Why in news?
- The Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare participated in the 32nd Commonwealth Health Ministers’ Meeting through Video Conference on 14th May 2020.
- It was Highlighted that India has been the first country to urge consolidated global action to fight the challenge of COVID-19, given that India convened a meeting of SAARC leaders in mid-March.
The Commonwealth, also known as The Commonwealth of Nations, is a political association of 54 member states, nearly all 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 between member states.
- 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.
- Member states have NO legal obligations to one another, but are connected through their use of the English language and historical ties.
- Their stated shared values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law are enshrined in the Commonwealth Charter and promoted by the quadrennial Commonwealth Games.
- The Constituent Assembly of India accepted and approved India’s membership of the British Commonwealth in May 1949.