New Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) appointed 

The Executive Committee of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) has appointed a new Secretary-General for the Association. Stephen Twigg will become the CPA Secretary-General of one of the oldest established organisations in the Commonwealth. The CPA, founded in 1911, is a membership association and parliamentary wing of the Commonwealth, which brings together Commonwealth Parliamentarians and parliamentary staff, who are united by a community of interest, respect for the rule of law and individual rights and freedoms, and by the pursuit of the positive ideals of parliamentary democracy.

The CPA membership is made up of CPA Branches in 180 Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures at national, state, provincial and territorial levels and it offers a vast opportunity for Parliamentarians and parliamentary staff to collaborate on issues of mutual interest and to share good practice.

The Chairperson of the CPA Executive Committee and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Cameroon, Hon. Emilia Monjowa Lifaka, MP, said: “On behalf of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, we welcome the appointment of the new CPA Secretary-General Elect, and the CPA Executive Committee and CPA Headquarters Secretariat look forward to working with Mr Stephen Twigg to further the work of the Association in parliamentary strengthening across the Commonwealth. His long-standing parliamentary experience will be valuable to the Association.”

The CPA Executive Committee approved the new CPA Secretary-General Elect, acting in the capacity of the General Assembly, as mandated by the 64th General Assembly held in Kampala, Uganda on 28 September 2019. The CPA Executive Committee is made up of representatives from the nine regions of the CPA: Africa; Asia; Australia; British Islands and Mediterranean; Canada; Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic; India; Pacific; South-East Asia.

The new CPA Secretary-General Elect is due to take up his appointment from 1 August 2020 for a fixed term of four years. The CPA Secretary-General Elect, Stephen Twigg is a former UK Parliamentarian, who was elected to the Parliament of the United Kingdom as a Member of Parliament from 1997 to 2005 (Enfield Southgate) and from 2010 to 2019 (Liverpool West Derby). During his parliamentary career, he held several senior positions including Chairperson of the International Development Select Committee, Minister for Schools and a range of Shadow Front Bench roles.

Prior to his parliamentary career, Stephen Twigg studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Balliol College, Oxford University. He became the youngest President of the National Union of Students in 1990-92 and was then elected as a Local Councillor in the London Borough of Islington. 

Since the 2019 General Election, Stephen Twigg has been working to set up the International Parliamentary Network for Education and has been actively involved in parliamentary strengthening with both Global Partners Governance and the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD).

Since September 2019, Mr Jarvis Matiya has been the Acting CPA Secretary-General and Director of Operations, a position that he will continue to hold until the new CPA Secretary-General Elect takes up his new position from 1 August 2020. 

To read the CPA Secretary-General's biography please click here.


Updated 15 June 2020.

Image copyright: UK Parliament.

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
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