The Games, like the Commonwealth at large, give Australia a different way of looking at its place in the global community. We might be in transition from an American century into a Chinese century, but the Commonwealth also keeps us in close connection with India and Sri Lanka, south-east Asia, the Pacific, the Caribbean and Africa, as well as the familiar faces from Britain, Canada and New Zealand. Thirty-one of the 71 nations represented at the Games have smaller populations than Perth. It is an inclusive week for them, as it is for the competitors in the 22 para-sports events, an area in which the Commonwealth has always taken the lead.
Uganda was a member, with Kenya and United Republic of Tanzania, of the East African Community, which from 1967 had a common market and many shared services but collapsed in 1977. The three countries again embarked on developing regional co- operation in 1993, bringing about progressive harmonisation of standards and policies across a wide range of activities, and launching a new East African Community in January 2001 and East African Customs Union in January 2005. The Community was enlarged in July 2007 when Burundi and Rwanda became members.