Posted by / Monday 21 November 2016 / No comments

The problems of the Commonwealth of Nations

One of the problems of the Commonwealth is that when member states refuse to comply with decisions arrived at during a summit, the organization does not have the power to enforce it. In the absence of this power to enforce, the organization rather depends on the commitment and willingness of the members to comply.

Absence of a standing army
Coupled with the problem above is the absence of a standing army to help in the enforcement of decisions and the power to put rogue members back in line. Though this is a problem, one can argue that it is even far-fetched. Member nations are independent of each other and there force cannot be brought to bear on members.

Differences in ideology
The member states now ascribe different kinds of ideology and systems of government. Unlike the Parliamentary system that was inherited from the British by their former colonies, the new nations have switched to other systems of government like the Presidential system of government. The use of varied systems of government does not help to unify the organization.

Importance of the Commonwealth
Over the years, the member states of the commonwealth have lost the vigor they once had toward the organization. Member states now have the guts to boycott summit meetings or the Commonwealth games. This has been attributed to the fact that they no longer hold it as important as it once was.

Instability of regimes
Governments in some member states are unstable. This is especially so in those member states who have refused to adopt and practice democracy. Frequent change of government in member states does not allow for continuity in programmes and policies geared toward the interests of the Commonwealth.

Membership of other organization
Aside their membership of the Commonwealth of Nations, member states also belong to other organizations and regional blocs. For example, member states in Africa also belong to the African Union, which is probably fulfilling some of their most pressing needs. Even those in West Africa again belong to the Economic Community of West African States. This situation draws away their interest in the activities of the Commonwealth.

The East – West ideological divide
After independence from Britain, some member states started to lean towards the eastern bloc led by the then Union Soviet Socialist Republic. This eastern bloc pursues policies that are opposite to those pursued by Britain. This difference in ideology is also seen as a problem confronting the Commonwealth.

1. Highlight six problems that are faced by the Commonwealth of Nations.

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