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Commonwealth Diplomatic Academy programme

  • Published
    28th Jun, 2022
Context

India and the UK are planning to create a joint Commonwealth Diplomatic Academy programme to train young and aspiring diplomats from both nations.

About
  • Graduates from the programme will play a crucial role in delivering a rejuvenated Commonwealth united in support of self-determination.
  • In an increasingly geopolitical world, India and UK champion the Commonwealth values of democracy and sovereignty.
  • The UK and India are helping to build a modern Commonwealth fit for the 21st century and delivering tangible benefits for its members.
  • The new Commonwealth Diplomatic Academy programme, which will equip young diplomats with expertise and training they will need to tackle the global challenges we face.

What is Commonwealth?

  • The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of sovereign countries that were once under British law and government.
  • The headquarters of the Commonwealth is London (United Kingdom). Its working language is English.
  • The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 54 independent and equal countries.
  • It is home to 2.4 billion people and includes both advanced economies and developing countries. 32 of our members are small states, including many island nations.
  • Its member governments have agreed to share goals like development, democracy and peace.
  • The Commonwealth's roots go back to the British Empire. But today any country can join the modern Commonwealth.
  • Eight governments (United Kingdom, Australia, India, South Africa, Canada, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and Pakistan) came together on 28 April 1949 to form the modern Commonwealth.
  • Since its formation, independent countries from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Pacific have joined the Commonwealth.

India & the Commonwealth:

  • India became a member of the Commonwealth in 1947, the first with chiefly non-European populations.
  • India’s new political interest in the Commonwealth is evident by the participation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the 25th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London in 2018, marking the first Indian prime ministerial presence in a Commonwealth Summit after nearly a decade. 
  • There are few reasons behind India’s political interest in the Commonwealth:
    • First, the membership of the Commonwealth, virtually spanning the entire globe. For India, membership and prospective leaders of the Commonwealth helps enhance its bilateral ties with individual countries.
    • The growing importance of small states for India’s foreign policy. A high proportion of Commonwealth members, about 60 per cent, are small states.
    • Commonwealth-wide presence of Indian diaspora. 
    • China is not and will never be a member of the Commonwealth. 

Benefits of membership

  • Commonwealth member countries benefit from being part of a mutually supportive community of independent and sovereign states, aided by more than 80 Commonwealth organisations.
  • The Commonwealth Secretariat, established in 1965, supports Commonwealth member countries to achieve development, democracy and peace.
  • It helps to strengthen governance, build inclusive institutions and promote justice and human rights.
  • It deploys experts and observers who offer impartial advice and solutions to national problems.
  • At Commonwealth summits, government leaders are brought together to amplify their voices and achieve collective action on global challenges.
  • Its work supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
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