CPA Chairperson speaks about enhancing the involvement of Parliaments in international human rights mechanisms at United Nations Forum on Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law in Geneva 

The Chairperson of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), Hon. Emilia Lifaka, MP, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Cameroon has spoken of the role of Commonwealth Parliaments and Parliamentarians in international human rights mechanisms at the 2nd session of the United Nations Forum on Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law in Geneva, Switzerland held from 22 to 23 November 2018.

The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) organises, with the support of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), the Forum on Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law to address the role of Parliaments as promoters of human rights and to share good parliamentary practices on these issues, including the existing and potential challenges for Parliaments and ways to address them.

The CPA Chairperson said: “The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association has been developing the ability of Parliamentarians to promote and protect human rights nationally and regionally. As Parliamentarians, we all have a responsibility and a duty as representatives of the people and the voice of the voiceless in ensuring that human rights are placed at the top of the agenda in all aspects of our work, not only by ratifying international conventions but by making sure that our respective governments take a lead in its implementation.” To read the Chairperson’s speech please click here.

The CPA Chairperson was accompanied by the CPA Secretary-General, Mr Akbar Khan to the UN Forum where they met with a number of delegates to explore cooperation between the CPA, the UN OHCHR and many other international agencies. The CPA Secretary-General also spoke about the importance of elected Parliamentarians stepping up and democratising human rights for the benefit of their citizens at a joint event hosted by the Commonwealth Secretariat Human Rights Unit and the Governments of Fiji and Australia in the margins of the Forum.

The 2nd session of the United Nations Forum on Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law was chaired by Mr Martin Chungong, Secretary-General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the forum heard from Parliamentarians from Tonga, Bhutan, Tunisia, Benin, Sweden, the United States, Guatemala, Kenya, France, Georgia and the European Parliament.

The CPA recently highlighted the key role of Commonwealth Parliamentarians and Parliaments in implementing the human rights agenda at the launch of a new report titled ‘The Global Human Rights Implementation Agenda: The role of National Parliaments’ together with the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Human Rights Unit and the Universal Rights Group. Click here for human rights report launch.


Updated 27 November 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. 
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