Commonwealth Parliamentarians from CPA Small Branches focus on the unique challenges affecting the smallest Legislatures across the Commonwealth at 37th annual conference in Uganda  

With the increased logistical, financial and infrastructure demands facing small jurisdictions in the Commonwealth, Parliamentarians meet to examine the unique challenges they face. The 37th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Small Branches Conference has been held in Kampala, Uganda with Members of Parliaments and Legislatures from CPA Small Branches attending the conference. The conference discussed strategies to meet the unique developmental needs of the CPA’s smallest Legislatures through key thematic seminars and development activities that will build parliamentary capacity for CPA Small Branches and create greater opportunities for the sharing of knowledge, parliamentary strengthening and cooperation across the network. 

The CPA Small Branches Chairperson, Hon. Angelo Farrugia, MP, Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Parliament of Malta said at the opening of the Small Branches Conference: “The CPA Small Branches Conference will help to build capacities for the small Parliaments and Legislatures of the Commonwealth and create greater and more constant opportunities for the sharing of knowledge and cooperation across the CPA network. The CPA Small Branches need to come together to address their common difficulties, common strengths and their shared experiences.” 

During his three-year term as the CPA Small Branches Chairperson, Hon. Angelo Farrugia has highlighted the importance of tackling climate change for the 53 Commonwealth countries, especially its 31 small and developing states which are often the least polluting but the first casualties of climate change and delegates had the opportunity to discuss a newly developed CPA handbook on climate change during the CPA Small Branches Conference. 

The Chairperson of the CPA International Executive Committee, Hon. Emilia Monjowa Lifaka, MP, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Cameroon said: “The CPA works with the Small Branches in all the regions and we extend full cooperation in strengthening parliamentary democracy. The CPA’s priorities include supporting all of our Small Branches in meeting their challenges. The smallest of the CPA’s Legislatures seek to meet the same expectations of service delivery as larger Legislatures and in doing so, they recognise the importance of constantly innovating in the face of fiscal and human resource constraints; and the threats in the face of climate change to some of the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable.” 

The CPA Chairperson also thanked the CPA Small Branches Chairperson, Hon. Angelo Farrugia for his three-year term and important work in highlighting the unique challenges facing small Legislatures and congratulated the newly elected Chairperson of the CPA Small Branches Designate, Hon. Niki Rattle, Speaker of the Parliament of the Cook Islands upon her elected by the delegates to the CPA Small Branches Conference.

The CPA Small Branches Conference included four plenary sessions exploring key themes proposed by the Membership: how do Commonwealth jurisdictions implement culturally appropriate measures including institutional design into their practices and procedures; the possible effects of the United Kingdom’s ‘Brexit’ on CPA Small Branches; professional development and training to develop focused and talented Parliamentarians; and climate change and the possible effects on CPA Small Branch economies and development.

In the margins of the conference, the initial cohort of the CPA Small Branches Steering Committee met for the first time, following the decision of the CPA Executive Committee at their Mid-Year Meeting in Mauritius 2018 for the formation of this new committee. The CPA Small Branches Steering Committee comprises the CPA Small Branches Chairperson and seven Commonwealth Parliamentarians who represent the seven Regions of the CPA with Small Branches: Africa; Australia; British Isles and the Mediterranean; Canada; Caribbean, Americas and the Atlantic; Pacific; and South-East Asia.  

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. Examples of CPA Small Branches include Commonwealth countries such as Barbados and Tonga, as well UK Overseas Territories such as Turks and Caicos or states and provinces within larger countries like Northwest Territories in Canada. The CPA Headquarters Secretariat works closely with Small Branches in all Regions of the CPA to identify their unique needs and requirements in parliamentary strengthening, development and cooperation. 

The 37th CPA Small Branches Conference took place as part of the wider 64th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in Kampala, Uganda from 22 to 29 September 2019

Information about the 64th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC) can be found at the official conference website and for further updates please visit the CPA website

Social Media: Twitter #64CPC2019 @CPA_Secretariat | | Online
Images available at


Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC) - The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) organises its annual Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC) each year. Global political issues and developments in the parliamentary system are analysed in conference debates among leading Parliamentarians representing Parliaments and Legislatures throughout the Commonwealth. These plenary conferences were biennial from 1948 to 1959 and annual since 1961. A summary of the main views expressed in conference debates is sent to Members, Commonwealth governments and international agencies. The conference period also encompasses meetings of the CPA’s General Assembly, the Executive Committee, Small Branches Members, the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) and meetings for Parliamentary Clerks and Secretaries (SOCATT). 

The following CPA Branches have hosted Commonwealth Parliamentary Conferences in recent years: 2017 Bangladesh; 2016 CPA Headquarters Secretariat in London, UK; 2014 Cameroon; 2013 South Africa; 2012 Sri Lanka; 2011 United Kingdom; 2010 Kenya; 2009 Tanzania; 2008 Malaysia; 2007 India. For further information visit

Updated 25 September 2019.

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. The CPA is an international community of around 180 Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures working together to deepen the Commonwealth’s commitment to the highest standards of democratic governance. 
For further information about the CPA, please contact:

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
CPA Headquarters Secretariat  
T: +44 (0)20 7799 1460
For media enquiries, please contact