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The Commonwealth

The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 54 independent sovereign states, comprised of a variety of faiths, races, languages and cultures. The Commonwealth's 2 billion people account for 30% of the world's population. Members have a common working language and similar systems of law, public administration and education.

The Commonwealth helps to advance democracy, human rights and sustainable economic and social development both within its member countries and beyond.

Members of an Ugandan dance troop perform during the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) summit in Kampala (Getty images)

Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2011

The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) this year is in Perth, Australia, from 28 – 30 October

The Commonwealth: a history

Commonwealth Flags Group

Find out more about the Commonwealth's history, and its priorities in today's world.

The Modern Commonwealth

Commonwealth Flag

The Commonwealth is now a unique association of 54 independent states consulting and co-operating in the common interests of their peoples and in the promotion of international understanding

Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting

performers at 2007 CHOGM (Getty Images)

Every two years, the heads of government of Commonwealth member states convene at a meeting

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