The Commonwealth was united by key principles of consensus and mutual respect and India has always been right at the core of the 53-nation group, its Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said today. Scotland, who is on a four-day visit to India, also announced starting an innovation hub at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London that can help in exchanging notes among member states on new technologies. Terming the government's Smart City project as "excellent", she said India has been leading the way with commitment and innovation that is smart and transformative. The 2.4 billion people of the Commonwealth is a third of the world's population and the grouping has come together not because of merely sharing geography, economic parity or other similarity of mutual interest, she observed. "Unusually, we are united by our core principles of consensus, mutual respect, transparency, accountability and legitimacy. India has always been been right at the core of the Commonwealth," she said. In 1949, India agreed to become a member of the Commonwealth. The grouping mostly has countries as big as Canada and Australia and as small as Tuvalu that were formerly the colonies of the British Empire. She also said that the climate change has been wreaking havoc and "devastating" the member nations, especially the island countries and batted for a collective action to deal with this menace. The secretary-genral said that the cost of violence against women amounts to USD 1.5 trillion, as big as the size of Canada's economy, and emphasised on "building resilience" to deal with it.