Each year the Commonwealth adopts a theme, upon which the Commonwealth Service is based. In 2017 the theme is ‘A Peace-building Commonwealth’ which reaffirms the Commonwealth Charter principle that ‘international peace and security, sustainable economic growth and development and the rule of law are essential to the progress and prosperity of all.’
Announcing the theme, the Secretary-General stated: “At a time of increasing instability and uncertainty in the world, the Commonwealth family of nations in its rich diversity becomes an ever more-needed source of strength and hope for all its members.”
‘A Peace-building Commonwealth’ is a natural follow-on from the 2016 theme of ‘An Inclusive Commonwealth’ and reaffirms the Commonwealth Charter principle that “international peace and security, sustainable economic growth and development and the rule of law are essential to the progress and prosperity of all.”
The theme informs events to mark Commonwealth Day, which is celebrated on the second Monday in March, and helps to guide activities by Commonwealth organisations throughout the year.
Previous Commonwealth Themes
Commonwealth theme 2016: ‘An Inclusive Commonwealth’
Announcing the theme for 2016, Commonwealth Secretary-General, Kamalesh Sharma said:
“An Inclusive Commonwealth’ refers to the values of tolerance, respect and understanding, as well as equity and fairness, set out in the Commonwealth Charter, and the richness of the Commonwealth as a family of nations in which each member state is valued equally and has an equal voice. In changing times, the need for the Commonwealth to act as an inclusive network for mutual support, development and growth of opportunity and rights for all is as great as ever.”
Commonwealth theme 2015: ‘A Young Commonwealth’
Announcing the theme for 2015, Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma said:
“People aged twenty-nine or under account for the majority of the Commonwealth’s population, and play a vital role at the heart of sustainable development and democracy. ‘A Young Commonwealth’ recognises the capacity, contribution and potential of young people, particularly in 2015 when the world will define a new global development framework.”
Commonwealth theme 2014: ‘Team Commonwealth’
‘Team Commonwealth’ expresses a very real spirit of friendship and motivation towards the shared goals and values that exist between the 53 Commonwealth members. Teamwork is what makes it a truly unique institution and is what will ensure the association’s increasing relevance throughout the 21st century.
Malala Yusafzai’s address, at the Commonwealth Day Observance in Westminster Abbey
Commonwealth theme 2013: ‘Opportunity through Enterprise’
Richard Branson’s address at the Commonwealth Day Observance in Westminster Abbey