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Commonwealth Speakers mark 75th anniversary milestone in Westminster

Speakers and Presiding officers from across the Commonwealth pledged to strive for ‘a world that is free of strife, war and inequality’ by 2049 - after they celebrated the organisation’s 75th anniversary.

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In a communique marking the milestone in Westminster this week, the attendees said 'cooperating in the pursuit of peace, liberty and progress’ was as relevant now as it was when the group first formed.

The Commonwealth has grown from a group of eight countries in 1949, to a diverse body of 56 nations, with a population of 2.5 billion today.

Its members range from large, developed countries – to emerging and developing countries – and include some of the smallest nations on earth.

More than 30 Speakers attended the two-day summit in the House of Commons, which included a flag-raising ceremony, seminar, and historic photo in the Chamber.

Their communique, which ‘reaffirmed the central role played by parliaments to democratic life,’ also stressed that Parliaments were ‘the cornerstone of democratic governance’ and embodied ‘the wills and expressions of the people.’

The ‘principle of human rights has never been more important,’ the Speakers agreed, adding that they were ‘implacably opposed to all forms of discrimination’ throughout the Commonwealth and the world.

‘By the time of the 100th anniversary, we hope our parliaments and assemblies will have continued to contribute to a world that is free of strife, war and inequality,’ they said.

‘Co-operating in the pursuit of peace, liberty and progress – as first declared in the London Declaration of April 1949 – is as relevant then as it is today and 75 years ago.’

View communique here. (pdf, 86KB)

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