Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Small Branches address the issues affecting small parliaments and legislatures across the Commonwealth 

The 35th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Small Branches Conference has been held in London, United Kingdom today with forty-seven Members of Parliaments and Legislatures from 26 CPA Small Branches attending the conference. The conference included three main plenary sessions exploring key themes proposed by the Membership: ‘The role of the Commonwealth in supporting the outcomes of the COP21 Paris Agreement on Climate Change’; ‘The role of parliament in the protection and safeguarding of children’; ‘Eliminating barriers to women’s leadership in politics in Small Branches’.

Of the over 180 Branches of the CPA, forty-three Branches are classified as ‘Small Branches’ which are defined as jurisdictions having a population below 500,000 people. The CPA Headquarters Secretariat works closely with Small Branches in all Regions of the CPA to identify their unique needs and requirements in parliamentary strengthening, development and cooperation.

The 35th CPA Small Branches Conference is taking place as part of the wider 62nd Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in London, United Kingdom from 11 to 17 December 2016 under the theme of ‘A Collaborative Commonwealth: Unity, Diversity and Common Challenges’.

The 35th CPA Small Branches Conference was officially opened by the Chairperson of the CPA International Executive Committee, Hon. Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury MP, Speaker of the Parliament of Bangladesh followed by an address from the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Mr Akbar Khan who welcomed the Commonwealth Parliamentarians to the Small Branches Conference. Please click here for the opening address by the CPA Secretary-General. The Master of Ceremonies for the official opening was Hon. K. H. Randolph Horton, JP, MP, Speaker of the House of Assembly of Bermuda.

The CPA will be launching at the 62nd Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference this week, a new pioneering flagship programme - the CPA Fundamentals Programme on Parliamentary Practice and Procedure – with a course specifically developed for CPA Small Branches. The CPA aims to assist Commonwealth Parliaments in building the capacity of their newly elected and returning Parliamentarians, by equipping them with a greater depth of knowledge of parliamentary practice and procedure and an accredited qualification from an internationally recognised university, that will benefit participants for life during and after Parliament. The specialised CPA Fundamentals course for CPA Small Branches will be delivered to Commonwealth Parliamentarians from CPA Small Branches in partnership with McGill University in Canada, in the form of the Professional Development Certificate in Parliamentary Governance.

Examples of CPA Small Branches include countries such as Barbados and St. Lucia, as well as CPA Branches in UK Overseas Territories such as Montserrat or territories within larger countries like Northwest Territories in Canada. 

Social Media: Twitter #2016CPC @CPA_Secretariat | | Online  

For images of the 35th CPA Small Branches Conference please click here.

Published on Tuesday 13th December 2016.


Notes to Editors

62nd Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference, 11-17 December 2016, London, United Kingdom
The Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference is the annual conference of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA). The 62nd Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference will take place from 11-17 December 2016 (inclusive of arrival and departure days) in London, United Kingdom, hosted the CPA Secretariat.

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 over 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
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