The Ingerish Commonwealth, also known as simply the Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of numerous member states that are mostly former colonies and protectorates of the now defunct Ingerish Empire.
The modern Ingerish Commonwealth evolved out the Ingerish Empire, which by the early 20th century was evolving into a free association of independent states with shared bonds of history, culture, and language. As early as 1907, the Ingerish Government had granted de-facto independence to her dominions such as Karvaland and New Ingerland. These states retained the Ingerish monarch as their head of state, but were in all other aspects fully-sovereign states. The remaining colonies and protectorates of Ingerland were slowly granted their independence other the coming decades, commencing with Elhádhon in 1911, and ending with Glaster in 1982. Some kept the Ingerish monarch as their head of state, but most did not, leading to their exit from the Imperial Conferences.
Driven by a desire by these newly independent states to continue their participation in a global forum with other Ingerish-speaking states, in 1918 the leaders of a number of states assembled at Girton House to discuss international cooperation and trade. The outcome of the meeting was the Winburgh Declaration, which constituted a "free association of independent states which to be known as the Ingerish Commonwealth". All current and former imperial dominions, plus any state with a "sustained history of Ingerish social, cultural, or economic involvement" was deemed eligible to join. No distinction was made between dominions, republics, and those states with their own monarch. All would be treated as full and equal members of the new body.
In 1984, the remaining Ingerish colonies were transformed into Overseas Territories and admitted as full members of the Commonwealth.
Head of the Commonwealth
Secretary-General of the Commonwealth
Commonwealth Council of Ministers
Commonwealth Social Investment Bank
Commonwealth Fund for Scientific Cooperation
Commonwealth Special Projects Fund
There are a number of bodies and associations connected to, or under the control of, the Secretary-General of the Ingerish Commonwealth. Membership and participation in these organisations in entirely voluntary.
Commonwealth Bureau of Weight and Measures
The Commonwealth Bureau of Weight and Measures is the body responsible for the provision of uniformity in units of measurement through the custody of the Ingerish standards of weights and measures. The body was formed by the International Treaty on Weights Measures in 1959, and came under the authority of the Commonwealth Secretary-General soon after. Today, the Commonwealth Bureau of Weight and Measures is based in the Ingerish town of Benholm, and has regional offices around the world in Duncaster, Kingsbury, Saviso, and (tbd?).
The bureau defines each unit of measurement, and it's relationship to other international standards, such as the (metric?) and (commonian?) standards used elsewhere in the world. Initially defined using physical prototypes created by the Ingerish government in the XIX century, since the 1960s the basis of most units has been determined by the value of certain universal physical constants. The use of these constants ensures any unit of measurement can be recreated anywhere in the world at any time, and is not reliant upon prototypes that are prone to error and accidental destruction.
Commonwealth Institute for Cultural Heritage
The Commonwealth Institute for Cultural Heritage is the body responsible for the designation and protection of sites and areas of historic, scientific, or cultural importance to the Commonwealth.
Commonwealth Institutes for Scientific Cooperation
The Commonwealth Institutes for Scientific Cooperation (CISCs) is a group of scientific institutes aimed at applied technological, industrial, economic, and policy research; with as its primary focus those areas of research that are most likely to contribute to the economy, society, and industry of the various member states of the Commonwealth.
The CISCs were established formally by the Agreement on Commonwealth Scientific Affairs in 1921.
Commonwealth Institute for Economics and Trade
Commonwealth Memorials Trust
The Commonwealth Memorials Trust (CMT) is the institution responsible for recording, construction, and maintenance of the graves and commemorative sites of soldiers killed in the service of the Ingerish Empire and Commonwealth since 1900.
Ingerish Commonwealth Aid Organisation
The Ingerish Commonwealth Aid Organisation (ICAO) is the institution responsible co-ordinating aid and disaster relief between Commonwealth members. The ICAO was established in the aftermath of the Great War as a means of helping to rebuild nations affected by the conflict; it has since grown into one of the world's largest aid organisations, and has most notably been involved in relief efforts in Glaster and Commonia. The ICAO also operates chains of second-hand shops in various member nations around the world.
Commonwealth Standards Commission
The Commonwealth Standards Commission (CSO) is the body responsible for the formulation and implementation of industry standards across the Commonwealth. The CSO develops the internationally aligned Commonwealth standards (CS). Notable standards include CS/1791; that regulates AC plug and socket outlets, and CS/3229; specifying the construction details, dimensions, quality, and performance of cricket balls.
Membership of the body is open to all members of the Commonwealth, but is not compulsory, with some nations opting to create and administer their own technical standards. Founded in 1920, the CSO is based in the industrial city of Worthing, Ingerland. The body was also a founding member of the Assembly of Nations Social and Economic Council.
Ingerish Commonwealth Space Agency
The Commonwealth Space Agency is the the body responsible for the promotion and development of aeronautics and space exploration. The agency was established in 1960 as the successor to the Ingerish space programme, which itself was started in the immediate aftermath of the Great War.
The Commonwealth EDucation Action Roundtable Programme is a student exchange programme for tertiary-level students that was established in 1950. The plan aims to allow Commonwealth students to travel abroad to improve their education, and gain experience living and studying in another country.
The Radford Scholarship is a postgraduate award for students of Commonwealth countries to enable them to study various public policy degrees at the University of Winburgh. The scholarship was established in 1910 from the estate of the late Claude Radford, a Karvaland mining magnate. Radford left a large sum in his will for the establishment of a trust to administer the scholarships programme. The aim of the scholarships was to "Further the cause of education for the purpose of expanding and preserving the [Ingerish] empire".
In 1948, the programme came under the umbrella of the Commonwealth, where it remains today. The trust presently awards 57 scholarships every year (one for each year of Radford's life), which are allocated according to a formula drawn up in his last will and testament. The amount awarded has varied over the years, but today stands at £1,100 per student per year.
A number of Commonwealth nations are members of the Commonwealth Free Trade Area (CFTA), a multilateral free trade agreement promulgated in 1985. The CFTA is the successor to the Commonwealth Trading Environment (CTE), which was established in 1954 between Ingerland, Karvaland, New Ingerland, and Vodeo as a means of counterbalancing the trade dominance held by the Federal States. CFTA members commit themselves to the removal of trade barriers with other signatory nations, and are encouraged (but not required) to lower tariffs and make trade easier with non-signatory Commonwealth nations.
Many Ingerish Commonwealth nations possess a shared tradition of customs and culture that remain unique to the Ingerish-speaking world. Such connexions manifest themselves in from the simple playing of common sports such as cricket, netball, and rugby; to more complex matters such as the Winburgh system of parliamentary democracy, and the use of common law, as opposed to the codified legal systems used elsewhere.
In recognition of their shared heritage and culture, Commonwealth countries are not considered to be "foreign" to each other. In addition, some members treat resident citizens of other Commonwealth countries preferentially to citizens of non-Commonwealth countries. Many countries grant the right to vote to Commonwealth citizens who reside in those countries. The idea of Commonwealth citizenship is not applied universally, but many member states have clauses in their immigration law that gives preferential treatment to subjects of other Commonwealth members.
Since 1910, the various members of the Commonwealth have participated in a global multi-sport event known as the Ingerish Games. Modelled on the international Geolympiad movement, the Ingerish Games are second to the Geolympiad in scale and participation. The games feature a mix of traditional international sports, such as athletics and swimming; as well as games whose origin can be traced back to Ingerland and are typically only played in the Commonwealth, such as cricket and lawn bowls.
The have been 27 editions of the games to date, with the most recent held in 2018. The next games will be held in 2022.
A number of Commonwealth nations participate in a joint military taskforce known INGCOMFOR - Ingerish Commonwealth Force. INGCOMFOR is charged with the defence of smaller Commonwealth countries who lack the means to raise a military and defend themselves. The taskforce is also charged with anti-piracy operations on the open seas, suppressing human trafficking, and halting the trade in illegal goods such as ivory.
As an aside, for historical reasons it is typical for Commonwealth military forces to a high degree of interoperability and standardisation. Most have a common military doctrine, use the same equipment and weapons, and use a common set of rank insignia.
Ranks and insignia
Many Commonwealth military forces employ a common set of ranks and rank insignia to their personnel. These ranks found their origins in the early modern Ingerish military that led the expansion of the Ingerish Empire. As local colonies and dominions began to take on more responsibility for their own defence, it stood to reason that they would adopt the same military structure as Ingerland.
This situation persists to the modern day, with the establishment of a standard rank structure, as defined in the CX01051769 - Commonwealth Code for Grades of Military Personnel.
Commonwealth Procurement Executive
The Commonwealth Procurement Executive (CPE) is inter-governmental body responsible for the acquisition of materiel, equipment, and services for forces of the Commonwealth that utilise the Standardised Defence Arrangements - a body with the goal of interoperability between member nations.
References and notes
- Easter eggs: See discussion page.