Small Branches are priority for reinvigorated Commonwealth Parliamentary Association



Speaking at the 47th Presiding Officers’ and Clerks’ Conference for the Pacific and Australia Regions of the CPA in Tonga, Akbar Khan, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) affirms that Small Branches are a priority for the CPA.

The theme of the 47th Presiding Officers’ and Clerks’ Conference was ‘Navigating together the challenges for modern parliaments’. The Secretary-General commented that in the Pacific, these challenges are felt particularly acutely by Small Island States given the often severe constraints on capacity and resources, the limited sittings of Parliament and the unpredictability of constitutional challenges resulting in recourse to the courts from time to time. He added that by not addressing these challenges, we risk impacting the human development of the country and region.

Coming out of these challenges, the Secretary-General commented, comes the opportunity to work together to find solutions through discussion and the exchange of views, which the CPA seeks to promote through connecting, developing and supporting parliamentarians and their staff to identify benchmarks of good governance and the implementation of the enduring values of the Commonwealth.

Joining the Speaker of the Tongan Parliament, Lord Tu’ivakano and the Crown Prince of Tonga, HRH Tupouto'a 'Ulukalala, in opening the Conference, the Secretary-General took the opportunity to celebrate some of the successes in the Regions, including Fiji’s return to civilian rule through the ballot box; the transition in the Kingdom of Tonga from monarchical rule to a constitutional monarchy; the excellent partnerships between Australia, New Zealand and Pacific countries to support women parliamentarians through mentoring; and the establishment of a Pacific Network of Public Accounts Committees which will strengthen the resolve of Parliament holding Government to account on Executive spending. These positive stories provided the conference delegates with encouragement during the discussions on how to strengthen parliamentary democracies.

During the visit to the Pacific Region for the Presiding Officers and Clerks Conference, the Secretary-General also visited the CPA Tonga Branch and undertook a CPA Roadshows tour with visits to local schools and colleges, reaching out to over 5000 Tongan students to talk about the importance of the political values of the Commonwealth, including diversity, development and democracy.


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. 
 

For further information about the CPA, please contact: 

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Secretariat 
Westminster House, Suite 700, 7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA, United Kingdom 
T: 44-20-7799-1460 
F: 44-20-7222-6073 
Email 
hq.sec@cpqhq.org
 
For media and general enquiries, please contact 
editor@cpahq.org 

Small Branches are priority for reinvigorated Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
Small Branches are priority for reinvigorated Commonwealth Parliamentary Association