The CPA Chairperson's Speeches and Articles

Speech of CPA Chairperson, Hon. Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, MP, at the launch of the CPA Roadshows in Dhaka, Bangladesh, 2 March 2016

I am delighted to launch the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA)’s new CPA Roadshows here in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The CPA Roadshows will visit schools and universities across the Commonwealth and bring visitors into parliaments and legislatures to help to increase young people’s awareness of parliament and democracy.

As Parliamentarians, we have a duty and responsibility to all our citizens – young and old – to stay connected and to represent their views as elected representatives.

The CPA Roadshows provide an opportunity for young people to discuss the issues of concern about their society and democracy, to meet local Members of Parliament and Parliamentary staff and to find out about the work of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) in advancing democracy across the Commonwealth.

During a recent survey of UK school children by the Commonwealth Exchange, only 23% of young people could correctly select three Commonwealth nations and nearly 50% said they had not learnt about the Commonwealth in school. (2015 survey report ‘Saved by the Bell’ by the Commonwealth Exchange). The CPA Roadshows help to address the lack of awareness of young people about the Commonwealth. 

With the Commonwealth’s 53 member countries having a combined population of more than 2 billion, of which more than 60% are under 30 years of age, the CPA Roadshows aim to engage with young people and education establishments to promote democracy.

I am delighted to launch the CPA Roadshows as the CPA Chairperson and the Speaker of the Bangladesh Parliament on behalf of the CPA today. Young people are the future of the Commonwealth and today the CPA is working to give you a platform to raise issues that impact on your lives to our network of Parliamentarians from over 180 Commonwealth Parliaments as the CPA Roadshows engage young people in democracy.

Supporting Youth
This year, in November 2016, the 8th Commonwealth Youth Parliament will be held in British Columbia in Canada and I know that already, there has been enormous interest by our young people to be involved in this endeavour.

As the CPA Roadshows embark on visits to schools, colleges and universities across the nine regions of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, we encourage all Parliamentarians across the Commonwealth to become involved in the CPA Roadshows and look forward to hearing from and engaging with young people on parliament and democracy. 


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