India has been a member of the Commonwealth for almost seventy years, joining when the body was formally constituted under the London Declaration in 1949. India’s membership did not compromise its sovereignty as a republic and the country has had, from decade to decade, both more, and less, involvement in the Commonwealth. A high point of engagement, the Commonwealth Heads of Government Regional Meetings between 1978 and 1982, are not always recalled. India’s present Pacific Islands engagement through the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Co-operation (FIPIC), and other regional bodies, encompasses fellow Commonwealth members. India’s considerable experience and current direction in what is now called the Indo-Pacific region is a focus of this paper, as is a possible future role for it as an active member of the Commonwealth.
India has been a member of the Commonwealth since 1949.
India has had earlier involvement with then-emerging small Pacific Island Commonwealth member states.
Today, India’s involvement in Pacific regional bodies and organisations, often overlapping, demonstrates the extent of its outreach.
India must now decide, in light of the outreach aims of the 2018 London CHOGM, where its efforts may best be directed.