Commonwealth Local Government Forum

Celebrating ten years of the Commonwealth Charter

29 March 2023


The Commonwealth Charter is now ten years old, and more than worthy of a celebration.


The Commonwealth Charter was signed ten years ago by the Head of the Commonwealth, at that time HM Queen Elizabeth II. it is an important document which sets out the values and aspirations which unite the Commonwealth.


As one of the eight Associated Commonwealth Organisations, CLGF has a close working relationship with the Commonwealth Secretariat in upholding and realising Commonwealth values and this is reflected in the Charter.

Aberdeen Agenda

In 2005 when CLGF members met in Aberdeen, they adopted the Aberdeen Agenda: Commonwealth principles on good practice for local democracy and good governance. These important principles, with a focus on subnational democratic norms and values, were subsequently endorsed by all Commonwealth Heads of Government at their meeting in 2005.

Commonwealth values at the local level

We are proud that the Commonwealth Charter specifically affirms the Aberdeen Agenda. This strengthens our partnership and ensures the importance of fundamental Commonwealth values at the local level, vital for our work in ensuring action at the local level,


The Aberdeen Agenda is at the heart of our work, crucial in underpinning our advocacy for improvements in our sector and in framing the services that our members deliver.

Living document

The Aberdeen Agenda is a living document: a number of member states have used it as a tool to assess their systems of local democracy and we look forward to developing future applications for its use going forward.



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