What are the benefits of being part of the Commonwealth of Nations …

  • There’s ignorant answers, and there are factual answers. Here’s a factual one.

    Membership has its privileges. For starters, hosting the games is a bit like hosting the Olympics. The country in question spends a lot on infrastructure in the hopes of bringing in tourist dollars. More generally, Commonwealth citizens have special rights when living in the United Kingdom—more than what any old immigrant would get. An Indian citizen who resides anywhere in the United Kingdom—that’s England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales—has the right to vote in local and national elections and can also help select members of the European Parliament. *(Several Caribbean members also grant residents from Commonwealth countries voting rights.) And if an Indian citizen were traveling somewhere without an Indian Embassy, he or she could get assistance at the U.K. one instead.

    The Commonwealth gives “technical assistance” in support of economic growth. Drawing from the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation (which amounts to about 29 million pounds per year), the Commonwealth provides its needier member states with advisers on trade and land-use strategies, or consultants to help restructure public services, for example.

    The Commonwealth is basically a big club. After the British Empire crumbled, eight states (Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and the United Kingdom) adopted the 1949 London Declaration. This established, in brief, that all members were free, independent, and equal to one another, and that they recognized King George VI as the symbolic head of their association, known as the Commonwealth of Nations. Several dozen countries have joined since. Typically, joiners have a historical connection to Britain (as in, they were colonies), but in 1995, Mozambique (which was not part of the empire) became a member. To get in, applicants must demonstrate a commitment to democracy, including fair elections and representative legislatures, accept that intra-Commonwealth discussions happen in English, and acknowledge Queen Elizabeth II as their ceremonial leader. Participation in the Commonwealth is completely voluntary—any nation could opt out at any time. Members are supposed to commit themselves to the group’s ideals, but they don’t have any contractual obligations per se (as do members of the United Nations, for example).

    A Commonwealth country can, however, get suspended for human rights violations. The group sometimes works to pressure member states (or former member states) that go astray. It forced South Africa out of the association after the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre, when police killed 69 peaceful anti-apartheid demonstrators. With the Gleneagles Agreement of 1977, the Commonwealth cut off sporting contact with the apartheid state, and it imposed economic sanctions against the country in the 1980s.

    Though defence treaties relating to Commonwealth countries are few and far between, most members would seek to protect each other in a crisis. Tuvalu, one of the smallest members of the Commonwealth, would not be invaded without New Zealand, the United Kingdom and other major members of the Commonwealth raising concern and, if necessary, military action. Small Commonwealth members, with small or non-existent armies, avail most from this unofficial pact between the members of the Commonwealth. Each country is keen to build a national image and promote democracy, the English language and identity – and so will always try to protect their ‘relatives’

    In the United Kingdom, citizens of Commonwealth countries retain the right to vote in General Elections and a number of local elections. Commonwealth citizens can have their say and their opinion will be appreciated.

    A Commonwealth citizen is not regarded to be a foreign citizen, or alien, by another respective Commonwealth government. This tradition descends from the older ‘British subject’ designation – though nothing but name has changed with regards to this concept other than name. Commonwealth citizens are technically British subjects; they can avail of the support of a British embassy or court in a country where their own nationhood is not represented. Many Commonwealth citizens still hold British passports; it is also far easier for Commonwealth citizens to immigrate to the UK than non-Commonwealth citizens.

    The Commonwealth Games are held every four years in a Commonwealth member country; they add extra tourism and economy to the country.

    The commonwealth of nation has helped to improve trading activities among nations by common tariffs on goods. They ensure save guidelines and better terms of delivery e.g. ensuring a better ship and cargoes.

    They have helped to train members state in order to defend its integrity from the vengeance of evildoers.

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