The Commonwealth of Nations, generally known simply as the Commonwealth, is a political association of 54 member states, almost all of which are former territories of the British Empire. A Commonwealth country’s High Commission is its embassy to Zambia. The head of each High Commission is the High Commissioner (equal in status to an ambassador). Each mission provides a link between Zambia and the individual country concerned. The Commonwealth is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states. All but two of these countries were formerly part of the British Empire. The member states co-operate within a framework of common values and goals, which include the promotion of democracy, human rights, good governance, the rule of law, individual liberty, egalitarianism, free trade, multilateralism and world peace.
High Commissions are diplomatic missions to Commonwealth countries.
The “head of mission” at an embassy is called an Ambassadors. At a High Commission, the head of mission is called a High Commissioner.
As well as referring to diplomatic missions themselves, the terms “Embassy” and “High Commission” refer to the buildings in which those missions are based.
In order to carry out their work, diplomatic missions must have a strong grasp of the host country’s politics, society and culture. They must be able to explain British policies, identify potential threats to and opportunities for British interests, and provide political and economic analysis of local conditions to inform decision-making at home. Much of the day-to-day work carried out by diplomatic missions involves promoting UK trade interests.
The high commissioner is the title of various high-ranking, special executive positions held by a commission of appointment. Like an ambassador, a high commissioner is a senior diplomat in charge of the diplomatic mission in commonwealth nations.
In the British empire, high commissioners were envoys of the Imperial government appointed to manage groups of territories not fully under the sovereignty of the British Crown, while British sovereign territories were normally administered by a governor.
Functions of high commissions
In general, the staff at the High Commission are involved in the following Political and Economic diplomatic functions which, among others, include:
High commissions in Zambia
The capital of Zambia, Lusaka currently hosts the following 41 embassies/high commissions: