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The Commenwealth

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Par   •  2 Février 2020  •  Cours  •  470 Mots (2 Pages)  •  27 Vues

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The Commonwealth

Members of the Commonwealth have special links with the United Kingdom and with each other. All members are equal and agree to work together towards world peace, the encouragement of trade, the defence of democracy and improvements in human rights, health and education.

During World War II, Commonwealth forces played an important role in the war effort.

The criteria for joining the Commonwealth are

  • • accept the principles set out in the charter;
  • • be a sovereign state;
  • • recognize Queen Elizabeth II as head of the Commonwealth
  • • accept English as the Commonwealth language;
  • • to respect the wishes of the population of membership or not;
  • • have had a historic link with an already member state

The main permanent body of the Commonwealth is its secretariat, it has observer status and represents the Commonwealth at UN general assemblies, organizes meetings between member countries and offers some of them assistance in developing economically and socially. As for decisions, they are most often taken during CHOGMs (Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings), meetings of all the heads of government of the Commonwealth once every two years in one of the member countries.

However, the Commonwealth is by no means a political union since the member states have the possibility of remaining neutral in the event of conflict.

Historically, the Commonwealth was born to meet the common economic interests of member countries. Indeed, the statute of Westminster contributes mainly to the establishment of a protectionism

  • Today, the Commonwealth benefits from tools to help the economic development of its members. This is particularly the case of the CFTC (Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation) which provides the missing technical skills to certain states to accelerate their economic growth.
  • The Commonwealth, through its bodies (universities, associations, volunteer networks, media organizations, etc.) contributes to the promotion of certain values. Indeed, two of their declarations go in this direction:

• Singapore's 1971 declaration commits Commonwealth countries to officiating for world peace, equality, individual freedoms, the fight against colonization and the fight against poverty and economic inequality.

• The Harare Declaration in 1992 reaffirmed these principles and added to them the struggle for gender equality, democratic ethics as well as sustainable development and environmental protection.

However, the Commonwealth's leniency on these issues vis-à-vis its members is often criticized for the fact that the member states' human rights record is far from perfect. For example, the problems of freedom of expression and religious freedom are undeniable in Pakistan and Nigeria and today, 41 of the Commonwealth countries still criminalize homosexuality.

In addition to sharing common values, the Commonwealth countries have united every 4 years since 1930 in a multisport competition called the Commonwealth Games. The events of this competition are comparable to those of the Summer Olympics, to which are added events specific to the culture of the Commonwealth countries such as netball or rugby sevens

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