Welcome to Unit 1 Introducing Commonwealth Values. This unit introduces the notion of Commonwealth values, putting them into the context of the history of the Commonwealth as an association of nations that has moved from colonial to co-operative relationships. It looks at how Commonwealth structures support these values in practice.

The unit begins with a look at the rich diversity of the member states of the Commonwealth. As you work through the unit, you will be introduced to the origins of the Commonwealth in the British Empire and its evolution into the multilateral organisation it is today. You will look at the Commonwealth’s mandate in relation to its member states and its impact in the global arena. Finally, you will be given the opportunity to reflect on what the Commonwealth and its values mean to you and to explore the organisation’s stated key principles and values: co-operation and consensus, equality and human rights, pluralism and democracy, participation, empowerment and citizenship and how they are carried out through multilateral projects and meetings.

This unit will challenge your understanding of Commonwealth values and how they can be put into practice in youth development work. It will take you roughly 7 hours to review and reflect on the material.