One may have heard of the Commonwealth, the Commonwealth Games, or come from one of the Commonwealth countries. However, very few realise the significance of the foundation of the Commonwealth and the impact it has on our modern world.
I was born in one of the Commonwealth countries. After spending some growing-up years in the United Kingdom, it is almost natural for me to think of the Commonwealth of Nations as Queen Elizabeth II’s legacy. In her Christmas speech in 1959, the Queen shared her vision of the Commonwealth as “an entirely new conception – built on the highest qualities of the Spirit of Man: friendship, loyalty and the desire for freedom and peace.“
The Commonwealth comprises 54 independent countries with common goals to promote development, democracy and peace. Its charter includes Democracy, Human rights, Peace, Tolerance, respect and understanding, etc. It has since added Sustainable Development and Protecting the Environment to its list.
Three facts that may surprise you:
1/ Almost one-third of the world’s population, 2.5B people, live in the Commonwealth countries.
2/ 60% of the Commonwealth’s population are under 30 years old.
3/ Economically, the Commonwealth rivals that of the EU: Its GDP in 2021 was ~US$13.1T while that of the European Union was ~ US$14.4T.
The Commonwealth of Nations spans the globe and includes advanced economies and developing countries. Its membership is the epitome of diversity and Inclusion, and Queen Elizabeth II is its current Head:
This June, we witness an exceptional and remarkable 96-year-old lady with her stories written into history. Even Stonehenge and Marble Arch are lit up with her images to pay tribute. What a gal, what a beacon of light!
Her stories, your stories, my stories and ALL OUR stories make up the canvas of humanity! May we heed the wisdom of each to make our world a better place! As the wise Queen once said:
“Even when your life seems most monotonous, what you do is always of real value and importance to your fellow men.”