"The rapidly changing international environment confronts not only governments but international organizations of which they are members with new situations and challenges, and the Commonwealth is certainly no exception. A body whose membership is made up of Britain and 49 other independent states1, all of whom had some colonial tie with Britain or one of the old Dominions, its preoccupations over the past 40 years have been decolonization, economic development and the elimination of white minority rule in southern Africa. Southern Africa has proved the most divisive of these issues; South Africa was forced to withdraw from membership in 1961 and at different times over the next three decades first Rhodesian UDI and then South Africa's apartheid policies placed the Commonwealth under heavy strain."