Renewed focus on sustainable development goals and re-commitment to the independence of the legislature at 6th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association India Regional Conference

Over 100 Commonwealth Parliamentarians from across India have renewed their focus on Parliament’s role in the sustainable development agenda and reaffirmed their commitment to the separation of powers between the legislature, the judiciary and the executive at the 6th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) India Regional Conference held in Patna, Bihar from 16 to 19 February 2018. 

The Chairperson of the CPA India Region and Speaker of the Lok Sabha, India Parliament, Hon. Sumitra Mahajan, MP reaffirmed the independence of the legislature and stressed the importance of good relations with the judiciary by saying: “In a parliamentary democracy, the legislative assembly plays a vital role.... the judiciary and the executive are equally important. They are the pillars of democracy and a balance between them is of high importance. Neither can be ignored.” The CPA India Regional Chairperson also announced that four new regional zones would be created in the India Region to conduct zonal regional seminars and conferences for legislators to interact with each regularly across the country in between the biennial CPA India Regional Conference.

The new Chairperson of the CPA Executive Committee, Hon. Emilia Monjowa Lifaka, MP, who is also the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Cameroon, addressed Members at the opening ceremony. The CPA Chairperson said that Parliamentarians must be part of the sustainable development agenda as they can play a vital role in its implementation. She also expressed her delight that her first official overseas conference as the new Chairperson since her election was in the CPA India Region.

The CPA Secretary-General, Mr Akbar Khan, who attended the conference during his first official visit to India, addressed the closing ceremony of the conference and said that the legislatures of the CPA India Region can be a role model for the many democracies in the Commonwealth. He said: “Parliamentarians and therefore Parliaments play a critically important role in embedding respect for the separation of powers and creating the conditions for sustainable development. An effective parliament can promote robust, inclusive economic growth and nurture genuine and enduring democracy. As a guarantor of democracy itself, parliament has a duty to represent the people it serves – and it can only do this by being an inclusive, accountable, open and transparent institution.” To read the Secretary-General’s closing remarks in full please click here.

The CPA Regional Conference was hosted by the CPA Bihar Branch and the Hon. Speaker of the Bihar Legislative Assembly, Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, MP and the conference was also addressed by the Chief Minister of Bihar, Hon. Nitish Kumar and the Governor of Bihar, Satya Pal Malik

The CPA India Regional Conference brought together Speakers and Members of Parliament from the national Parliament of India (Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha) and thirty one state and provincial legislatures across India, one of the most populated regions of the Commonwealth. Representatives also attended from Uganda, Australia and other Commonwealth countries. 

To see highlights of the closing ceremony please visit: (Footage by Rajya Sabha TV).

Updated Monday 19 February 2018.

Images: Legislative Assembly of Bihar/CPA Bihar Branch.


Notes to Editors

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), now in its 107th year with HM The Queen, Head of the Commonwealth as its Patron, exists to develop, promote and support Parliamentarians and their staff to identify benchmarks of good governance and to implement the enduring values of the Commonwealth. The CPA is an international community of over 180 Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures working together to deepen the Commonwealth’s commitment to the highest standards of democratic governance. Parliaments, their Members and officials learn from each other through CPA activities: Annual Commonwealth Parliamentary Conferences, Regional Conferences and other symposiums; Interparliamentary visits; Parliamentary Seminars and Workshops; Publications including The Parliamentarian, the Journal of Commonwealth Parliaments; and the Parliamentary Information and Reference Centre. 

For further information about the CPA, please contact:

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
CPA Headquarters Secretariat, Westminster House, 
Suite 700, 7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA, 
United Kingdom  T: 44-20-7799-1460 
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