logo icon

The History of the Commonwealth timeline

back to the Origins first page | p.2 | p.3 | p.4 | p.5 | p.6 | p.7 | p.8 | p.9 | p.10 |

1926 - Imperial Conference: UK and its dominions agree they are "equal in status, in no way subordinate one to another in any aspect of their domestic or external affairs, though united by common allegiance to the Crown, and freely associated as members of the British Commonwealth of Nations."

1930 - First Commonwealth Games held in Hamilton, Canada.

1931 - British parliament enacts the Statute of Westminster, which officially proclaims the Commonwealth a free association of self-governing dominions united by a common allegiance to the British Crown.

1949 - Commonwealth prime ministers issue the London Declaration, which changes membership in the Commonwealth from one based on common allegiance to the British Crown to one in which members agree to recognise the British monarch as the head of the Commonwealth, rather than as their head of state.

1961 - South Africa withdraws from the Commonwealth after it is criticised by many members for its apartheid policies.

1965 - Commonwealth Secretariat set up in London.

1971 - Singapore Declaration of shared principles is adopted; it includes commitments to individual liberty, freedom from racism, peace, economic and social development, and international cooperation.

1977 - Adoption of Gleneagles Agreement discouraging sporting contacts with South Africa because of its apartheid policies.

1979 - Lusaka Declaration on Racism and Racial Prejudice issued.

1987 - Fiji suspended from Commonwealth following the overthrow of its government.

1991 - Harare Declaration adds democracy, good government and human rights to the Commonwealth's shared principles.

1994 - South Africa rejoins the Commonwealth following the end of apartheid.

1995 - Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) set up to deal with persistent and serious violators of the Commonwealth's shared principles; Nigeria suspended from the Commonwealth after it sentenced to death the writer Ken Saro-Wiwa and a group of fellow activists.

1997 - Fiji reinstated after it adopts new constitution more in line with Commonwealth's shared principles.

May - Nigeria reinstated after its return to civilian rule.
October - Pakistan suspended because of military take-over.


back to the Origins first page | p.2 | p.3 | p.4 | p.5 | p.6 | p.7 | p.8 | p.9 | p.10 |

home | quiz | ecards | feedback | links |
commonwealth website| opinion poll | privacy policy

What is the Commonwealth?
The Commonwealth Games
Countries of the Commonwealth
Diversity in the Commonwealth
The Origins and History of the Commonwealth
The Modern Commonwealth
The Commonwealth in Action
The Commonwealth And Young People
Being a Commonwealth Citizen
How does the Commowealth Work?

Did You Know?