The Commonwealth - Fast Facts

The Commonwealth is made up of 53 independent countries that work together to pursue common goals which promote development, democracy, and peace. Our combined population of 2.4 billion is almost a third of the global population.
  • Trade between Commonwealth countries is projected to surpass $1 trillion by 2020.
  • Half of the top 20 global emerging cities are in the Commonwealth.
  • Seven of the top 10 countries in the Ibrahim Index of African Governance, which measures rule of law, human rights, participation, human development and sustainable economic opportunity, are Commonwealth members.
  • Seven of the top 10 countries for gender equality in Sub-Saharan Africa are Commonwealth countries, according to World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report 2015.
  • Five of the best performing 15 countries in the Youth Development Index are Commonwealth members.
  • Since 1991, 12 Commonwealth member countries have moved to multi-party democracy from military or one-party rule.
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Events Calendar (RCSO and Other)

(select RCSO events for details and to register)

COMMONWEALTH - Insights, Inspiration, & Innovation

April 30, 2019

RCSO will host a reception and tour of Ottawa for Commonwealth judges, in support of the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute.  Past CJEI Fellows. To engage in a dialogue about developments throughout the Commonwealth,  RCSO members can register for the recep...

April 19, 2019

Extinction Rebellion, was set up in October last year after 94 academics wrote to the Guardian newspaper, calling for action. Founded by British activists, it has three goals: get governments to declare a “climate emergency”; reduce net greenhouse gas emissions to zero...

December 6, 2018

Recycling persists not because it’s efficient (it isn’t) or effective (it’s much less so than we think) but because we are obligated to do something.

To make matters worse, almost two-thirds of Canada’s waste is produced by the industrial, commercial, institutional, and...

December 3, 2018

"A drop in the ocean" - Straws account for no more than 0.2% of US plastic waste

That doesn’t mean Starbucks is wrong to plan to ditch plastic straws by 2020: Research has proven that public awareness campaigns—when backed by science—guide overall behavior toward more s...

December 3, 2018

The world’s biggest meat and dairy operations combined pump more greenhouse gas into Earth’s warming atmosphere than any one of the largest fossil-fuel giants.


December 3, 2018

The global decline in the number of children women are having, means nearly half of countries are now facing a "baby bust" - there are insufficient children to maintain their population size.  FULL STORY

December 3, 2018

“Governments agreed on the 1.5°C goal in Paris in 2015 and knew exactly—and without any further IPCC assessment—that this would mean deeper mitigation faster,” said Oliver Geden of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs. “It hasn’t happened yet.”


December 3, 2018

The Commonwealth Youth Council executive was elected at the Commonwealth Youth Forum early this year.   The goal of the CYC executive is to work, through various committees and the National Youth Delegates, on programming and initiatives across the Commonwealth.


December 3, 2018

Canada founded and staged the first Commonwealth Games (then called the “British Empire Games”) in 1930 in Hamilton (ON). Since then Canada has hosted the Commonwealth Games on 3 additional occasions: Vancouver (1954), Edmonton (1978), and Victoria (1994)....

December 3, 2018

Young leaders of tomorrow will build leadership skills, while discussing and learning about international affairs and the Commonwealth. The program will include an amazing Commonwealth race through the streets of Ottawa, team-building, a cultural evening, and opportuni...

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RCS Ottawa

Basil Crozier - Chair 

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established 1968