Yes, the Republic of Cyprus is a part of the Commonwealth. Cyprus joined the Commonwealth in 1961, a year after independence from Britain. In fact, Cyprus is one of only three Commonwealth member countries located in Europe, the other two being Malta and the UK.
What is the Commonwealth?
In simple words, the Commonwealth is a term used for “common well-being”.
Commonwealth is also called Commonwealth of Nations and formerly it used to be called “British Commonwealth of Nations”.
Why was it called the British Commonwealth of Nations?
Because the countries who joined the commonwealth were colonies of Great Britain at one time in history.
Today, the Commonwealth is a free association of sovereign states including the United Kingdom and a number of its former dependencies who have chosen to maintain ties of friendship and practical cooperation with each other.
The Commonwealth differs from other international bodies. It has no formal constitution or bylaws.
The modern Commonwealth isn’t necessarily an association of former British Colonies. Rwanda, Cameroon, and Mozambique are the three countries in the Commonwealth that were never a part of the British Empire.
Membership of the Commonwealth is neither automatic nor compulsory for former colonies too. It’s totally self-choice.
Membership is voluntary and based on a shared commitment to values including liberty, human rights, trade, and good governance.
Joining of Commonwealth for Cyprus
As initially, the Commonwealth was an association of former British colonies, Cyprus was supposed to be a part of it automatically after Cyprus got independence from the UK in 1960 A.D.
But that didn’t happen. Cyprus had to join with all the required formalities and hence, in 1961 Cyprus became a part of the Commonwealth.
What benefits does Cyprus get from being a country in the Commonwealth?
Commonwealth member countries benefit from being part of a mutually supportive community of independent and sovereign states, aided by more than 80 Commonwealth organizations.
Commonwealth supports Cyprus for the growth of sustainable development and peace. They also help to strengthen governance, build inclusive institutions, and promote justice and human rights.
They also provide assistance to Cyprus regarding the economy, trade, debt, and climate change.
The Commonwealth of Nations 2020 Members
There are 54 countries in the Commonwealth, in Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe, and the Pacific. Commonwealth countries are diverse as they are amongst the world’s biggest, smallest, richest, and poorest countries.
Read the following articles to know more about Cyprus: