The Parliamentarian
2019: Issue Four: : 64th CPC Conference Issue - 'Adaption, engagement, and evolution of Parliaments in a rapidly changing Commonwealth'

The Parliamentarian is the quarterly Journal of Commonwealth Parliaments published by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) and features articles and news written by Members of Parliament and Parliamentary staff across the Commonwealth about international issues.
This special conference issue of The Parliamentarian features one of the largest annual gatherings of Commonwealth Parliamentarians, the 64th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC) in Kampala, Uganda from 22 to 29 September 2019, which addressed key global issues and solutions. Against a backdrop of greater scrutiny of Parliamentarians and the overall public trust deficit in Parliaments, the CPA’s annual conference offered the opportunity for Members to benefit from professional development, supportive learning and the sharing of best practice with colleagues from over 180 Commonwealth Parliaments together with the participation of leading international organisations. The overall main conference theme for the 64th CPC was ‘Adaption, engagement, and evolution of Parliaments in a rapidly changing Commonwealth’.

Delegates were welcomed by the President of the Republic of Uganda and Vice-Patron of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), His Excellency Yoweri K. Museveni who urged Commonwealth Parliamentarians to uphold democratic principles as he opened the 64th CPC against the backdrop of Lake Victoria in Uganda. The President of Uganda also read to delegates the goodwill message for the 64th CPC from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Patron of the CPA and Head of the Commonwealth. 

The 64th CPC was hosted by the CPA President (2018-2019), Rt Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda who welcomed Parliamentarians from around the Commonwealth and spoke of Uganda’s pride at hosting the CPC for the second time, 52 years after first hosting the 13th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in 1967.

The Chairperson of the CPA Executive Committee, Hon. Emilia Monjowa Lifaka, MP, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Cameroon spoke about the CPA’s role in connecting Parliamentarians and parliamentary staff in their quest for good governance and the enduring values of the Commonwealth. The CPA Headquarters Secretariat was represented by Mr Jarvis Matiya, CPA Acting Secretary-General who spoke of the CPA’s work in the national and provincial, unitary, federal and territorial Parliaments of the Commonwealth. The CPA enables its Members to exchange views and deepen their understanding of their roles and responsibilities as the people’s representatives. 

Workshops were held during the conference on a wide range of topics including the role of Parliament in addressing the challenges of democracy; climate change in the Commonwealth context; combating rapid urbanisation and rural decline; the possible effects of United Kingdom ‘Brexit’; and the role of Parliament in facilitating persons with disabilities as electors, candidates and legislators. For the second time, a youth roundtable was held at the conference with Members of Parliament and local youth groups.

Commonwealth Parliamentarians from the CPA Small Branches held their 37th annual conference prior to the 64th CPC in Uganda and, led by Hon. Angelo Farrugia, MP, Chairperson of the CPA Small Branches and Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Parliament of Malta, focused on the unique challenges affecting small Parliaments and Legislatures across the Commonwealth. The CPA Small Branches Conference held thematic sessions for Members that discussed the building of parliamentary capacity for CPA Small Branches and creating greater opportunities for the sharing of knowledge and cooperation across the network.

Equal representation for women in Parliaments and gender empowerment was the focus for the sixth triennial Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) Conference and Hon. Dr Dato’ Noraini Ahmad, MP, CWP Chairperson led the workshop sessions over two days. The theme of the CWP Conference was ‘CWP at 30 years: Achievements and Unfinished Business – Looking forward to the next 30 years’ in recognition of the CWP’s 30th anniversary in 2019. Over 100 Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians attended the conference from across the Commonwealth. The CWP conference saw leading figures in Commonwealth Parliaments addressing the delegates and included four wide-ranging sessions for Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians.

This issue of The Parliamentarian also features a report from the 55th General Meeting of the Society-of-Clerks-at-the-Table (SoCATT) in Uganda where Commonwealth Parliamentary Clerks had the opportunity to share best practice and innovations in Parliaments.

The 64th CPC Conference Concluding Statement containing all of the outcomes and recommendations from the conference workshops is available online at:

UK Education Minister, Rt Hon. Nick Gibb writes in this issue of The Parliamentarian about the Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarships and the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship (CSFP) which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year.

News and reports of many activities across the nine regions of the CPA and CWP network are included in this issue. The Parliamentary Report and Third Reading section in this issue includes parliamentary and legislative news from Canada, British Columbia, India, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Australia. 

We look forward to hearing your feedback and comments on this issue of The Parliamentarian, on the issues affecting Parliamentarians across the Commonwealth and to receiving your future contributions to this publication.

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Updated 13/11/2019/CPAHQ