CPA Secretary-General brings CPA Roadshows tour to young people in Tonga

The Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), Mr Akbar Khan has delivered CPA Roadshows to hundreds of young people in Tonga while attending the 47
th Presiding Officers and Clerks Conference for the Pacific Region. The Secretary-General visited St Andrew’s High School, Tonga High School, ‘Apifo’ou College, Liahona High School, Tonga College ‘Atele, Ocean of Light International School and Tupou College. Mr Khan was accompanied by Hon. Penisimani Fifita, Chairman of the Whole House Committee and Chairman of the Standing Committee for Social Services.

For photographs of the roadshows, please click here.

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.

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) and the wider Commonwealth.

Commenting on the Roadshows in Tonga, Hon. Penisimani Fifita from the Tongan Parliament said:

“There 53 member nations in the Commonwealth of which Tonga is a member. This Roadshow will be an excellent opportunity for young Tongan people to learn, understand and to adapt to democracy. I hope that this roadshow will inspire Tongan youth to be transparent and accountable in their actions and to be honest in their dealings and how these principles can bring about good governance. These are values that should be instilled into young Tongan people and it is my hope that this Roadshow will reflect that.”

The Secretary-General commented as follows:

“The Tonga Parliament is, as we speak, hosting the 47th Conference of Speakers and Presiding Officers on the theme: ‘Navigating together the challenges for modern parliaments’, and one of these key challenges that resonates not only in Tonga, but across the Pacific and the Commonwealth at large, is strengthening parliament’s engagement with citizens and young people. I will be touring schools in Tonga to talk to young people about the importance of their voice being heard as part of a vibrant and inclusive democracy.

This initiative shows the enduring relevance of the CPA to introduce innovative new initiatives to strengthen democratic accountability and good governance. I am delighted to visit Tonga on this important occasion of the 47th POCC and as the CPA approaches its 105th year, we are delighted to bring the CPA Roadshow to Tonga for the first time.”

The CPA Roadshows were launched in March 2016 by the Chairperson of the CPA Executive Committee, Hon. Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury MP, Speaker of the Parliament of Bangladesh, who said: “Young people are the future of the Commonwealth and the CPA is working to give young people a platform to raise a range of issues that impact their lives. The CPA has a unique network of Parliamentarians from over 180 Commonwealth Parliaments and the CPA Roadshows are engaging young people in democracy.”

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), now in its 105th 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 around 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 Secretariat, Westminster House, 
Suite 700, 7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA, 
United Kingdom 
T: 44-20-7799-1460 
F: 44-20-7222-6073 
For media enquiries, please contact