Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Chairperson at CIS Interparliamentary Assembly: Parliamentarians have a duty to hold governments to account on international humanitarian law 

The Chairperson of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), Hon. Emilia Monjowa Lifaka, MP, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Cameroon has addressed the 48th Plenary Session of the Interparliamentary Assembly of Member Nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States in St Petersburg, Russia. The CPA Chairperson was invited by the Interparliamentary Assembly and the International Committee of the Red Cross to address their conference commemorating the 150th anniversary of the St Petersburg Declaration of 1868.

The 48th Plenary Session of the Interparliamentary Assembly was opened by the Chairperson of the IPA CIS Council, Valentina Matviyenko, Chairperson of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and was followed by a report from the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Maurer. This was followed by an international conference on ‘150th Anniversary of the St Petersburg Declaration: Background to the Adoption and Relevance for Modern Armed Conflicts’.

The CPA Chairperson said to the conference: “We, as Parliamentarians, have a duty to hold our governments to account. There can be no greater decision for a government than to use force and to commit its men and women to the conflict zone. In order to fully understand the issues relating to the laws of war, Parliamentarians need to stay up to date on legislation and developments related to international humanitarian law. We also need to ensure that our countries are party to international treaties which govern and regulate the use of force and weapons, and provide for the humanitarian treatment of combatants once captured.” To read the CPA Chairperson’s speech please click here.

The CPA Chairperson stressed that Parliamentarians should pay more attention to the law-making process, current trends and international humanitarian law in their work. The CPA Headquarters Secretariat is working to upskill its membership in the field of international humanitarian law and is currently producing a new Handbook on International Humanitarian Law for Commonwealth Parliamentarians together with the British Red Cross, with the support of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the University of New South Wales. 

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association regularly engages with parliamentary assemblies and international organisations to develop new partnerships and cooperation in parliamentary development and the CPA Chairperson’s address to the Assembly reinforces these relationships. The Interparliamentary Assembly of Member Nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States (IPA CIS) was founded in 1992. The overarching mission is to create a common legal framework for the CIS and international cooperation. The Interparliamentary Assembly is made up of national parliamentary delegations and its Member Parliaments are: Azerbaijan; Armenia; Belarus; Kazakhstan; Kyrgyzstan; Moldova; the Russian Federation; Tajikistan; and Ukraine
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Updated 30 November 2018.

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
Email hq.sec@cpahq.org
For media enquiries, please contact communications@cpahq.org