The Commonwealth Charter

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written statement – made on 4 March 2013.

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Photo of William Hague William Hague The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

We strongly welcome the new Commonwealth charter which has been agreed and adopted by all Commonwealth Heads of Government. The Government have today laid a copy of this charter before Parliament in the form of a Command Paper.

A copy of the charter will be presented to Her Majesty the Queen on Commonwealth day on 11 March. Events to launch the charter officially will take place across the Commonwealth during that week.

For the first time in its 64-year history, the Commonwealth has a single document setting out the core values of the organisation and the aspiration of its members. The Government played an important role in its development.

The charter is an overarching summary bringing together Commonwealth values and commitments that are set out in more detail in previous declarations and affirmations.

The Government hope that the charter will become an established, recognisable statement of all that the Commonwealth stands for, accessible to all Commonwealth citizens, and a means to protect and promote the Commonwealth’s core democratic values for years to come. The commitments in the charter should be upheld, adhered to and kept under review by member Governments, Parliaments and civil society organisations.

A strong Commonwealth will help promote democratic values and good governance and, in turn, the future prosperity of all member states. Strong, clear values are crucial to the future credibility and success of the Commonwealth.