‘We need to build a People’s Commonwealth for the 21st century’ says CPA Secretary-General at Middlesex University Lecture 

The Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), Mr Akbar Khan has spoken of the enduring nature of the Commonwealth which comprises a unique network of peoples, civil society and parliaments as he delivered a Distinguished Lecture to a specially invited audience at Middlesex University in north London. 

The CPA Secretary-General explored how the Commonwealth’s networks, including the 17,000 Commonwealth Parliamentarians in over 180 Parliaments and Legislatures of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, mark the Commonwealth out as a uniquely constituted global player. The Commonwealth is the world’s oldest political association and is unlike any other international organisation, which enables it to justifiably claim to be a ‘People’s Commonwealth’ which is democratic and diverse in nature.

The CPA Secretary-General, Mr Akbar Khan said: “The strength of the Commonwealth into the 21st century lies in our shared history and the remarkable genius of the Commonwealth to remain enduring based on its inherent flexibility and agility to changing global circumstances. What is distinctive and unique about the Commonwealth is its people-centred approach. People are not only the beneficiaries of democracy and development but importantly directly contribute to these outcomes as key actors and enablers.” 

“The strength of the Commonwealth lies not only in the membership of governments but significantly in its Commonwealth grouping of peoples, businesses and civil society networks which together constitute the Commonwealth as a unique international family and a uniquely positioned global actor. This breadth of perspectives allows for new and necessary conversations to take place around issues such as global inequality, social and economic rights, the importance of peace-building and climate change.” 

To read the CPA Secretary-General’s lecture titled ‘Democracy and Diversity: A People’s Commonwealth for the 21st century?’ please click here.

The lecture was introduced and hosted by the Vice-Chancellor of Middlesex University, Professor Tim Blackman who said: “We are delighted that Mr Akbar Khan came to talk to students and staff at Middlesex University. We are living in very uncertain times and the CPA’s work to support inclusive and diverse parliamentary democracies across the Commonwealth has never been more important. Middlesex is a University that prides itself on its diversity and internationalism.  While our students study and live here they meet and collaborate with students and staff from over 140 countries and develop a truly global outlook.  These skills will be invaluable to the ‘People’s Commonwealth’ that Mr Khan speaks of in his inspirational lecture.” 

Middlesex University’s Distinguished Lecture series challenges, stimulates and focuses on many of the big picture issues facing our society. These lectures look at the past, present and future of key areas in business, public policy, technology and learning and not only deepen our knowledge and understanding but seek to inspire and engage us as free thinkers and contributors.

For further information about Middlesex University Business School’s Distinguished Lecture Series 2016-18 on Future Impacts: What does the 21st century hold for us? then please click here.

For images of the Middlesex University lecture please click here.


Updated 11 December 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