Commonwealth Values Declared

The Declaration of Commonwealth Principles and the Harare Commonwealth Declaration contain many admirable statements, goals and objectives for the Commonwealth as an organisation. Entailed in these declarations, the Commonwealth declares its values to be:

  • human rights as the foundation of democracy and development
  • equality of all human beings, regardless of gender, race, colour, creed or political belief
  • empowerment pursued through education and participation
  • equity or fairness in the relationships between nations and between generations, and protection of vulnerable groups
  • democracy to allow everyone the opportunity to express their opinions and to allow citizens to participate in decision-making
  • development based on principles of sustainability
  • diversity of views and perspectives in both national and international forums
  • dialogue and co-operation, building common ground and consensus
  • peace, without which these other values are unobtainable.

In many ways, the Commonwealth values stand like a challenge, not just to the Commonwealth, but to the world. They capture some of the most stirring and pressing concerns of our times. They are part of an abiding value system of the modern world, and may well have to be protected from the depredations of the global economy.