New CPA Small Branches Strategy to focus on unique challenges facing the smallest Parliaments and Legislatures in the Commonwealth   

For the first time in its 106 year history, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) will seek to meet the unique developmental needs of its smallest legislatures through a newly devised ‘CPA Small Branches Strategy’. The smallest of the CPA’s legislatures seek to meet the same expectations of service delivery as larger legislatures and in doing so, they recognise the importance of constantly innovating in the face of fiscal and human resource constraints; they recognise the central role of parliament in meeting the challenges of combatting corruption; and the threats in the face of climate change to some of the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable. 

The new strategy will focus on key thematic areas and development activities with measurable outcomes; this will build parliamentary capacity for CPA Small Branches and create greater opportunities for the sharing of knowledge, parliamentary strengthening and cooperation across the network. Of the over 180 Branches of the CPA, 43 Branches are classified as ‘Small Branches’ which are defined as jurisdictions having a population below 500,000 people. 

The new strategic plan is being led by the new CPA Small Branches Chairperson, Hon. Angelo Farrugia, MP, Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Parliament of Malta who hosted a strategy consultation meeting in Malta with representatives of each CPA Region where there are Small Branches (seven of the nine CPA Regions) to facilitate discussion and develop the plan. The CPA Small Branches Chairperson said: “We have a pressing need for the small parliaments and legislatures within the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association to come together, within their smallness, to address the common difficulties and strengths and the shared experiences of their assemblies to enhance good governance and parliamentary democracy for our citizens. All CPA Small Branches need to learn to appreciate their strengths as a small legislature; being flexible enough to be able to work with other parliaments, yet being influential within their regions. The new CPA Small Branches Strategic Plan will focus on the key areas of work to achieve these objectives and will strengthen and promote the CPA Small Branches network for the benefit of its Members.”

The new CPA Small Branches Strategic Plan will be launched at the 36th CPA Small Branches Conference due to take place on 2 and 3 November 2017, ahead of the wider 63rd Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC) in Dhaka, Bangladesh from 1 to 8 November 2017.

The strategic planning meeting, which took place at the Parliament of Malta, was attended by: Africa Region: Hon. Ahmed Afif, MP and Hon. Churchill Gill, MP (Seychelles); Australia Region: Mrs Joy Burch, MLA, Speaker of the Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly; British Islands and Mediterranean (BIM) Region: Hon. Samantha Sacramento, MP, Minister for Housing and Equality (Gibraltar); Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic (CAA) Region: Hon. Michael Carrington, MP, Speaker of the Barbados House of Assembly; South-East Asia Region: Hon. Hamdan Bahari, MP, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of The State of Perlis, Malaysia; Pacific Region: Hon. Simon Pentanu, Speaker of the House of Representatives of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea.

Published Monday 23 October 2017.


The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), now in its 106th year with HM The Queen, Head of the Commonwealth as its Patron, exists to develop, promote and support Commonwealth Parliamentarians and parliamentary staff to identify benchmarks of good governance and to implement the enduring values of the Commonwealth. The CPA is an international community of Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures working together to deepen the Commonwealth’s commitment to the highest standards of democratic governance. 

The CPA represents more than 180 Parliaments and Legislatures in 52 Commonwealth countries and its network extends to over 17,000 Parliamentarians and Parliamentary staff. The CPA is the only Commonwealth organisation to represent national, state, provincial and territorial Parliaments and Legislatures. There are nine Regions of the CPA: Africa; Asia; Australia; British Islands and Mediterranean; Canada; Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic; India; Pacific; South-East Asia. Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) in Branches and Regions promote gender participation in Parliaments and CPA Small Branches represent more than 30 jurisdictions with populations of up to 500,000 people. 

Parliaments, their Members and officials learn from each other through CPA activities including: Annual Commonwealth Parliamentary Conferences and CPA Regional Conferences; a wide range of Parliamentary strengthening and Public Outreach Programmes; Interparliamentary visits; Parliamentary Seminars and Workshops; and Communications and Publications including The Parliamentarian, the Journal of Commonwealth Parliaments. 

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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