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The Commonwealth



The Commonwealth is an association of 54 independent countries and their people. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is the Head of the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth has no charter but as an informal grouping. It enables countries in different regions of the world, consisting of different races and representing a number of interests, to exchange opinions in a friendly and intimate atmosphere. Amongst others, its aims are to promote international peace and order, equal right for all citizens and help to achieve a fairer global society.

The Heads of Government in 1965 established the Commonwealth Secretariat and it works under the direction of Commonwealth governments. The Secretariat, which is headed by the Secretary General, co-ordinates the work of the association organises intergovernmental consultations, services Commonwealth meetings and committees conduct programmes of co-operation and disseminates information.

Brunei Darussalam's role in Commonwealth 
With Brunei Darussalam's traditional ties with Great Britain; it became the 49th member of the Commonwealth immediately on the day of its independence on 1st January 1984. The Commonwealth has provided Brunei Darussalam opportunities to pursue and promote its foreign policy objectives in a multilateral forum. His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, in his speech during the 1999 Durban Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, among others stated that no country was untouched by the forces of globalisation and Brunei Darussalam was no exception. The question was not how we could be protected from globalisation but rather how we could maximize its benefits and minimize its cost. His Majesty also stated that the Commonwealth has already made mechanism in the form of the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation (CFTC) and we strongly supported the fund and its activities.

Since joining the Commonwealth, Brunei Darussalam attended every Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) respectively held in Nassau in 1985, Vancouver in 1987, Kuala Lumpur in 1989, Harare in 1991, Limmasol in 1993, Auckland in 1995, and Edinburgh in 1997 in Durban, South Africa in 1999 and Coolum, Australia 2 - 5 March 2002. These meetings have provided a useful platform not only in discussing international issues but also in promoting bilateral relations. Our relevant Ministers have also attended the Commonwealth meetings in areas of education, finance, health, law, women and youth. Brunei Darussalam participated in the Commonwealth Games for the first time in New Zealand in February 1989 followed by the Commonwealth Games in Canada in August 1994 and in Kuala Lumpur in 1998.

Brunei Darussalam has gained benefits from assistance and training provided by the Commonwealth in the areas of trade, industries and human resources development. Most of the activities are conducted through the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation (CFTC). It has also benefited from other activities organised by the Commonwealth Science Council (CSC), Commonwealth of Learning (COL), Commonwealth Youth Programme (CYP), Commonwealth Foundation, Women and Development Programmes.


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