The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 53 countries that support each other and work together towards shared goals in democracy and development. The Commonwealth, with roots as far back as the 1870s, believes that the best democracies are achieved through partnerships – of governments, business, and civil society. This unique association was reconstituted in 1949 when Commonwealth Prime Ministers met and adopted what has become known as the "London Declaration" where it was agreed all member countries would be “freely and equally associated.” Citizen-to-citizen links are as important to the Commonwealth as the contacts between member governments. The Commonwealth’s worldwide network of around 90 professional and advocacy organizations, most of which bear its name, continues to grow with a third of these based outside the UK. These Commonwealth organizations, both large and small, all aspire to meet the challenges of our time and anticipate and adapt to the challenges of the future
Commonwealth's emphasis on equality has helped it play leading roles in decolonisation, combating racism and advancing sustainable development in poor countries. This support network of countries and organizations is involved in a diverse range of work, from helping trade negotiations, building the small business sector and encouraging women entrepreneurs to supporting the quality and quantity of teachers, and increasing understanding of HIV/AIDS. This network links people of different nations, cultures, races and economic levels, enabling engineers or nurses from different societies to explore and learn from their different yet related experiences.
Commonwealth's work focuses on:
- Enhancing the dissemination and implementation of the Commonwealth Code of Practice. It has organised regional workshops to inform different groups about the code, engaged with professional associations and health regulation councils, made presentations at different international fora and engaged with different partners to promote the code’s implementation;
- Participating in the development of international policy instruments such as the development of the global code of practice for international recruitment of health workers and report on scaling up the production of health workers and informing and supporting the engagement of member states in these processes – through high level dialogue and publications;
- Developing policies for the managed migration of health workers more suited to small states; and
- Researching migration trends in the Commonwealth and promoting policies for return migration – through dialogues and publications.
Links to the health workforce crisis
Commonwealth's objective is to strengthen the delivery of healthcare in its countries by supporting the development and implementation of national and regional policies and strategies. Its work is relevant because the issues Commonwealth addresses concern some of the biggest disease and health system challenges on the global health agenda. Particular focus is paid to dissemination of information, formatted to suit the needs of specific partners. This raises the visibility of Commonwealth's technical contribution and also provides an opportunity for the Secretariat to gather country information that can be brought to the regional and global levels. E-Health is a key tool to address the health related Millennium Development Goals as well as the eighth goal – developing a global partnership for development. The Commonwealth Secretariat is, therefore, exploring opportunities of introducing technologies to improve access to health, strengthen management information systems and train health personnel.
Call for knowledge information:
Alliance Members are invited to submit any relevant knowledge products such as documents, reports, tools, multimedia, links to specific project web sites by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Alliance Secretariat will publish relevant products on the Member's page.
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