth Secretariat, Commonwealth Foundation and Joint Office for Small States (in New York) will amount to c. £4,269,862. Other government departments (DFID and DTI) also contribute, including to the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), based in Vancouver, Canada. The Secretariat, Foundation and COL comprise the 'official' or inter-governmental strands of the Commonwealth. The United Kingdom is also an active supporter of the 'unofficial' Commonwealth. Many Commonwealth non-governmental organisations (civil society groups) are based in the UK.

The modern Commonwealth comprises nearly one-third of the world's countries and its combined population of 1.7 billion people accounts for a quarter of the world's inhabitants. The 53 countries represent some of the richest and some of the poorest in the world, as well as some of the biggest and the smallest. 34 of the 53 are classed as small states (mostly island states and with a population of 1.5 million or less).

Commonwealth Day 2005

'Education – creating opportunity, realising potential' was the theme for the Commonwealth Day celebrations on Monday, 14 March 2005.

One of the largest events was the annual multifaith Commonwealth Day Observance in Westminster Abbey. It is attended by HM The Queen. A pre-recorded Commonwealth Day message by Her Majesty was shown at the ceremony. The whole event was recorded and broadcast on Sunday, 20 March 2005 by the BBC World Service.

Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2005

The theme of the next CHOGM, which will take place from 25-27 November 2005 in Valletta, Malta, will be 'Networking the Commonwealth for Development'.

Useful links

This is an external link CHOGM Theme
This is an external link CHOGM 2005
This is an external link Commonwealth Secretariat
This is an external link The Royal Commonwealth Society
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