Welcome Message to the 63rd Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference from the CPA Secretary-General 

Dear Participant,
On behalf of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), it is an immense pleasure for me to join the Honourable Chairperson, Hon. Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, MP, Speaker of the Parliament of Bangladesh in welcoming you to the 63rd Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC) in Dhaka, Bangladesh from 1-8 November 2017.

During the last two years since becoming the CPA Secretary-General, it has been a privilege to serve each and every member and Branch of the Association. Like any organisation that has stood the test of time, it is important to continually adapt to the changing needs of our membership and to demonstrate relevance, added value and good governance. Together with the Honourable Chairperson, we have made it a priority to renew and reinvigorate the CPA to provide an outstanding service to its member parliaments.  
I hope this Conference will enable all CPA members to renew and strengthen their commitment to the CPA and to reaffirm our unity as the Commonwealth parliamentary family. The Conference provides us not only with the opportunity to convene to discuss issues of mutual concern, but also to conduct vital CPA constitutional business and an important CPA election this year; the election of a new Chairperson of the CPA Executive Committee for the next three years.

The overarching conference theme for the 63rd CPC is ‘Continuing to enhance the high standards of performance of Parliamentarians’. As our parliaments face greater scrutiny from the public and ever-increasing demands from constituents, the 63rd CPC offers the opportunity for members to benefit from professional development, peer-to-peer learning and the sharing of good practice with colleagues from across our Commonwealth parliaments together with the participation of leading international organisations, and to enable our parliaments to translate the practical benefits of democratic governance to all of the peoples of the Commonwealth. 

I am pleased that this Conference will host the first lecture in the CPA’s Parliamentary Lecture series for the CPA Asia Region here in Dhaka, and I am delighted that an innovative youth roundtable event has been added to the Conference agenda to create a meaningful and engaging dialogue between Parliamentarians and young people. The active engagement of the 60% of the Commonwealth’s 2.4 billion population aged under 30 is a core aim of the CPA’s programmatic work.

In the lead up the 2018 Commonwealth Summit, to be hosted by the UK Government in April next year on the theme of ‘Towards a Common Future’, this is an excellent opportunity for the CPA, as the recognised parliamentary arm of the Commonwealth, to demonstrate its unique role in securing a fairer and more inclusive future for all Commonwealth citizens. 
I look forward to personally welcoming you to the 63rd CPC in Bangladesh.

Mr Akbar Khan
7th Secretary-General
Commonwealth Parliamentary Association

Updated 11 October 2017/CPAHQ

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association connects, develops, promotes and supports Parliamentarians and their staff to identify benchmarks of good governance and the implementation of the enduring values of the Commonwealth.

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