(iii) The Commonwealth Secretariat
This organ is in charge of coordinating the meetings of the Prime Ministers of the Commonwealth countries. It has a special status (the "Observer") at the UN General Assembly.
The Head of the Commonwealth Secretariat is the Secretary-General. The Secretary-General has a direct access to all the heads of the governments of the Commonwealth nations. Its headquarters are in London.
The Commonwealth Secretariat has the following functions:
(iv) The Role of the Commonwealth
The furnishing of information that is of common concern to
all the member nations.
Providing expert technical assistance for economic and social
development through the multilateral Commonwealth Fund for Technical
The organizing of biennial meetings of Commonwealth Heads of
The organizing of annual meetings between the Finance Ministers
of the member nations.
Though it is sometimes criticized as being an unorganized association, the Commonwealth has played an admirable role in world peace. It has a number of accomplishments:
Forum for Discussion; of various issues and a means
of arriving at an understanding of the nature of problems. Here
the countries can share their experience in dealing with problems.
Promotion of World Peace: The Commonwealth has always
taken a stand against the arms race and terrorism. Playing an
important role in world peace it has always encouraged peaceful
settlement of regional disputes. Further, it has contributed
towards strengthening UN efforts for peace and disarmament.
Champion of Racial Equality: Maintaining its stance
against racial discrimination, the Commonwealth has always championed
the cause of racial equality. It was strongly against the policy
of apartheid followed by the government of South Africa.
Economic Development: The Commonwealth has been responsible
for the economic development of the less developed countries
of the world. Almost 80 percent of the aid given by Britain
is provided to less developed countries of the Commonwealth.
However, it was observed at the Harare Summit in 1991, the protectionist
trade barriers imposed by the developed countries often offset
the external aid provided to them. Hence a proposal for debt
relief was put forwarded to the developed nations.
Co-operation in Education: The Commonwealth countries
have established a large number of scholarships, known as "Commonwealth
Scholarships." The idea is to share expertise and specialization
in order to boost goodwill among the member nations.
Commonwealth Games: Commonwealth Games are held every
fourth year. Athletes from Commonwealth countries compete in
sports such as boxing, swimming, cycling and diving, track and
field sports, weightlifting, wrestling, etc. The idea of holding
a ’Festival’ in order to improve ties between the member nations
was put forward by John A. Cooper in 1891. The first Games were
held in Hamilton, Canada in 1930 and were called the British
Empire Games. The event acquired the name of Commonwealth Games
18.1 Regional Organizations
18.2 International Organizations
b. The Commonwealth
18.3 Dates & Events