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The Commonwealth Foundation is an intergovernmental organisation, HP Pavilion dv6-3034ca CPU Fan

resourced by and reporting to Commonwealth governments, and guided by Commonwealth values and priorities. Its mandate is to strengthen civil society in the achievement of Commonwealth priorities: democracy and good governance, respect for human rights and gender equality, poverty eradication and sustainable, people-centred and sustainable development, and to promote arts and culture. HP G56-126NR CPU Fan

The Foundation was established by the Heads of Government in 1965. Admittance is open to all members of the Commonwealth and in December 2008 stood at 46 out of the 53 member countries. Associate Membership, which is open to associated states or overseas territories of member governments, has been granted to Gibraltar. Compaq Presario C556CA CPU Fan

2005 saw celebrations for the Foundation's 40th Anniversary. The Foundation is headquartered in Marlborough House, Pall Mall, London. Regular liaison and cooperation between the Secretariat and the Foundation is in place. The Foundation continues to serve the broad purposes for which it was established as written in the Memorandum of Understanding. SONY Vaio VGN-NR360E CPU Fan

The Commonwealth Games, a multi-sport event, is held every four years; the 2010 Commonwealth Games were held in New Delhi, India, in 2010, and the the next in Glasgow, Scotland, in 2014, and the next after that in Gold Coast, Australia, in 2018. As well as the usual athletic disciplines, as at the Summer Olympic Games, HP Pavilion dv5170us CPU Fan

the games include sports particularly popular in the Commonwealth, such as bowls, netball, and rugby sevens. Started in 1930 as the Empire Games, the games were founded on the Olympic model of amateurism, but were deliberately designed to be "the Friendly Games",[95] with the goal of promoting relations between Commonwealth countries and celebrating their shared sporting and cultural heritage.[96] SONY Vaio VPC-EE3WFX/WI CPU Fan

The games are the Commonwealth's most visible activity[95] and interest in the operation of the Commonwealth increases greatly when the Games are held.[97] There is controversy over whether the games—and sport generally—should be involved in the Commonwealth's wider political concerns.[96] HP G56-126NR CPU Fan

The 1977 Gleneagles Agreement was signed to commit Commonwealth countries to combat apartheid through discouraging sporting contact with South Africa (which was not then a member), whilst the 1986 gameswere boycotted by most African, Asian, and Caribbean countries for the failure of other countries to enforce the Gleneagles Agreement. HP 3MLX8TATP20 CPU Fan

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) is responsible for maintaining the war graves of 1.7 million service personnel that died in the First and Second World Wars fighting for Commonwealth member states. Founded in 1917 (as the Imperial War Graves Commission), the Commission has constructed 2,500 war cemeteries, and maintains individual graves at another 20,000 sites around the world.[99] SONY Vaio VGN-NW240F/S CPU Fan

The vast majority of the latter are civilian cemeteries in Great Britain. In 1998, the CWGC made the records of its buried online to facilitate easier searching.[100]

Commonwealth war cemeteries often feature similar horticulture and architecture, with larger cemeteries being home to a Cross of Sacrifice and Stone of Remembrance. SONY Vaio VPC-EB1Z0E/B CPU Fan

The CWGC is notable for marking the graves identically, regardless of the rank, country of origin, race, or religion of the buried.[100] It is funded by voluntary agreement by six Commonwealth members, in proportion to the nationality of the casualties in the graves maintained,[99] with 75% of the funding coming from Britain. Compaq Presario CQ60-514NR CPU Fan

The Commonwealth of Learning (COL) is an intergovernmental organisation created by the Heads of Government to encourage the development and sharing of open learning/distance education knowledge, resources and technologies. COL is helping developing nations improve access to quality education and training. Toshiba Satellite X205-S9800 CPU Fan

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The Commonwealth Business Council (CBC) was formed at 1997 CHOGM. The aim was to utilise the global network of the Commonwealth more effectively for the promotion of global trade and investment for shared prosperity. The CBC acts as a bridge for co-operation between business and government, concentrating efforts on these specific areas enhancing trade, Compaq Presario CQ60-430SA CPU Fan

facilitating ICT for Development, mobilising investment, promoting corporate citizenship, and public private partnerships. The CBC has a dedicated team, CBC Technologies, based in London and is focused on the international technology and global services industry throughout the Commonwealth. DELL BFB0505HA CPU Fan

Many Commonwealth nations possess traditions and customs that are elements of a shared Commonwealth culture. Examples include common sports such as cricket andrugby, driving on the left, the Westminster system of parliamentary democracy, common law, widespread use of the English language, designation of English as an official language, military and naval ranks, HP Pavilion dv5-1272et CPU Fan

and the use of British rather than American spelling conventions (see English in the Commonwealth of Nations).

Many Commonwealth nations play similar sports that are considered quintessentially "British" in character, rooted in and developed under British rule or hegemony, including cricket, rugby, and netball.[101] Toshiba AB7005HX-SB3 CPU Fan

This has led to the development of friendly national rivalries between the main sporting nations that have often defined their relations with each another. Indeed, said rivalries preserved close ties by providing a constant in international relationships, even as the Empire transformed into the Commonwealth.[102] Toshiba Satellite A500-18T CPU Fan

Externally, playing these sports is seen to be a sign of sharing a certain Commonwealth culture; the adoption ofcricket at schools in Rwanda is seen as symbolic of the country's move towards Commonwealth membership.[103][104]

Besides the Commonwealth Games, other sporting competitions are organised on a Commonwealth basis, HP Pavilion dv5-2135dx CPU Fan

through championship tournaments such as the Commonwealth Judo Championships, Commonwealth Rowing Championships, Commonwealth Sailing Championships, Commonwealth Shooting Championships and Commonwealth Pool Lifesaving Championships. The Commonwealth Boxing Council has long maintained Commonwealth titles for the best boxers in the Commonwealth. ASUS EEE PC 1201NL CPU Fan

The shared history of British presence has produced a substantial body of writing in many languages, known as Commonwealth literature.[105][106] The Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies, with nine chapters worldwide and an international conference is held every three years. SONY Vaio VGN-NW240D/T CPU Fan

In 1987, the Commonwealth Foundation established the annual Commonwealth Writers' Prize "to encourage and reward the upsurge of new Commonwealth fiction and ensure that works of merit reach a wider audience outside their country of origin". Prizes are awarded for the best book and best first book in the Commonwealth, Compaq Presario CQ60-418DX CPU Fan

as well as regional prizes for the best book and best first book from each of four regions. Although not officially affiliated with the Commonwealth, the prestigious Man Booker Prize is awarded annually to an author from a Commonwealth country or the three former members, Ireland, Zimbabwe, andthe Gambia. This honour is one of the highest in literature. SONY Vaio VGN-NW240D CPU Fan

Due to their shared constitutional histories, most countries in the Commonwealth have similar legal and political systems. The Commonwealth requires its members to be functioning democracies that respect human rights and the rule of law. Half of Commonwealth countries have the Westminster system of parliamentarydemocracy. SONY VGN-BX197XP CPU Fan

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association facilitates cooperation between legislatures across the Commonwealth, and the Commonwealth Local Government Forum promotes good governance amongst local government officials. Most Commonwealth members use common law, modelled on English law. Toshiba Satellite L645D-S4056 CPU Fan

The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council is the supreme court of 14 Commonwealth members.

The Commonwealth has adopted a number of symbols that represent the association of its members. The English language is recognised as a symbol of the members' heritage; as well as being considered a symbol of the Commonwealth, Toshiba AB7805HX-GB3 CPU Fan

recognition of it as "the means of Commonwealth communication" is a prerequisite for Commonwealth membership.

The flag of the Commonwealth consists of the symbol of the Commonwealth Secretariat, a gold globe surrounded by emanating "rays", on a dark blue field; it was designed for the second CHOGM in 1973, and officially adopted on 26 March 1976. Toshiba Satellite L500-208 CPU Fan

1976 also saw the organisation agree to a common date on which to commemorateCommonwealth Day, the second Monday in March, having developed separately on different dates from Empire Day celebrations.

A poll in seven member countries on the occasion of 60th anniversary of the founding of the Commonwealth in 2009 commissioned by the HP 535441-001 CPU Fan

Royal Commonwealth Societyfound that most people in all countries were largely ignorant of the Commonwealth's functions and indifferent towards its future. In Canada one third of respondents said they would not care if Canada left the Commonwealth, half could not describe what it does, and Canadians were four times more likely to support closer ties to the United States. Toshiba Satellite P100-444 CPU Fan

Support was also weak in other wealthier Commonwealth realms but much stronger in poorer Commonwealth republics. Nearly one fifth of Australian respondents said they would be "delighted" or "pleased" if their country left the Commonwealth.Commonwealth Free Trade is a concept built around the gradual introduction of a free trade treaty that would include member states of the Commonwealth of Nations. HP Pavilion dv7-3114eo CPU Fan

The idea of promoting inter-Commonwealth trade has emerged in recent years as a response to the current evolution of the global economy. Proponents in Commonwealth jurisdictions promote the idea as a means of diversifying and expanding their own national economies.

The concept has become popularized in Britain among those who are self-styled ‘Eurosceptics’, HP Mini 110-1125SA CPU Fan

and wish for the UK to leave the formal political structures of the European Union, to be replaced with a Free Trade Treaty with the EU.

Throughout the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, Britain exercised an informal trade system with her colonies and self-governing dominions. HP KSB06105HA CPU Fan

During the early 20th century, several political figures in Britain, led by Joseph Chamberlain, argued for a policy of Imperial Preference – both to promote unity within the British Empire, and to assure Britain’s position as a world power. The policy was controversial as it pitted proponents of Imperial trade with those who sought a general policy of trade liberalization with all nations. Compaq Presario CQ60-210eo CPU Fan

The schism helped contribute to the defeat of Prime Minister Arthur Balfour and his Conservative-Unionist government in 1906, and had serious ramifications for Conservative prospects in the 1923 and 1929 general elections. One notable victory had been the establishment of the Empire Marketing Board in 1926, which encouraged Britons to ‘Buy Empire’. HP Pavilion dv7-2250sf CPU Fan

In 1933, in the midst of the Great Depression, representatives of Britain, the Dominions, and the Colonies met in Ottawa, Canada to hold the Commonwealth Conference on Economic Consultation and Co-operation.[1] There had been an initial agreement on Imperial Preference, but a comprehensive agreement failed to materialize. HP 434678-001 CPU Fan

Many of the Dominion leaders attributed this to the attitude of the British Dominions Secretary J. H. Thomas during the negotiations.

In 1935, the Canadian Prime Minister, R. B. Bennett, a Conservative who endorsed Imperial Preference, was replaced by a Liberal, W. L. M. King. King responded to pressure from U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull and abandoned Imperial Preference. HP G60-230us CPU Fan

The United States was determined to maintain its tariff protections and access to markets, but was vociferously opposed to any such preferences enjoyed by other countries.[citation needed]

In the case of the Commonwealth, the U.S. was hostile to it from its inception, notwithstanding the fact that in the cases of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, HP Pavilion dv6365us CPU Fan

there was an overwhelming preference for a trade system based on the United Kingdom rather than the U.S.[citation needed]

The conclusion of World War II drastically affected the prospects for an agreement Commonwealth trade. The United States emerged as the foremost political and economic power, HP 535439-001 CPU Fan

and its policy was to promote generalized free trade, primarily through the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). The Bretton Woods conference, held in New Hampshire in 1944, had also created a direct link between the value of gold and the US dollar, thereby establishing it as the world’s reserve fiat currency. COMPAQ 6910c CPU Fan

The war had also left Britain heavily indebted, economically weakened, and unable to absorb the flow of exports from Commonwealth jurisdictions. The Dominions, primarily Canada, directed their trade more heavily to the US market as a consequence.

The idea of enhanced trade between Canada and Britain was explored in the mid-1950s by the Conservative government of Prime Minister John G. Diefenbaker. IBM Lenovo IdeaPad G510 CPU Fan

The plan, in response to the Canadian government’s concern with over-reliance on the United States, was to adopt policies that would see up to 15 percent of Canada’s US exports diverted to the UK. Representatives for both Diefenbaker and British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan held exploratory talks, but no agreement was ever reached. HP G62-110SO CPU Fan

Britain’s entry into the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1973, and its evolution as a member state of the European Union (EU) has meant that for practical purposes, the United Kingdom cannot independently enter into negotiations with Commonwealth states to establish a free trade agreement. Instead, the EU, as a representative of all its members, negotiates collectively. DELL Precision M6400 CPU Fan

At present, the Government of Canada is in the midst of negotiating a free trade agreement with the European Union.[3] In addition, the EU, through the Lome andCotonou Agreements, have extended some preferential trade access to developing Commonwealth and Francophonie states. SONY Vaio VPC-EB290X CPU Fan

In 1997, the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) at Edinburgh was presented with research conducted by Drs. Sarianna Lundan and Geoffrey Jones, and commissioned by the Commonwealth Secretariat. The paper, entitled “The ‘Commonwealth Effect’ and the Process of Internationalisation”,[5] HP Envy 17-1090eo CPU Fan

measured whether or not Commonwealth jurisdictions enjoyed a qualitative advantage in trade with one another as opposed to equivalent non-Commonwealth nations. Their research found that even in the absence of trade treaties, there was a clear cost advantage in trade between Commonwealth nations, Toshiba Satellite A210-1CF CPU Fan

and that the overhead costs of doing business were reduced by up to 15 percent in comparison to trade outside the Commonwealth.

In 2005, Canadian writer and political activist Brent H. Cameron published The Case for Commonwealth Free Trade, which re-introduced the idea. Cameron’s argument was that unlike previous attempts, Dell Vostro 3450 CPU Fan

Commonwealth Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) could work due to particular changes in the global economy and power structures, including: the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet bloc; the rapid development and economic expansion of Commonwealth economies; and the natural trade, commerce and cultural linkages that occurred between Commonwealth states, even without a formal trade treaty. Toshiba Satellite A10-103 CPU Fana

Cameron cites the work of Lundan and Jones, Katharine West, as well as Jeffrey Frankel of Harvard University, who quantified the impact of specific economic, geographic and social attributes to international trade.

The book argues for the conclusion of bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements among Commonwealth countries that would eventually lead to the adoption of a CFTA. Compaq Presario A900 CTO CPU Fan

Because of their very different economic profiles Commonwealth countries' interests are not always aligned. In principle, resource exporters such as Canada, Australia, and most of the Caribbean and African Commonwealth countries are complementary to resource importers such as the United Kingdom and India. ACER Aspire 4736ZG CPU Fan

However, the historical trade ties between them were based on terms which were dictated by the Colonial Office in Britain. Since the former dominions and colonies have achieved independence, they are free to refuse British initiatives and seek better deals elsewhere. Specifically, agricultural exporters in the Cairns Group(including members Australia, Toshiba Satellite A10-103 CPU Fan

Canada, New Zealand, Pakistan, and South Africa) are at odds with the importing countries at the World Trade Organisation. And of course each of these countries is free to pursue other trade policies. Notably Australia (2005) and Canada (1988), and Singapore (2004) have free trade agreements with the United States, and New Zealand (2008) has one with China. SONY MCF-519PAM05 CPU Fan

Meanwhile New Zealand and Singapore are already a members of the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership, which Australia, Canada, Malaysia, are attempting to join (along with major non-Commonwealth countries). Furthermore, the proposed Comprehensive Economic Partnership for East Asia would include Malaysia, SONY Vaio VPC-EB290X CPU Fan

Singapore, Brunei, India, Australia, and New Zealand. Notably, all these proposals exclude the UK, the place where the concept of "Commonwealth free trade" is most popular, since the UK is an EU member states and cannot negotiate independently, which is why the proposal is often tied to Euroskepticism. HP Pavilion dv7-2043cl CPU Fan

Commonwealth trade, as such, has not been a notable policy position in Canada since the failed Diefenbaker proposal of the 1950s. Instead Canada has pursueddeep economic integration with the United States and on the one hand (including a free trade agreement in 1988), HP Pavilion dv7-2130ev CPU Fan

and a generalised diversification of trade on the other hand including the "third option" policy of the 1970 (a failed attempt to diversify Canada's trade via negotiations with Japan and the European Economic Community). This has been reinforced with a a new wave of free trade agreements following NAFTA in 1994, HP 608772-001 CPU Fan

including five Latin American countries and the European Free Trade Association, as well the failed Free Trade Area of the Americas in the early 2000s, and negotiations towards the Trans-Pacific Partnership since 2012.

As of 2013, 75% of Canadian trade takes place with countries which Canada has a free trade agreement, Toshiba Satellite A100-194 CPU Fan

but this does not include any Commonwealth members. As of 2013 Canada is currently is in negotiations with the Caribbean Community (primarily Commonwealth countries), the European Union (UK and Cyprus are Commonwealth members), as well as India and Singapore. HP Pavilion tx1205/ CT CPU Fan

Although the terms of Britain's membership in the European Union precludes it from unilaterally negotiating for a CFTA, the idea has garnered interest. In particular, those politicians and parties that advocate leaving the European Union cite the development of a Commonwealth Free Trade policy as a first step. HP Pavilion dv6640ep CPU Fan

The UK Independence Party has included a call for a Commonwealth Free Trade Agreement in its policy manifesto during the 2010 British General Election.[7] In addition, some members of Britain’s Conservative Party, including MEP Daniel Hannan and MP Andrew Rosindell, have written extensively on the merits of expanding trade within the Commonwealth and the broader Anglosphere. COMPAQ Presario CQ42-401TU CPU Fan

On October 8, 2012, Tim Hewish and James Styles released their paper "Common Trade, Common Wealth, Common Growth"[8] at the UK Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, England. The following day saw British Foreign Secretary William Hague comment upon how the Commonwealth, Toshiba Satellite A300D CPU Fan

which had been 'neglected' by previous UK governments, presented "enormous opportunities" for the nation.Support for Commonwealth Free Trade is generally greatest among those in support of centre-right political and economic movements. Commonwealth Free Traders are often also supporters of the Anglosphere movement, although many are not, citing a CFTA as a possible ‘counterbalance’ to US hegemony. HP Pavilion dv8397ea CPU  Fan

In Canada there is little popular feeling for the Commonwealth, and it is not celebrated by the government[10] and commentators have called for the institution to be wound up[11]

Commentators such as James C. Bennett and Brent Cameron have expressed the view that support for either the Anglosphere or the Commonwealth are not incompatible. HP Pavilion dv9821ea CPU Fan

Cameron has explained that as the Commonwealth forms a unique subset within the Anglosphere, support for either concept is not mutually exclusive, and his work on a CFTA should be seen as promoting economic co-operation among those particular nations.

The Commonwealth Secretariat is the main intergovernmental agency and central institution of the Commonwealth of Nations. HP COMPAQ TC4200 CPU Fan

It is responsible for facilitating co-operation between members; organising meetings, including the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings (CHOGM); assisting and advising on policy development; and providing assistance to countries in implementing the decisions and policies of the Commonwealth.[1] SONY Vaio VGN-NW228F CPU Fan

The Secretariat has observer status in the United Nations General Assembly. It is located at Marlborough House in London, the United Kingdom, a former royal palace that was given by Queen Elizabeth II, Head of the Commonwealth

The Secretariat was established by Heads of Government in 1965, HP G62-b16ST CPU Fan

taking over many of the functions of the United Kingdom Government's Commonwealth Relations Office, as part of a major shake-up of the organisation of the Commonwealth. At the same time, the United Kingdom succeeded in advocating the creation of the Secretariat's sister organisation, HP 580696-001 CPU Fan

theCommonwealth Foundation was founded to foster non-governmental relations and the promotion of the Commonwealth Familynetwork of civil societies.[2] Other attempts by members to create similar central bodies, such as a medical conference (proposed by New Zealand), a development bank (Jamaica), and an institution for satellite communications (Canada) failed.[2] HP Pavilion dv6-3049tx CPU Fan

The creation of the Secretariat itself was a contentious issue. The United Kingdom and other long-established countries had hoped to slow the tide of expansion of Commonwealth membership to prevent the dilution of their traditional power within the Commonwealth (particularly after the admission of Cyprus).[2] HP G42-380LA CPU Fan

This may have involved a dual-tiered Commonwealth, requiring the continuation of the organisation of Commonwealth co-operation by meetings, rather than a central administration. However, the new African members were keener to create an independent inter-governmental 'central clearing house' (as Ghana's Kwame Nkrumah described it) Toshiba Qosmio G30-167 CPU Fan

to remove power from the older dominions.[2] Milton Obote of Uganda was the first to propose a specifically titled 'secretariat', which was then formally proposed by Eric Williams of Trinidad and Tobago, who wished to see it based upon the secretariats of the OAS, EEC, and OAU.[2]

Earlier attempts at the formation of a central secretariat had been made and failed. HP Pavilion dv7-1157cl CPU Fan

Australia had proposed the establishment four times (in 1907, 1924, 1932, and 1944), whilst New Zealand had also made proposals in 1909 and 1956.

The chief executive of the Secretariat, and of the Commonwealth as a whole, is the Commonwealth Secretary-General.[3] All Secretariat staff report to the secretary-general, who is also responsible for spending the Secretariat's budget, Compaq Presario CQ40-408AX CPU Fan

which is granted by the Heads of Government. It is the secretary-general, and not the ceremonial Head of the Commonwealth, that represents the Commonwealth publicly. The secretary-general is elected by the Heads of Government at theCommonwealth Heads of Government meetings for terms of four years; HP Mini 110-1110ET CPU Fan

previously, until 2000, a term was five years. The current secretary-general India's Kamalesh Sharma, who replaced Don McKinnon as secretary-general on 1 April 2008.[4]

The secretary-general is assisted by two deputy secretaries-general: one responsible for economic affairs (currently Ransford Smith of Jamaica) and one for political affairs (Mmasekgoa Masire-Mwamba of Botswana). HP Pavilion dv7-1157cl CPU Fan

He is also assisted by an assistant secretary-general for corporate affairs Stephen Cutts. There are ten directors from the Commonwealth Secretariat. The secretary-general may appoint junior staff at his own discretion, provided the Secretariat can afford it, whilst the more senior staff may be appointed only from a shortlist of nominations from the Heads of Government.[5] HP Pavilion dv6-3163eo CPU Fan

In practice, the secretary-general has more power than this; member governments consult the secretary-general on nominations, and the secretary-general has also at times submitted nominations of his own.[5]

All members of staff are exempt from income tax, under the International Organisations Act 2005, which redefined the legal status of the Secretariat. HP Pavilion dv9740us CPU Fan

The Secretariat is headquartered at Marlborough House, in London, the United Kingdom.[6] Marlborough House is located on Pall Mall, Westminster, next to St. James's Palace, which is formally the location of the British Royal Court. Marlborough House was previously a royal palace in its own right, HP COMPAQ NX9420 CPU Fan

but was given byQueen Elizabeth II, the Head of the Commonwealth, to the British government in September 1959 for use for Commonwealth purposes. This was first realised three years later. Another three years later, in 1965, the building passed to the Secretariat upon its foundation.[6] HP Pavilion dv7-4150ec CPU Fan

The building itself was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and served as the London residence of the dukes of Marlborough until it was given to Princess Charlotte in 1817.[6]

The Commonwealth Secretariat Act 1966, which applied retroactively from the establishment of the Secretariat in 1965, first granted the organisation fulldiplomatic immunity. HP Pavilion dv5-1102tu CPU Fan

This has been subjected to a number of lawsuits challenging this, including Mohsin v Commonwealth Secretariat, and in 2005, Sumukan Limited v Commonwealth Secretariat. The 1966 Act had been interpreted by English courts as allowing the courts to exercise supervisory jurisdiction under theArbitration Act 1996 over the Commonwealth's arbitration tribunal, SONY VGN-SZ220 CPU Fan

which had been envisaged as the sole organ to arbitrate on matters related to the Secretariat's operations in the United Kingdom.[7] In light of this interpretation, the Commonwealth Secretariat Act was amended by the International Organisations Act 2005, which gave the Commonwealth Secretariat Arbitral Tribunal the same legal immunity as the Secretariat itself, HP Pavilion dv7-6011tx CPU Fan

guaranteeing independence of the English courts.

The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM; /ˈtʃɒɡ(ə)m/ or /ˈtʃoʊm/) is a biennialsummit meeting of the heads of government from all Commonwealth nations. Every two years the meeting is held in a different member state, and is chaired by that nation's respective Prime Minister or President, who becomes the Commonwealth Chairperson-in-Office. HP Pavilion dv5-1040eb CPU Fan

Queen Elizabeth II, who is the Head of the Commonwealth, has attended every CHOGM beginning with Ottawa in 1973,[1]although her formal participation only began in 1997.[2] However, she will be represented by thePrince of Wales at the 2013 meeting as the 87-year-old monarch is curtailing her overseas travel.[1] ASUS F3Jv CPU Fan

The first CHOGM was held in 1971, and there have been twenty-one held in total: the most recent was held in Perth, Western Australia. They are held once every two years, although this pattern has twice been interrupted. They are held around the Commonwealth, rotating by invitation amongst its members. IBM ThinkPad R50p 2887 CPU Fan

In the past, CHOGMs have attempted to orchestrate common policies on certain contentious issues and current events, with a special focus on issues affecting member nations. CHOGMs have discussed the continuation of apartheid rule in South Africa and how to end it, military coups in Pakistan andFiji, and allegations of electoral fraud in Zimbabwe. SONY VGN-CS36GJ/R CPU Fan

Sometimes the member states agree on a common idea or solution, and release a joint statement declaring their opinion. More recently, beginning at the 1997 CHOGM, the meeting has had an official 'theme', set by the host nation, on which the primary discussions have been focused.

The meetings originated with the leaders of the self-governing colonies of the British Empire.[ Toshiba Satellite A215-S4807 CPU Fan

4] The First Colonial Conference in 1887 was followed by periodic meetings, known as Imperial Conferences from 1907, of government leaders of the Empire. The development of the independence of the dominions, and the creation of a number of new dominions, as well as the invitation of Southern Rhodesia (which also attended as a sui generis colony),[5] Toshiba Satellite Pro M10-SP405 CPU Fan

changed the nature of the meetings.[4] As the dominion leaders asserted themselves more and more at the meetings, it became clear that the time for 'imperial' conferences was over.

From the ashes of the Second World War, seventeen Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conferences were held between 1944 and 1969. HP Pavilion dv4-1120us CPU Fan

Of these, sixteen were held in London, reflecting then-prevailing views of the Commonwealth as the continuation of the Empire and the centralisation of power in the British Commonwealth Office (the one meeting outside London, in Lagos, was an extraordinary meeting held in January 1966 to co-ordinate policies towards Rhodesia). Compaq Presario C550EM CPU Fan

Two supplementary meetings were also held during this period: a Commonwealth Statesmen's meeting to discuss peace terms in April 1945, and a Commonwealth Economic Conference in 1952.

The 1960s saw an overhaul of the Commonwealth. Toshiba Qosmio E15-AV101 CPU Fan

The swift expansion of the Commonwealth after decolonisation saw the newly independent countries demand the creation of the Commonwealth Secretariat, and the United Kingdom, in response, successfully founding the Commonwealth Foundation.[6] This decentralisation of power demanded a reformulation of the meetings. Toshiba Satellite L645D-S4056 CPU Fan

Instead of the meetings always being held in London, they would rotate across the membership, subject to countries' ability to host the meetings: beginning with Singapore in 1971. They were also renamed the 'Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings' to reflect the growing diversity of the constitutional structures in the Commonwealth. Toshiba Satellite A305-S6837 CPU Fan

The core of the CHOGM are the executive sessions, which are the formal gatherings of the heads of government to do business. However, the majority of the important decisions are held not in the main meetings themselves, but at the informal 'retreats': introduced at the second CHOGM, in Ottawa, by Prime Minister of Canada Pierre Trudeau,[7] HP Pavilion dv7-4087cl CPU Fan

but reminiscent of the excursions to Chequers or Dorneywood in the days of the Prime Ministers' Conferences.[4] The rules are very strict: allowing the head of the delegation, his or her spouse, and one other person. The additional member can be of any capacity (personal, political, security, etc.), but he or she has only occasional and intermittent access to the head.[4] HP Pavilion dv5-1118es CPU Fan

It is usually at the retreat where, isolated from their advisers, the heads resolve the most intransigent issues: leading to the Gleneagles Agreement in 1977, the Lusaka Declaration in 1979, the Langkawi Declaration in 1989, theMillbrook Programme in 1995, and the Aso Rock Declaration in 2003.[4] Toshiba Satellite A665-S6050 CPU Fan

The 'fringe' of civil society organisations, including the Commonwealth Family and local groups, adds a cultural dimension to the event, and brings the CHOGM a higher media profile and greater acceptance by the local population.[7] First officially recognised at Limassol in 1993,[4] these events, spanning a longer period than the meeting itself, have, HP Pavilion G72-259WM CPU Fan

to an extent, preserved the length of the CHOGM: but only in the cultural sphere.[7] Other meetings, such as those of theCommonwealth Ministerial Action Group, Commonwealth Business Council, and respective foreign ministers, have also dealt with business away from the heads of government themselves. HP Pavilion dv6-3109ca  CPU  Fan

As the scope of the CHOGM has expanded beyond the meetings of the heads of governments themselves, the CHOGMs have become progressively shorter, and their business more compacted into less time.[7] The 1971 CHOGM lasted for nine days, and the 1977 and 1991 CHOGMs for seven days each. However, Harare's epochal CHOGM was the last to last a week; HP Pavilion dv6782eg CPU Fan

the 1993 CHOGM lasted for five days, and the contentious 1995 CHOGM for only three-and-a-half.[4] The 2005 and subsequent conferences were held over two days.

During the 1980s, CHOGMs were dominated by calls for the Commonwealth to impose sanctions on South Africa to pressure the country to end apartheid. SONY UDQF2PH52CF0 CPU Fan

The division between the United Kingdom during the government of Margaret Thatcher which resisted the call for sanctions and African Commonwealth countries was intense at times and led to speculation that the organisation might collapse.

In 2011, British Prime Minister David Cameron informed the British House of Commons that his proposals to reform the rules governing royal succession, Toshiba UDQFRPH33CCM CPU Fan

a change which would require the approval of all Commonwealth realms, was approved at the 28–30 October CHOGM in Perth, subsequently referred to as the Perth Agreement.

As the convocation of heads of governments and permanent Commonwealth staff and experts, CHOGMs are the highest institution of action in the Commonwealth, and rare occasions on which Commonwealth leaders all come together. Toshiba Satellite A505-S6980 CPU Fan

CHOGMs have been the venues of many of the Commonwealth's most dramatic events. Robert Mugabeannounced Zimbabwe's immediate withdrawal from the Commonwealth at the 2003 CHOGM,[10] and Nigeria's execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight others on the first day of the 1995 CHOGM led to that country's suspension.[7] HP Pavilion dv7-2025es CPU Fan

It has also been the trigger of a number of events that have shook participating countries domestically. The departure of Uganda's President Milton Obote to the1971 CHOGM allowed Idi Amin to overthrow Obote's government. Similarly, President James Mancham's attendance of the 1977 CHOGM gave Prime Minister France-Albert René the opportunity to seize power in the Seychelles. TOSHIBA Satellite L300 CPU Fan

The Head of the Commonwealth is the symbolic pinnacle and "symbol of the free association of [the] independent member nations" of the Commonwealth of Nations, an intergovernmental organisation which currently comprises 53 sovereign states. The role of the Head of the Commonwealth itself involves no part in the day-to-day governance of any of the member states within the Commonwealth of Nations. HP G62-a10EJ CPU Fan

At present, the position is occupied by Queen Elizabeth II, who also serves as monarch of each of the 16 members of the Commonwealth of Nations that are, as such, called the Commonwealth realms. The title was created due to India's desire to become a republic but not depart the Commonwealth of Nations; Dell MF60100V1-Q000-G99 CPU Fan

King George VI was thus the first Head of the Commonwealth. There is no agreement concerning whether the office will pass to Elizabeth's heir, along with her other offices.

The title was devised in the London Declaration as a result of discussions at the 1949 Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference,[1] but was not added to the monarch's style until 1953. DELL R859C CPU Fan

In that year, a Royal Style and Titles Act was passed separately in each of the seven Commonwealth realms then existing (except Pakistan), which gave formal recognition to the separateness and the equality of the realms by entitling the Queen as Queen of [Realm] and her other Realms and Territories, Head of the CommonwealthToshiba Satellite A105-S2101 CPU Fan

The role of the Head of the Commonwealth is recognised by the members of the Commonwealth as the "symbol of their free association". Elizabeth II serves as a leader, with assistants that play key roles, such as the Commonwealth Secretary-General and Commonwealth Chairperson-in-Office. SONY Vaio VGN-FW140E CPU Fan

The Head of the Commonwealth or a representative (such as Charles, Prince of Wales) attends the biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), held at locations throughout the Commonwealth, a tradition begun by the monarch on the advice of Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau in 1973,[3] when the first CHOGM was held on Canadian soil. ACER Aspire 5730Z CPU Fan

During the summit, the Head of the Commonwealth has a series of private meetings with Commonwealth countries' leaders, attends a CHOGM reception and dinner, and makes a general speech. The Queen or a representative is also present at the quadrennial Commonwealth Games and on everyCommonwealth Day, the second Monday in March, broadcasts a message to all member countries. SONY Vaio VPC-EB4S1E/WI CPU Fan

The London Declaration of 1949, devised by Canadian prime minister Louis St. Laurent, stated that King George VI, as the symbol of the free association of the countries of the Commonwealth, is the Head of the Commonwealth.[4] Both republics and kingdoms that are not Commonwealth realms can recognise the monarch as Head of the Commonwealth without accepting the person as the country's head of state. HP Pavilion dv9580ed CPU Fan

When India adopted a republican constitution on 26 January 1950, it recognised George VI as the symbol of the association but no longer as India's monarch.

Elizabeth II became Head of the Commonwealth when she ascended to the throne in 1952. On her accession, she announced "[t]he Commonwealth bears no resemblance to the empires of the past. Toshiba Satellite L305D-S5934 CPU Fan

It is an entirely new conception built on the highest qualities of the spirit of man: friendship, loyalty, and the desire for freedom and peace."[5]

In December 1960, the Queen had a personal flag created to symbolise her as Head of the Commonwealth and not associated with her role as queen of any particular country. SONY Vaio VGN-CR31S/P CPU Fan

Over time, the flag has replaced the British Royal Standard when the Queen visits Commonwealth countries of which she is not head of state (and thus does not possess a unique royal standard for that state), and on Commonwealth occasions in the United Kingdom. HP Pavilion dv5-1210et CPU Fan

When the Queen visits the headquarters of theCommonwealth Secretariat in London, this personal standard—not any of her royal standards—is raised. HP Envy 15 CPU Fan,HP Pavilion dv7-1190er CPU Fan,HP Pavilion dv6-3385la CPU Fan

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