05 October 2016
60 years of the Commonwealth 13.11.2009
In April 1949, Heads of State from Australia, Britain, Ceylon, India, New Zealand, Pakistan,South Africa and the Canadian Secretary of State for External Affairs met and deliberated inLondon which resulted in the London Declaration of 26 April 1949 heralding the beginning of themodern Commonwealth. In this Declaration the Commonwealth member countries committed themselves to work together in partnership and as equals towards a shared future. Speaking about India’s decision to join the Commonwealth, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister, had said in, 1949 : “It is necessary that we touch upon the world’s problems, not with passion and prejudice but in a friendly way and with a touch of healing. We have begun this new association with a touch of healing“.
In the 60 years, the Commonwealth has grown from 8 members in 1949 to become a unique association of 53 independent states, consulting and co-operating in the common interests of their peoples, and in the promotion of international understanding. The creation of the Commonwealth Secretariat in 1965 and the ever expanding number of professional and advocacy Commonwealth organisations reflects growing relevance and strength of the Commonwealth.