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The UK and International Institutions

The Commonwealth

The Commonwealth is a group of countries that support each other and work together for common goals in democracy and development. Most member states were once part of the British Empire, but some non-empire countries have also joined.
The King is the symbolic leader of the Commonwealth, which currently has 54 member states. Joining the Commonwealth is voluntary, and the Commonwealth has no authority over its members, although it can suspend membership. The Commonwealth is founded on the principles of democracy, good governance, and the rule of law.

Commonwealth Members

Antigua y Barbuda Bangladesh Botswana
Canada Fiji Grenada
Jamaica Lesotho Maldives
Mozambique New Zealand Papua New Guinea
Seychelles Solomon Islands St Kitts and Nevis
Swaziland Trinidad y Tobago UK
Australia Barbados Brunei Darussalam
Cyprus The Gambia Guyana
Kenya Malawi Malta
Namibia Nigeria Rwanda
Sierra Leone South Africa St Lucia
Tanzania Tuvalu Vanuatu
The Bahamas Belize Cameroon
Dominica Ghana India
Kiribati Malaysia Mauritius
Nauru Pakistan Samoa
Singapore Sri Lanka St Vincent and the Grenadines
Tonga Uganda Zambia

The Council of Europe

The Council of Europe consists of 47 member countries, including the UK. Its main purpose is to safeguard and advance human rights in these countries. While it does not have the authority to create laws, it develops conventions and charters, such as the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which is commonly known as the European Convention on Human Rights.

The United Nations

The UK is a member of the United Nations (UN), an international organization that includes over 190 countries.
The UN was established after World War II with the goal of preventing wars and promoting global peace and security. The UN Security Council, consisting of 15 members, plays a key role in recommending actions during international crises and threats to peace. The UK is one of the five permanent members of the Security Council.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

The UK is a member of NATO, an organization comprised of European and North American countries. The members of NATO have made a mutual agreement to provide assistance to each other in the event of an attack and to uphold peace among all member nations.

Make Sure You Understand

  • What the Commonwealth is and its role
  • Other international organisations of which the United Kingdom is a member of