Commonwealth Current Affairs - 2019

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Commonwealth launches Peace in the Home programme to stamp out domestic violence

The Commonwealth of Nations has launched “Peace in the home” programme to help member states tackle domestic violence which still remains a “stubborn stain” on communities, disproportionately impacting women.

The programme was launched on Women’s Day (March 8) and will continue through till 2018 when there is expected to be an accord on ending domestic violence in the Commonwealth.

Key features of the home programme
  • It will build a coalition of governments, businesses, human rights institutions, civil society and individual citizens to choral our efforts to address domestic violence.
  • It will include toolkits to help governments across Commonwealth involve multiple agencies such as schools, hospitals and doctors as well as government and law enforcement agencies to work together effectively
  • It will help countries highlight and share details of initiatives that had been particularly successful at dealing with domestic violence.
  • It will also be a mentoring programme for women and an initiative to address the issue of violence around elections and politics. 

About Commonwealth of Nations

  • It is an international intergovernmental organisation of countries that were mostly former territories of the British Empire and dependencies. It was established by the London Declaration in 1949.
  • Many countries from Africa, Asia, Americas, Europe and the Pacific have joined the Commonwealth. Current membership includes 52 counties (including India). Membership is based on free and equal voluntary co-operation.
  • Queen Elizabeth II is the Head of the Commonwealth. She is also the monarch of 16 members of the Commonwealth, known as Commonwealth realms.

Patricia Scotland Commonwealth’s new Secretary General

Dominica-born British lawyer Patricia Scotland (60) has been elected as the new Secretary General of the Commonwealth.

With this, she becomes its first woman and also first British citizen to be elected secretary‑general of the 53-member bloc’s history.

She will succeed Kamalesh Sharma from India and enter into the office on 1 April 2016 for four-year term i.e. till 2020.

About Patricia Scotland

  • Patricia Scotland is prominent lawyer and for first time she became a member of House of Lords (Upper House) of the British parliament in 1997.
  • Earlier, she had served as Attorney General (AG) for England and Wales and Northern Ireland from 2007 to 2010.
  • She was UK Minister of State (Home Office) from 2003-2007 and UK Parliamentary Secretary (Lord Chancellor’s Department) form 2001-2003.
  • She also had served as UK Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 1999 to 2001.

About Commonwealth Secretary-General

  • The Commonwealth Secretary-General is the head of the Commonwealth Secretariat which is the central body that has served the Commonwealth of Nations.
  • Secretary-General can now serve a maximum of two four-year terms and its duties involve representing the organisation globally and also promote its values and principles maily democratic standards and development.
  • Commonwealth Secretariat was established in 1965 and responsible for representing the Commonwealth publicly. Its headquarter is at Marlborough House in London.