THE COMMONWEALTH SECRETARIAT
The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 53 independent and equal sovereign states. The Commonwealth is home to 2.4 billion people and includes both advanced economies and developing countries. Thirty-one of our members are small states, many of which are island nations. Member countries are supported by a network of more than 80 intergovernmental, civil society, cultural and professional organisations.
The Commonwealth Secretariat, established in 1965, supports Commonwealth member countries to achieve development, democracy and peace. They provide a voice for small and vulnerable states, are a champion for young people and works with countries to strengthen governance, build inclusive institutions and promote justice and human rights.
The Commonwealth Secretariat vision is to help create and sustain a Commonwealth that is mutually respectful, resilient, peaceful and prosperous and that cherishes equality, diversity and shared values.
The Commonwealth Foundation is an international organisation established by Heads of Government in support of the belief that the Commonwealth is as much an association of peoples as it is of governments. It is the Commonwealth agency for civil society; a unique, stand-alone organisation established by, funded, and reporting to governments. The Foundation is dedicated to strengthening people’s participation in all aspects of public dialogue, to act together and learn from each other to build democratic societies.
Ultimately, the Foundation seeks to ensure that policy and government institutions are more effective contributors to development through the influence of civic voices.
Recognising that the plurality of people and natural environments of the Commonwealth lies at the heart of its strength, the Commonwealth Foundation will respect this diversity in fulfilling its mission. It is committed to the equality of opportunity for all, to respect for difference, and environmental sustainability.
Recognising that effective, responsive and accountable governance requires the inputs of all stakeholders, the Commonwealth Foundation will share the learning generated by the participation of civil society. It is committed to inspiring dialogue from the bottom up, promoting consultations, building consensus, facilitating convergence, forging partnerships and engaging diverse stakeholders in participatory governance.
Recognising that intergovernmental organisations are publicly funded and answerable to their member states, the Commonwealth Foundation will act in a thoroughly transparent manner in all its undertakings. It is committed to demonstrating accountability to both governments and civil society. It pursues its mission with commitment, discipline and rigour.
Recognising the scale and scope of the challenges facing Commonwealth people, their organisations and natural environments, the Commonwealth Foundation acknowledges the requirement to be innovative in its responses. It is committed to acting as a catalyst that brings stakeholders together to generate creative and innovative solutions and promote thoughtful analysis and learning. See www.commonwealthfoundation.com