Prince Charles ‘will become the head of the Commonwealth,’ says Ship
In November, Barbados became the world’s newest republic when it parted ways with the Queen and swore in Sandra Mason as president. Her Majesty, who was stripped as the Caribbean island’s head of state, sent her “warmest best wishes” to the nation. Although Barbados has ended the British monarchy’s 369-year rule over the island nation, it has opted to remain a member of the Commonwealth, a voluntary organization run by the Queen.
In doing so, Barbados became the first country to remain a member despite ceasing to be a constitutional monarchy.
The Commonwealth of Nations is an organization of 54 members, most of which are former territories of the British Empire, but not all.
Of these 54 countries, there are now 15 Commonwealth realms, which have the Queen as head of state.
Of the remaining countries, 34 are republics and five have different monarchs.
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A ‘chain of countries’ have applied to join the Commonwealth, including Algeria, South Sudan and Suriname
Barbados ended the British monarchy’s 369-year rule over the island nation last year
Prior to 2007, a member of the Commonwealth realms transitioning to a republic had to reapply for membership in the larger group, but this is no longer the case.
Barbados’ decision to remain part of the Commonwealth came after a ‘chain of countries’ expressed interest in joining the network.
Former Commonwealth Minister of State Lord Howell told the Foreign Affairs Committee in June 2012: “It is interesting to note that other people want to join the Commonwealth.
“It remains to be seen whether they will succeed in joining the Commonwealth network.
The Commonwealth of Nations is a 54 member organization
“But it is certainly a sign that we should pause and note that a number of countries continue to ask questions about the Commonwealth and whether they can participate, either in the main Commonwealth system or in one non-governmental or sub-governmental organizations.
“We have a direct candidate in South Sudan, which of course is in a difficult situation.
“I have a series of countries here on my list who are interested and whose ambassadors keep coming to my office or calling and saying, ‘Can we find out more about [the] Commonwealth and could we possibly join?
“For example, these include Algeria and Suriname.
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Algeria was eager to join the Commonwealth
“When I went to Kuwait the other day, the first question I was asked was about the Commonwealth.
“I’m not saying any of them are necessarily going to become a member, but they are interested.”
The Commonwealth is home to 2.5 billion people, some of whom reside in the world’s most advanced economies and others in developing countries.
Although its members have no legal obligation to one another, they are bound by the English language and historical ties and work together to promote democracy and peace in the world.
15 Commonwealth realms have the Queen as Head of State.
For some countries, the Commonwealth grants access to a network of nations and the ability to raise issues of concern with other member states.
Newsreader Mohammed al-Sharif told the BBC in 2012: “Yemen needs a lot of help. We went through a civil war and we have economic problems.
“We have so much hope that our president will lead us to a better future. But we can’t do anything without outside help.
The new members of the Commonwealth are the Maldives, which joined in 2020 and Rwanda, which joined in 2009.
Rwanda and Mozambique are the only countries that were not in the British Empire.
Rwanda, whose recent history included a devastating genocide in the 1990s, was admitted to the Commonwealth because of its commitment to working for democracy and because neighboring countries Uganda and Tanzania are members. .
Former Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma told the BBC he played a major role in bringing democracy and good governance to the world.
He said in 2012: “The fact that there is a lot of interest in the Commonwealth indicates that it really is the club of the 21st century.
“There is something the Commonwealth has done well.
“The Arab Spring was centered on the hope that the whole region could live by the values that the Commonwealth has espoused for so long.”