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Over 400 Commonwealth Parliamentarians attend the 62nd Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference on the theme of ‘A Collaborative Commonwealth: Unity, Diversity and Common Challenges
Delegates at the 62nd Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference.
The 62nd Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference took place from 11-17 December 2016 in London, United Kingdom, hosted by the CPA Headquarters
Secretariat. The Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference is the annual conference of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA). The main
conference theme for 2016 was: ‘A Collaborative Commonwealth: Unity, Diversity and Common Challenges’.
This unique conference brings together Speakers, Members of Parliament and Parliamentary staff representing the nine regions of the CPA – Africa; Asia;
Australia; British Islands and Mediterranean; Canada; Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic; India; Pacific; and South East Asia. The CPA reaches all 52
countries of the Commonwealth as well as national, sub-national and territorial Parliaments and Legislatures bringing together over 180 CPA
Branches of the Association.
Workshops and debates were held during the conference on a wide range of topics including the role of the Commonwealth in fostering freedom of
religion or belief; ending violence against women and girls; the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); climate change; and the radicalisation of young
During the 62nd Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference, there were a number of additional conferences and meetings including:
CPA Executive Committee
CPA General Assembly
35th Small Branches Conference
5th Triennial Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians Conference
Society of Clerks-at-the-Table (SOCATT) Meetings. Alongside the substantive conference workshops and the CPA governance
meetings, the 62nd Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference also included a number of additional events including workshops with partner organisations
including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Commonwealth Initiative for Freedom of Religion and Belief (CIFoRB).
Full coverage of the 62nd Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference will appear in the next issue of The Parliamentarian: 2017 Issue One – Conference Issue.
62nd Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference News
CPA Small Branches Conference addresses the issues affecting small parliaments and legislatures across the Commonwealth.
The new Chairperson of the CPA Small Branches, Hon. Anġlu Farrugia MP (centre), Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Parliament of Malta
with the Maltese delegation.
The 35th CPA Small Branches Conference was held in London, United Kingdom with forty-seven Members of Parliaments and Legislatures from twenty six CPA
Small Branches attending the conference. Of the over 180 Branches of the CPA, forty-three Branches are classified as ‘Small Branches’ which are
defined as jurisdictions having a population below 500,000 people.
The CPA works closely with Small Branches in all Regions of the CPA to identify their unique needs and requirements in parliamentary strengthening,
development and cooperation.
During the CPA Small Branches Conference, Hon. Anġlu Farrugia MP (Malta), Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Parliament of Malta, was
elected as the new Chairperson of the CPA Small Branches and pledged that the CPA would have a strengthened and renewed focus on assisting Small
Branches and their Parliaments and Legislatures. The role of Chairperson of Small Branches is a new Officer role for the CPA and the new incumbent will
sit on the CPA International Executive Committee to bring a voice for Small Branches to the governing body of the CPA.
Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians discuss new ways to tackle political violence against women at their triennial conference
The outgoing CWP Chairperson, Rt Hon. Rebecca Kadaga MP, Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda (pictured right) together with the Chairperson of the
CPA International Executive Committee, Hon. Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury MP, Speaker of the Parliament of Bangladesh (centre) and Hon. Nikki Rattle,
Speaker of the Parliament of the Cook Islands (left).
Women Parliamentarians from across the Commonwealth gathered in London, United Kingdom for the triennial conference of the Commonwealth Women
Parliamentarians (CWP), as part of the wider 62nd Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference. The theme of the fifth Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP)
Conference was ‘Political Violence against Women’.
The conference saw leading figures in Commonwealth Parliaments addressing the conference which included four wide-ranging sessions on the issues
around political violence against women. Over 100 Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians attended the conference from forty three countries and
fifty six CPA Branches across the Commonwealth.
The CWP Conference was opened by the outgoing Chairperson of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians, Rt Hon. Rebecca Kadaga MP, Speaker of
the Parliament of Uganda who has held the office since her election in 2013.The conference saw the election of a new Chairperson of the Commonwealth
Women Parliamentarians (CWP), Hon. Dato’ Noraini Ahmad MP (Malaysia) who pledged to renew the effort to increase women’s political participation
across the Commonwealth during her three year term.
‘Increased Women’s Political Participation will benefit wider society’ says CPA Caribbean Regional Hot Topic Forum held at 62nd Commonwealth
Speakers at the CPA Caribbean, AmeriRegional ‘Hot Topic’ Forum discussed the ‘hot topic’ of the region.cas and Atlantic
Delegates and participants at the CPA Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic Regional ‘Hot Topic’ Forum heard from a number of speakers on the need for
increased women’s political participation for the benefit of wider society as they discussed the ‘hot topic’ of the region - ‘Seeking to Increase
Women’s Political Participation’.
The CPA Regional Hot Topic Forum heard from a number of distinguished speakers including: Hon. Shirley Osborne MLA, Speaker of the Montserrat
Legislative Assembly; Hon. Kamla Persad-Bissessar MP, Leader of the Opposition in Trinidad and Tobago and former Prime Minister; Dr Josephine
Ojiambo, Deputy Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Secretariat; Hon. Rayburn Blackmore MP, Minister of Immigration & National Security, Dominica;
and Professor Verene Shepherd, Director of the Institute for Gender & Development Studies and Professor of Social History, University of the West
Indies. The Forum was introduced by Ms Siobhan N. O’Garro and the Moderator was Hon. Alix Boyd-Knights MHA, Speaker of the House of Assembly of
The CPA Regional ‘Hot Topic’ Forums bring together not only Commonwealth Parliamentarians, but also academics, students, civil society organisations
and the wider Commonwealth family.
‘Commonwealth’s enduring political values bring challenges and opportunities for Commonwealth Parliamentarians’ says former Lord Speaker as the inaugural
speaker for new CPA Lecture Series
Former Lord Speaker, Rt Hon. Baroness D’Souza CMG PC launches the new Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Lecture Series.
Former Lord Speaker of the UK Parliament’s House of Lords, the Rt Hon. Baroness D’Souza CMG PC has spoken of the Commonwealth’s enduring political
values that bring challenges and opportunities for Commonwealth Parliamentarians as she launched the new Commonwealth Parliamentary
Association Lecture Series.
As the inaugural speaker in the new Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Lecture Series, held in the margins of the 62nd Commonwealth Parliamentary
Conference, Baroness D’Souza commented: “How should we characterise the world we currently live in? We have conflict, despair, inaction,
short-termism, globalisation, growing disparity between the rich and the destitute. I hope that you will agree that there has never been a time when
the diversity and unity that the Commonwealth represents has been more needed.”
The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Lecture Series will offer CPA Members a unique opportunity to hear from distinguished Parliamentarians,
such as Baroness D’Souza, who have made an outstanding contribution to their nation’s democracy and to the institution of Parliament and all that it
represents. Collectively, this series of lectures will contribute not only to the CPA’s continuing dialogue within its membership, but also to reach
out beyond to other stakeholders such as members of the international community, the diplomatic corps, civil society and the wider public.
CPA Programmes News
CPA Chairperson stresses the need to instil the youth of society with democratic values so that democracy can flourish at CPA Roadshow in
The Chairperson of the CPA Executive Committee delivers a CPA Roadshow at the Parliament of Bangladesh.
The Chairperson of the CPA Executive Committee, Hon. Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, MP, Speaker of the Parliament of Bangladesh has stressed the need
to instil the youth of society with democratic values so that democracy can flourish and people can benefit from a democratic system of government. The
Chairperson was speaking as the chief guest at the CPA Roadshow on Parliamentary Democracy held at the Bangladesh Parliament.
The Chairperson said that among the more than 2 billion population of the Commonwealth, 60% are young people under the age of 30 and if the potential
of these young people can be fully utilised the world can become a better place for future generations. The Chairperson said that the countries of the
Commonwealth have lots of things in common and share similar values among themselves. She also briefed the young people attending the CPA Roadshow on
the workings of the Bangladesh Parliament and the Democratic System of Government. More than 120 students, both boys and girls, from four renowned
colleges of Dhaka - Holy Cross College, Sahid Bir Uttam Anwar Girls College, Adamjee Cantonment School and College and Notre Dame College - participated
in the CPA Roadshow event.
8th Commonwealth Youth Parliament takes place in British Columbia, Canada with young people from across the Commonwealth
Participants at the 8th Commonwealth Youth Parliament gather on the steps of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia in Victoria, Canada.
The 8th Commonwealth Youth Parliament has taken place in British Columbia, Canada, hosted by the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia.
Over 60 young participants representing CPA Branches in eight of the nine CPA Regions – Africa; Asia; Australia; British Islands and Mediterranean;
Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic; Canada; India; Pacific – came together for the start of a week long programme of events.
The 8th Commonwealth Youth Parliament (CYP8) was opened by Mr Akbar Khan, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and saw
addresses by the Hon. Linda Reid MLA, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia and Mr Craig James, the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly
of British Columbia.
The Commonwealth Youth Parliament features young people aged 18 to 29 who experience being a young Parliamentarian and the programme also includes a
number of current Members of Commonwealth Parliaments and parliamentary staff who act as mentors throughout the proceedings. Participants experience
life in the parliamentary spotlight and gain practical experience of the parliamentary system whilst learning how the next generation would approach
The 9th Commonwealth Youth Parliament will take place in late 2017 in the CPA Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic Region hosted by the British Virgin
CPA launches new university accredited CPA Parliamentary Fundamentals Flagship Programme for Commonwealth Parliamentarians
The CPA launched its pioneering flagship programme - the CPA Fundamentals Programme on Parliamentary Practice and Procedure - at the 62nd Commonwealth
This will be the first course of its kind and through the new CPA Fundamentals programme, the CPA aims to assist Commonwealth Parliaments in
building the capacity of their newly-elected and returning Parliamentarians, by equipping them with:
• Greater depth of knowledge of parliamentary practice and procedure
• Increased in-depth and practical knowledge based on accepted theories and international good practices
• An accredited qualification from an internationally recognised universitythat will benefit participants for life during and after Parliament.
The programme will be interactive and comprehensive, comprising online modules as well as face-to-face contact sessions on-site with CPA’s partner
universities. This programme will aim to develop well-informed, skilled parliamentary leaders, who will go on to contribute to creating strong
democratic legislatures that adhere to principles of good governance.
The unique CPA Fundamentals Programme focusing on Parliamentary Practice and Procedure will have two main courses, with one course specifically
developed for CPA Small Branches.
CPA launches new Regional ‘Hot Topics’ Forums with first event for CPA Asia Region in Pakistan
The CPA Secretary-General addresses the first CPA Regional Hot Topic Forum held in Pakistan.
The CPA has launched its CPA Regional Hot Topics Forum to provide an opportunity for the CPA Membership and the wider community to engage with
experts on a particular topic which is of specific regional relevance.
The first CPA Regional Hot Topics Forum was held in the CPA Asia Region on the subject of ‘Democracies in Transition and the challenges they face.’ The
forum was attended by Mr Akbar Khan, Secretary General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA); Senator Raja Zafar-ul-Haq, Leader of the
House in the Senate of Pakistan; and Senator Aitzaz Ahsan, Leader of the Opposition in the Senate of Pakistan.
The two-day CPA Asia Regional Hot Topic Forum heard from a wide range of experts and commentators in the Region and participants were drawn from
within the local CPA Pakistan Membership and across the CPA Asia Region as well as students from local universities, High Commissioners and civil
Newly elected Parliamentarians in Zambia at CPA Post-Election Seminar as CPA Secretary-General highlights youth participation at CPA Roadshow
The CPA Secretary-General addresses Parliamentarians at the National Assembly of Zambia.
Newly elected Parliamentarians to the 12th National Assembly of Zambia have attended the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Post-Election Seminar,
which took place in Lusaka, Zambia, hosted by the CPA Zambia Branch. Members of Parliament were elected at the most recent Zambian elections held on 11
The CPA Post-Election Seminar was opened by Rt Hon. Justice Dr Patrick Matibini, SC, MP, Speaker of the National Assembly of Zambia and the CPA
Secretary-General, Mr Akbar Khan also addressed Members at the opening ceremony. The newly elected Members of the National Assembly of Zambia heard
from Parliamentarians, parliamentary staff and experts from Zambia as well as from other Commonwealth jurisdictions throughout the CPA.
While visiting Zambia to attend the CPA Post-Election Seminar, the Secretary-General also delivered a CPA Roadshow for young people at the
Caribbean Regional Network builds Parliamentarians’ knowledge of greater financial scrutiny at meeting in Jamaica
Parliamentarians from across the Caribbean Region at the 2016 meeting of the Caribbean Network of Public Accounts Committees (CarNPAC) hosted by the
Parliament of Jamaica.
Parliamentarians from across the Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic (CAA) Region, who are engaged in scrutinising financial budgets and legislation
through Public Accounts Committees, participated in the meeting of the Caribbean Network of Public Accounts Committees (CarNPAC), hosted by the CPA
Jamaica Branch and Parliament of Jamaica in October 2016.
The meeting was opened by Hon. Pearnel Charles, CD, MP, JP, Speaker of the Parliament of Jamaica and saw opening addresses by the Chair of the Public
Accounts Committee in the Parliament of Jamaica, Hon. Dr Peter Phillips, MP; Ms Arlene Bussette, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association; and Ms Galina Y.
Sotirova, World Bank.
The network’s members were able to use the opportunity of convening in Jamaica to learn more about different institutions that directly or
indirectly support the functions of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and contribute to financial oversight in Jamaica.
Renewed focus on global trade at CPA-WTO Workshop for Parliamentarians in the Caribbean Region
Guest speakers at the CPA-WTO Workshop for Parliamentarians hosted by the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago.
Parliamentarians from across the Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic Region have come together for the Regional Trade Workshop convened by the
Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in November 2016 in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.
The Workshop was opened by Hon. Bridgid Annisette-George MP, Speaker of the House of Representatives of Trinidad and Tobago; Hon. Shirley Osborne MLA,
Speaker of the Montserrat Legislative Assembly; and Mr Bernard Kuiten, Head of External Relations of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) with the keynote
address by Senator Hon. Paula Gopee-Scoon, Trade Minister of Trinidad and Tobago.
Parliamentarians attending the Workshop were able to look at the challenges and opportunities for the Caribbean region and for the global economy in
relation to trade and heard from renowned experts in the field.
Pacific Regional Network focuses on parliament’s role in financial scrutiny
Parliamentarians from across the Pacific Region at the 2016 meeting of the Pacific Network of Public Accounts Committees (PaNPAC), hosted by the
Parliament of the Solomon Islands.
Parliamentarians from across the Pacific Region, who are engaged in scrutinising financial budgets and legislation through Public Accounts
Committees, have participated in the 2016 meeting of the Pacific Network of Public Accounts Committees (PaNPAC), hosted by the Parliament of the Solomon
Islands in November 2016.
The meeting was opened by Mr Clezy Rore, Clerk to the National Parliament of the Solomon Islands, on behalf of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
The PaNPAC meeting built on the initial PaNPAC meetings in New Zealand and Fiji in order to strengthen the learning partnership of PACs in the region.
The network’s members were able to use the opportunity of convening in the Solomon Islands to learn more about different institutions that directly or
indirectly support the functions of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and contribute to financial oversight.
CPA Branch Visits
CPA Secretary-General highlights youth participation in the Overseas Territories during visit to CPA Bermuda Branch
The CPA Secretary-General speaks to young people in Bermuda as part of the CPA Roadshows tour of schools and universities. Image credit Bermuda House
The CPA Secretary-General has visited the Bermuda Branch of the CPA and highlighted youth participation in the Overseas Territories. The
Secretary-General was invited to visit Bermuda by Hon. K. H. Randolph Horton, JP, MP, Speaker of the House of Assembly of Bermuda, for his first
visit as Secretary-General since his appointment in January 2016.
During his visit to Bermuda, the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association met with the Premier of Bermuda, Hon. Michael
Dunkley, JP, MP and with the Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Marc Bean MP.
The CPA Secretary-General visited five schools and colleges in Bermuda - Bermuda Institute, Berkeley Institute, Mount Saint Agnes Academy, Saltus
Grammar School, Bermuda College - as part of the CPA Roadshows tour of the Commonwealth schools and universities.
CPA Regional Conferences
35th CPA Australian and Pacific Regional Conference takes place in the Cook Islands
Mrs Joan Rylah MP from the Parliament of Tasmania, Australia presents on effective representation at the CPA Regional Conference.
The CPA Cook Islands Branch and the Parliament of the Cook Islands has hosted the 35th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Australian and
Pacific Regional Conference in November 2016 in Rarotonga, Cook Islands.
Delegates attended the conference from CPA Branches across the regions and the conference theme was ‘Leadership Excellence for the Common Good: Share,
Exchange and Act’.
Visitors to the CPA Secretariat, October 2016 to January 2017
CPA Guernsey Branch delegation visits CPA Secretariat Newly elected deputies from the States of Guernsey met with the
Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Mr Akbar Khan and CPA Secretariat staff at the CPA Headquarters Secretariat.
St Kitts and Nevis Leader of the Opposition visits the CPA Secretariat The CPA Secretary-General Mr Akbar Khan met with Dr Denzil Douglas, Leader
of the Opposition and former Prime Minister in St Kitts and Nevis. The Leader of the Opposition held discussions with the CPA Secretary-General
about the work of the CPA and met CPA Secretariat staff at the headquarters in London, UK.Hon. Alix Boyd-Knights, Speaker of the House of Assembly of
the Dominican Republic and former Chairperson of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) visited the CPA Secretariat.
CPA Secretary-General meets new Lord Speaker at UK Parliament
The CPA Secretary-General Mr Akbar Khan met with the new Lord Speaker of the UK Parliament, Rt Hon. Lord Fowler to discuss Commonwealth political values,
the CPA Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures and the CPA Roadshows for schools and universities.
Speaker of the Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa visits the CPA Secretariat
Mr Asad Qaiser, Speaker of the Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Peshawar, Pakistan visited the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA)
Secretariat where he met with Mr Akbar Khan, Secretary-General of the CPA during a visit to London, United Kingdom.
CPA Future Events & Calendar
Start of the CPA Fundamentals Flagship Programme - McGill University, Montréal, Canada (for Small Branches) and University of Witwatersrand,
Johannesburg, South Africa 24 to 27 February - Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) Working Group Meeting, Wilton Park, United Kingdom
27 February to 3 March - Post-Election Seminar for the House of Assembly of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands
March 3 to 5 March - CPA British Islands & Mediterranean Regional Conference, Northern Ireland 13 March - Commonwealth Day 2017 – 2017 Theme: A Peace-building Commonwealth
April 1 to 5 April - IPU General Assembly, Dhaka, Bangladesh 25 to 27 April - Mid-Year CPA Executive Committee Meeting 2017, Darwin,
Northern Territory, Australia May 15 to 19 May - International Professional Development Programme for Parliamentary Staff (Residency Seminar) - Montreal, Quebec, Canada. For more
information on this programme, please contact the CPA Secretariat at email@example.com.
Young women across the Commonwealth are set to benefit from a new initiative to help them acquire critical life skills and to progress in their careers.
Embrace Diversity, Strive to achieve Economic, Environmental Security and deliver Peace - Speaker Matibini Urges Youths
Rt. Hon Justice, Dr.
In her message for Commonwealth Day, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II reflects on this year’s theme of ‘A Peace-building Commonwealth’ and the onward journey of The Queen’s Baton Relay.