International delegation of Commonwealth Parliamentarians hosted by Legislative Assembly of Northern Territory in Darwin, Australia

The Legislative Assembly of Northern Territory in Australia has hosted over 30 Commonwealth Speakers and Members of Parliament for the Mid-Year meetings of the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) from 25 to 27 April 2017.

The platform that the CPA provides for both national legislatures and also sub-national, provincial, state and territorial legislatures to network, share good practice and innovative work to strengthen the role of parliament as an institution, is essential in an age of greater scrutiny of parliament’s work. The CPA meetings enable Commonwealth Parliamentarians to reach beyond their own Parliaments to contribute in a global setting to the development of best parliamentary practices and the most effective policies for parliamentary strengthening.
 
For the Legislative Assembly of Northern Territory, one of the CPA’s Small and most active Branches, stepping up to host a large-scale international meeting like this demonstrates the commitment to parliamentary democracy and the work of the CPA. The hosting of this meeting is a major contribution to the CPA and an excellent opportunity to showcase the Northern Territory to Parliamentarians from across the Commonwealth.
 
The Northern Territory is one of the Commonwealth’s strongest jurisdictions with regards to gender equality, with 48% of women representatives and over 50% in its Cabinet. This excellent example of a progressive, modern and genuinely representative parliament is a beacon of hope in the CPA’s membership. During the CPA Mid-Year Executive Committee meetings, the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory and CPA Northern Territory Branch President, Hon. Kezia Purick MLA and Hon. Dato’ Dr Noraini Ahmad MP (Malaysia), Chairperson of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) hosted a special dinner for all female delegates in recognition of the Northern Territory’s achievements in gender equality. The CPA Executive Committee approved an exciting, results driven and impactful strategy to develop the work of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians in the future. 
 
The CPA Executive Committee also demonstrated its commitment to Small Branches (jurisdictions with a population of 500,000 or less like the Northern Territory) by paving the way for the development of a focused work programme under the leadership of the newly elected CPA Small Branches Chairperson, Hon. Anglu Farrugia MP, Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Parliament of Malta.

The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory, Hon. Kezia Purick MLA said: “I am delighted to welcome, on behalf of the Legislative Assembly of Northern Territory, the Speakers and Members of Parliament, parliamentary staff and international delegations from over 30 Commonwealth Parliaments to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Mid-year Executive Committee Meeting at Parliament House this week. By hosting this meeting, the Legislative Assembly of Northern Territory is making a major contribution to the CPA and it gives us an excellent opportunity to promote the Northern Territory to Parliamentarians from all around the Commonwealth.”

Members of Parliament representing the nine regions of the CPA – Africa; Asia; Australia; British Islands & Mediterranean; Canada; Caribbean, Americas & Atlantic; India; Pacific; and South East Asia – attended the Executive Committee and a series of events aimed at furthering the governance of the Association. The CPA Executive Committee meetings were opened with a formal ceremony at Parliament House with a traditional aboriginal performance by the Red Flag dance troupe from Numbulwar.

The Chairperson of the CPA Executive Committee, Hon. Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury MP, Speaker of the Parliament of Bangladesh chaired the meetings in Darwin, Australia. The CPA Chairperson said: “The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Executive Committee is delighted to visit the Legislative Assembly of Northern Territory in Darwin, Australia as hosts of the CPA Mid-Year Executive Committee and are encouraged by their commitment to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. Their achievements this week show that all CPA Branches, big and small, can play an active role in the CPA to further our shared goals of parliamentary strengthening and sharing best practice. The Northern Territory Branch stands proud as part of the CPA, able to demonstrate remarkable innovations which creates a great source of learning for other parliaments in the CPA.”   

The CPA Vice-Chairperson, Hon. Emilia Monjowa Lifaka, MP, Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of Cameroon and Regional Representative for the Africa Region; the CPA Treasurer, Hon. Vicki Dunne, MLA, Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of the Australian Capital Territory; the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) Chairperson, Hon. Dato’ Noraini Ahmad, MP, Malaysia; and the CPA Small Branches Chairperson, Hon. Anġlu Farrugia MP, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Malta also attended the meetings.

The Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), Mr Akbar Khan welcomed the Members of the Executive Committee to the Mid-Year Meeting. Executive Committee Members attended various meetings over several days including the Coordinating Committee, Finance Subcommittee and Planning and Review Subcommittee to review the CPA’s Annual Reports, Audited Accounts and Budget Planning and the work of the CPA. 

During the CPA delegation’s visit to the Northern Territory of Australia, Executive Committee Members also attended a reception at Government House Darwin hosted by His Honour Hon. Mr John Hardy AO, Administrator of the Northern Territory and HM The Queen’s Representative in the Territory; and the Chief Minister’s Reception at the Royal Flying Doctor Service facility at Stokes Hill Wharf hosted by Hon. Mr Michael Gunner MLA, Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, Australia.

Following the CPA Executive Committee, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Headquarters Secretariat delegation also held a CPA Roadshow for Schools and Universities at Taminmin College in Darwin with local Parliamentarians from the Northern Territory.

For images of the CPA Mid-Year Executive Committee please click here.

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 Members of the CPA Executive Committee in attendance were:
CPA Officers and Co-ordinating Committee: Hon. Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury MP – CPA Chairperson (Bangladesh); Hon. Emilia Monjowa Lifaka, MP, CPA Vice-Chairperson and Regional Representative for the Africa Region (Cameroon); CPA Treasurer, Hon. Vicki Dunne, MLA (Australian Capital Territory); Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) Chairperson, Hon. Dato’ Noraini Ahmad, MP (Malaysia); CPA Small Branches Chairperson, Hon. Anġlu Farrugia MP (Malta).
Africa Region: Hon. Ronald Machana Shamukuni, MP (Botswana - alternate for Hon. Mutimura Zeno, MP, Rwanda); Hon. Themba Msibi, MP (Swaziland); Hon. Lindiwe Maseko, MP (South Africa alternate for Rt Hon. Arc Umar Buba Jibril, MP, Nigeria); Hon. Bernard Songa Sibalatani (Namibia); Hon. Lazarous Chungu Bwalya, MP (Zambia).
Asia Region: Hon. Mian Tariq Mehmood MPA (Punjab, Pakistan); Hon. Imran Ahmad MP (Bangladesh); Hon. Dr Fehmida Mirza, MNA (Pakistan).
Australia Region: Hon. Kezia Purick MLA (Northern Territory); Hon. Russell Paul Wortley MLC (South Australia); Hon. John Ajaka, MLC (New South Wales)
British Islands & Mediterranean Region: Hon. Tim Crookall, MLC (Isle of Man alternate for Rt Hon. Sir Alan Haselhurst, MP, United Kingdom); Hon. Rhun ap Iorwerth AM (Wales alternate for Northern Ireland)
Canada Region: Hon. Alexandra Mendes MP (Canada Federal); Hon. Jackson Lafferty, MLA (Northwest Territories); Hon. Jacques Chagnon, MLA (Quebec alternate for Yukon)
Caribbean, Americas & Atlantic Region: Hon. Laura Tucker-Longsworth, MP (Belize).
India Region: Hon. Dr Sitasaran Sharma, MLA (Madhya Pradesh); Hon. Shri Feroze Varun Gandhi, MP (India Union); Hon. Shri Kavinder Gupta, MLA (Jammu and Kashmir).
Pacific Region: Hon. Niki Rattle (Cook Islands); Mr Paul Foster-Bell MP (New Zealand); Mr Nafoitoa Talaimanu Keti MP (Samoa).
South East Asia Region: Mr Lim Biow Chuan MP (Singapore); Hon. Datuk Seri Dr. Ronald Kiandee, MP (Malaysia); Hon. Datuk Hj. Ab. Wahab Bin Ab. Latip, MP (Malacca alternate for Hon. Datuk Wira Haji Othman Muhamad).

Published 28 April 2017.

-ENDS-

Notes to Editors: 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 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.

Social Media: Join the conversation online: Twitter @CPA_Secretariat | Facebook.com/CPAHQ | Online www.cpahq.org. Images are available on request. 

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
Email hq.sec@cpqhq.org
 
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