Commonwealth of Nations

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Commonwealth of Nations
Flag of Commonwealth of Nations
Logo of Commonwealth of Nations
HeadquartersMarlborough House, London, United Kingdom
Working languageEnglish
TypeVoluntary association
Member states
• Head
Elizabeth II
• Secretary-General
Tony Blair
• Chair-in-Office
Kris Faafoi
• Balfour Declaration
19 November 1926
• Statute of Westminster
11 December 1931
• London Declaration
28 April 1949

The Commonwealth of Nations, simply referred to as the Commonwealth, is a political association of 14 member states, all of which are former territories of the British Empire. The chief institutions of the organisation are the Commonwealth Secretariat, which focuses on intergovernmental aspects, and the Commonwealth Foundation, which focuses on non-governmental relations amongst member states.Numerous organisations are associated with and operate within the Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth dates back to the first half of the 20th century with the decolonisation of the British Empire through increased self-governance of its territories. It was originally created as the British Commonwealth of Nations through the Balfour Declaration at the 1926 Imperial Conference, and formalised by the United Kingdom through the Statute of Westminster in 1931. The current Commonwealth of Nations was formally constituted by the London Declaration in 1949, which modernised the community and established the member states as "free and equal".

The head of the Commonwealth is Elizabeth II. She is queen of 7 member states, known as the Commonwealth realms, while 6 other members are republics and Brunei has another monarch.

Member states have no legal obligations to one another but are connected through their use of the English language and historical ties. The Commonwealth Charter defines their shared values of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law