Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) promotes cross parliamentary cooperation while attending the 2016 IPU Assembly in Geneva 

The Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), Mr Akbar Khan has attended the 135th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly together with Speakers and Members of Parliament from across the Commonwealth and beyond. The IPU Assembly’s key theme for 2016 was addressing the role of parliaments as early responders to human rights abuses and encouraging Parliamentarians to be at the forefront in raising the alarm and taking action when serious human rights challenges arise.

The CPA Secretary-General met with his counterpart Mr Martin Chungong, IPU Secretary-General for a bilateral discussion around areas of common concern and interest to both organisations, such as the CPA work around reviewing the Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures in line with Sustainable Development Goal 16, and IPU’s work around the Sustainable Development Goals. There are also a number of areas of collaboration on parliamentary youth work, promoting work of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) and the IPU equivalent and also promoting events around International Day of Democracy. The IPU and CPA have overlapping members and ‎similar interests to serve and the discussion between the two Secretaries-General focused on the need to strengthen collaboration to avoid duplication, promote cost sharing and meet the needs of the shared membership. 

The IPU Assembly brings together over 700 Parliamentarians from over 100 countries. Reaching out to new partners in the margins of this meeting is key for the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association as it moves to better respond to the needs of today’s Parliamentarians. The Secretary-General has explored avenues of cooperation to enhance CPA’s programmes of parliamentary strengthening initiatives with key partners in the margins of the IPU Assembly.

The Secretary-General of the CPA attended a number of sessions during the IPU Assembly. While at the 2016 Assembly, the Secretary-General also held a number of bilateral meetings in the margins of the Assembly to discuss a range of the CPA’s work strands including Masterclasses, Regional Hot Topics, Technical Assistance and the continuing development of parliamentary standards.

The Secretary-General also held bilateral meetings with Hon. Tony Smith MP, Speaker of the House of Representatives in the Australian Federal Parliament to discuss the positive developments at the CPA and the revised CPA work programme; and Mr Gianni Magazzani from the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights, United Nations to discuss potential joint projects to raise the importance of the vital oversight role that Parliamentarians play in ensuring domestic implementation of human rights obligations. 
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
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