New Regional Champions for the Commonwealth Parliamentarians with Disabilities network announced

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) has announced nine new Regional Champions, selected to lead and champion the Commonwealth Parliamentarians with Disabilities (CPwD) network. The CPwD Regional Champions, who held their first virtual meeting this week, have been chosen to represent each of the CPA’s Regions and will promote the rights of Commonwealth Parliamentarians with disabilities in their respective Region and represent disability interests within the CPA. 


The new CPwD Regional Champions are: 
CPA Africa Region: Hon. Dennitah Ghati, MP, Member of the National Assembly of Kenya 
CPA Asia Region: Hon. Zill-E-Huma, MNA, Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan
CPA Australia Region: Hon. Gareth Ward, MP, Member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly and Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services
CPA British Islands and Mediterranean Region: Hon. Ann Jones, MS, Deputy Presiding Officer of the National Assembly of Wales
CPA Canada Region: Hon. Kevin Murphy, MLA, Speaker of the House of Assembly, Nova Scotia
CPA Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic Region: Sen. Paul Richards, Member of the Senate of Trinidad and Tobago
CPA India Region: Smt. Supriya Sule, MP, Member of the Parliament of India
CPA Pacific Region: Hon. Viam Pillay, MP, Member of the Parliament of Fiji and Assistant Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment
CPA South East Asia Region: Sen. Ras Adiba Mohd Radzi, Member of the Senate of Malaysia

To view profiles of all the CPwD Regional Champions, please visit www.cpahq.org/cpahq/disabilitieschampions

The CPwD network has been established by the CPA to support Parliamentarians with disabilities to be more effective in their roles and to help improve awareness of disability issues amongst all Parliamentarians and parliamentary staff. During their three-year term, the CPwD Regional Champions will be a leading voice for persons with disabilities both within the CPA and in Parliaments across the Commonwealth, meeting regularly to co-ordinate the activities of the network and discuss issues affecting disability representation in Parliaments.

At their first meeting, the CPwD Regional Champions elected Hon. Kevin Murphy MLA, as the Chairperson of the network. Speaker Murphy, who was elected unanimously thanked the Regional Champions for their vote of confidence in him and emphasised the importance of increasing disability representation in Parliaments. He stated that “what inspired [him], as a person with a disability, to stand for election in Nova Scotia was to ensure that disabled persons could see themselves reflected in their Parliament.” Speaker Murphy, who is also a member of the CPA Executive Committee, will lead the network’s engagement with the CPA Headquarters Secretariat. 

The CPA Secretary-General, Stephen Twigg, welcomed the announcement of the CPwD Regional Champions and praised their commitment to combatting the lack of disabled representation in Commonwealth Parliaments. Chairing the inaugural meeting, he said: “I look forward to working with the new CPwD Regional Champions to increase awareness of disability issues in Commonwealth Parliaments and to promote the rights of Parliamentarians and parliamentary staff with disabilities.”

To find out more about the Commonwealth Parliamentarians with Disabilities (CPwD) network please click here.


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Updated 26 November 2020.


The Commonwealth Parliamentarians with Disabilities (CPwD) was founded in 2017 to support elected representatives with disabilities in Parliaments and legislatures across the Commonwealth and to ensure that issues of persons with disabilities are brought to the fore in parliamentary debate and legislation. The network campaigns for equality for persons with disabilities in all spheres.

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