The Commonwealth Charter

The Commonwealth Charter was presented to Parliament in a written statement on 4th March 2013, having been formally agreed by the Commonwealth Heads of Government in December 2012. The points covered in the Charter are paraphrased below.

  1. Democracy – The charter upholds the requirement for democracy in the governance process, in particular with regard to free and fair elections.
  2. Human Rights – The Universal declaration of Human Rights is upheld and forms of discrimination opposed.
  3. International Peace and Security – International peace and security is cited as integral to the prosperity of nations, with support stated for the United Nation’s work and other multi-national peacekeeping agreements and organisations.
  4. Tolerance, Respect and Understanding – The promotion of tolerance, moderation and dignit for individuals in diverse cultures is championed.
  5. Freedom of Expression – The desire for peaceful, open dialogue and freedom of information (particularly with regards to the media) is expressed.
  6. Separation of Powers – The maintenance of the integrity of the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary is affirmed.
  7. Rule of Law – The rule of law, and its role in establishing public confidence and justice is championed.
  8. Good Governance – The need to continue to try and eradicate corruption is stated.
  9. Sustainable Development – Sustainable development is championed, in particular through the promotion of sustainable economic and social transformation in order to help eradicate poverty, as well as multi-lateral free trade.
  10. Protecting the Environment – The protection and conservation of the natural environment through collective agreement and committed action is outlined.
  11. Access to Health, Education, Food and Shelter – The necessity for these four vital elements is cited.
  12. Gender Equality – Gender equality and the empowerment of women is affirmed.
  13. Importance of Young People in the Commonwealth – The requirement to support Commonwealth youth, in particular with regard to employment and entrepreneurship is stated, to preserve and pass on the values of the Commonwealth.
  14. Recognition of the needs of small states and the Recognition of the needs of vulnerable states – The recognition to be proactive with regard to the needs of small and vulnerable states is affirmed.
  15. The role of Civil Society – Free association and commitment to a civil society in communities and at a national level is supported.
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