The British Commonwealth is an association of 54 independent states that have been or still are ruled by Britain. Independent states are "full members of the Commonwealth". Among these states are Barbados, Australia, Kenya, etc. Dependent territories are "Commonwealth countries", among them are Bermuda, the Falkland Islands, British Antarctic Territory, British Virgin Islands and other. The new Commonwealth has grown out of the old British Commonwealth and British Empire. When the old British Commonwealth and the British Empire came to an end with the 2nd World War, the new Commonwealth was born. It occured after Britain granted independence to India and Pakistan in 1949. The Commonwealth has no charter, treaty or constitution. The Commonwealth people are drawn from all the world main races, from all continents. The Commonwealth people confess many different religions. Among Commonwealth countries are those in which the dominating religious confessions are Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism. The queen is recognized as head of Commonwealth; she is also head of state in 18 countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand. The Commonwealth Secretariat is in London. It is headed by a Secretary-General appointed by the heads of governments of member states. The Secretariat promotes consultations, spreads information on matters of Commonwealth interests, organizes meetings and conferences. It coordinates Commonwealth activities related to economic, social and political affairs including youth programs, food, production, technology, science, law and health. Britain plays an active part in the Commonwealth activities, it values the Commonwealth as a means of consulting and cooperating with people of different cultures and perspectives.