Commonwealth Speakers discuss global pandemic recovery at ‘in-person’ Fifth World Speakers Conference in Vienna

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association’s Deputy Secretary-General, Jarvis Matiya, attended the Fifth World Conference of Speakers of Parliament, organised by the Inter-Parliamentary Union and hosted by the Parliament of Austria in Vienna from 6 – 8 September 2021. Many Commonwealth Speakers and Presiding Officers attended the conference which was held on the theme of ‘Parliaments for peace, people and planet’ and was the first time that many Speakers and Parliamentarians have been able to gather in person since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CPA Deputy Secretary-General met with the IPU’s Secretary-General, Martin Chungong, who opened the conference by praising the resilience of Parliaments during the pandemic. The CPA Deputy Secretary-General also met with many Commonwealth Speakers including the Speaker of the Lok Sabha and CPA India Regional Chairperson, Hon. Om Birla, MP and the Speaker of the Nigeria House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila in the margins of the conference.

The CPA Deputy Secretary-General discussed potential areas of collaboration with a number of inter-parliamentary organisations at the conference including with Ambassador Luca Fratini, Director of the Secretary-General's Office at the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe).

Commonwealth Women Speakers and Parliamentarians also participated in the 13th Summit of Women Speakers of Parliament to discuss gender responsive leadership, actions and the COVID-19 pandemic recovery. The discussion took place in Vienna on the day before the Fifth World Speakers Conference. Former CPA Chairperson and Speaker of the Parliament of Bangladesh, Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury spoke about measures to prevent violence against women and girls at the Summit of Women Speakers of Parliament.