November 2020



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.



Maintaining independent and effective Parliaments during COVID-19 pandemic is underlined by Commonwealth Speakers during CPA webinar for Presiding Officers
Commonwealth Speakers and Presiding Officers from Canada, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom and KwaZulu-Natal have emphasised the importance of independent Parliaments and Legislatures and the adaptations that have been made, especially during the current COVID-19 global pandemic, during the second webinar on this topic organised by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.



CPA Secretary-General highlights the important role of Commonwealth Parliamentarians in preserving peace and preventing political violence at CPA Zambia Workshop
The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Secretary-General, Stephen Twigg has highlighted the important role of Commonwealth Parliamentarians in preserving peace and preventing political violence at a workshop organised by the CPA Zambia Branch and the Parliament of Zambia.



CPA Secretary-General addresses virtual seminar for new and returning Jamaican Parliamentarians
The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Secretary-General Stephen Twigg recently welcomed new and returning Parliamentarians in Jamaica to the start of a five-week virtual seminar which will support Members to effectively carry out their duties. The seminar, organised by the Jamaican Houses of Parliament in partnership with the Management Institute for National Development (MIND) and supported by the CPA Headquarters Secretariat, will focus on training Members of Parliament to legislate and scrutinise in a transparent, accountable and efficient manner.



CPA Secretary-General highlights the importance of the Commonwealth’s active involvement in UN Sustainable Development Goals at Annual Gladwyn Lecture
The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Secretary-General Stephen Twigg has highlighted the role that the Commonwealth can play in delivering the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Speaking at the Annual Gladwyn Lecture, organised by the Council for Education in the Commonwealth, the CPA Secretary-General focused particularly on quality education (SDG4) and peace, justice and strong institutions (SDG16).



A valuable resource in strengthening the capacity of Parliaments – CPA Small Branches publishes Handbook on Lay Members for Commonwealth Parliaments
The CPA Small Branches network has launched its new ‘Handbook on Lay Members for Commonwealth Parliaments’, that serves as an information resource for encouraging the adoption of lay members into parliamentary systems. Although this handbook is more notably for the benefit of small states and territories, its contents are no doubt a valuable resource for all Commonwealth jurisdictions.




October 2020



Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Secretary-General addresses the Senate of Kenya Liaison Committee on the importance of Parliamentary Committees during COVID-19
The Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Stephen Twigg has addressed the Senate of Kenya’s Liaison Committee via video link on the work of the CPA and the role and operations of Parliaments and their Committees in the COVID-19 and post COVID-19 period.



Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) Chairperson holds virtual CWP Steering Committee
The Chairperson of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP), Hon. Shandana Gulzar Khan, MNA (Pakistan) held the bi-annual meeting of the CWP Steering Committee online to discuss the planning of future activities of the network and proposals for the CWP strategic plan.



Commonwealth Speakers emphasise the importance of independent Parliaments during COVID-19 pandemic at CPA webinar for Presiding Officers
Commonwealth Speakers and Presiding Officers from Australia, India and the Maldives have emphasised the importance of independent Parliaments and Legislatures, especially during the current COVID-19 global pandemic, during a Commonwealth Parliamentary Association webinar. The CPA webinar for Speakers and Presiding Officers of the Commonwealth provided a timely and unique opportunity to examine the nature of Parliaments as independent institutions in the context of COVID-19.



Helping Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures become Gender Sensitive Institutions: Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) launches its updated CWP Gender Sensitising Parliaments Guidelines
The Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) network has published a new set of guidelines titled CWP Gender Sensitising Parliaments Guidelines: Standards and a Checklist for Parliamentary Change to highlight the importance of gender sensitising across all Parliaments in the Commonwealth. The Guidelines build on the recommendations proposed in the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Gender Sensitising Parliaments Report that was produced in 2001 following analysis by a study group of women Parliamentarians from across the Commonwealth. Now updated to reflect the current issues that hinder the process to achieving gender equality, the new CWP Guidelines provide Commonwealth Parliaments with an outline of gender sensitising standards that they can look to achieve.



Commonwealth Parliamentary Association webinar emphasises the role of building effective partnerships with Commonwealth organisations in achieving its strategic goals for 2022-2025
The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Chairperson and Secretary-General have emphasised the key role of building effective partnerships with Commonwealth organisations in achieving the organisation’s strategic goals for 2022-2025 during a CPA webinar event. The CPA webinar on ‘The Commonwealth in 2025: Building effective partnerships’ was attended by over 40 Commonwealth organisations and partners representing a wide range of disciplines.



Combatting harassment in the parliamentary environment: Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) releases its Anti-Harassment Policy Guidelines for Commonwealth Parliaments
The Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) network has launched its new Anti-Harassment Policy Guidelines to support Parliaments across the Commonwealth in the effort to both address and remove all traces of harassment across parliamentary workplaces.



CPA Secretary-General highlights Commonwealth Parliaments’ legislative responses to COVID-19 during Rule of Law webinar
The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Secretary-General, Stephen Twigg has spoken at a webinar to discuss the legislative responses of Commonwealth Parliaments during the global COVID-19 pandemic. The CPA Secretary-General spoke about the responses from some of the CPA’s membership of 180 Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures to the need for urgent and effective legislation during the current pandemic while recognizing the challenges of maintaining legislative oversight and scrutiny.



New dates announced for annual gathering of Commonwealth Parliamentarians at 65th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in Canada
The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and the CPA Canada Region have announced that the new dates for the 65th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC), hosted by the CPA Canada Region in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, will be 21st to 27th August 2021. The annual conference has been postponed to August 2021 due to ongoing travel restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic and the quarantine restrictions in place between different countries.




September 2020



Helping Parliaments to legislate on disabilities and ensure that they represent, educate and advocate for persons with disabilities – CPwD launches two new videos to highlight the issues facing people with disabilities
The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) has published two new videos through its Commonwealth Parliamentarians with Disabilities (CPwD) network featuring current and former Parliamentarians from Australia and Jamaica to highlight the issues facing people with disabilities. These new videos on legislation and representation, education & advocacy provide guidance to Commonwealth Parliaments and their Members on how to enhance these aspects of their institutions.



Commonwealth Parliamentary Association hosts its second virtual post-election seminar in the Caribbean Region for newly elected Members of the House of Assembly of Dominica
Following the success of the first virtual Post-Election Seminar hosted by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) in Anguilla in July 2020, the CPA Headquarters Secretariat has hosted its second virtual seminar in the CPA Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic Region. The virtual CPA Post-Election Seminar in Dominica took place over the course of three days, from 23 to 25 September 2020. The workshops delivered within this programme sought to equip new and returning Parliamentarians with an in-depth understanding of parliamentary practice and procedure and the relevant skills required of them in their new roles as representatives.



Commonwealth Parliamentarians examine the response of Parliaments to global crises at virtual 49th CPA British Islands and Mediterranean Regional Conference
Over fifty Parliamentarians from more than thirteen Commonwealth countries and territories have joined a virtual conference to discuss the response of Parliaments in times of crisis with a special focus on the current COVID-19 pandemic. The 49th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) British Islands and Mediterranean (BIM) Regional Conference, was hosted by the Parliament of Malta and CPA Malta Branch with a virtual meeting from 24 to 25 September 2020. 



CPA Secretary-General joins virtual roundtable on global democracy to mark International Day of Democracy 2020
The Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Stephen Twigg marked International Day of Democracy 2020 by speaking at a virtual roundtable event on the ‘State of Democracy Globally’ organised for UK Members of Parliament and key stakeholders. The virtual roundtable was organised by the British Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (BGIPU) and chaired by former UK Foreign Office Minister and Chair of BGIPU, Rt Hon. Harriet Baldwin, MP.



International Day of Democracy 2020 highlights the importance of democratic processes during the current global pandemic as Commonwealth Parliamentarians speak about what democracy means to them
The United Nations has highlighted the importance of democratic processes to mark International Day of Democracy 2020. The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) also marked this special day and many of its 180 Branches in Parliaments and Legislatures across the Commonwealth celebrated International Day of Democracy 2020 with different events and activities. 



Helping Parliaments to become ‘disability confident’ in their communications with persons with disabilities – CPA launches its Disability Inclusive Communications Guidelines for Parliaments
The Commonwealth Parliamentarians with Disabilities (CPwD) network has published two new toolkits as part of its Disability Inclusive Communications Guidelines. These toolkits on ‘Facilities of Inclusion’ and ‘Linguistic Principles’ provide guidance to Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures on how to enhance and sensitize their communications with persons with disabilities. 



August 2020



CPA Executive Committee approves the postponement of annual gathering of Commonwealth Parliamentarians at 65th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in Canada
The CPA Executive Committee, meeting virtually from 19-22 August 2020, has approved the postponement of the 65th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC) due to be hosted by the CPA Canada Region in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada in January 2021. The decision to postpone the CPA annual conference was the result of ongoing travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 global pandemic and the quarantine restrictions in place between different countries. The CPC will now be postponed to a future date in August 2021. 



CPA Executive Committee hold virtual meeting to address key governance issues for the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
The Executive Committee of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) has held its first fully virtual meeting from 19 to 22 August 2020 chaired by the Chairperson of the Executive Committee, Hon. Emilia Monjowa Lifaka, MP, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Cameroon. The CPA Executive Committee represents the nine regions of the CPA - Africa; Asia; Australia; British Islands and Mediterranean; Canada; Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic; India; Pacific; South-East Asia. 



Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) reaffirms its core priority of promoting gender equality in Parliaments as it releases new three-year strategic plan
The Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) network has officially published the CWP Strategic Plan 2020-2022 which sets out its core priority to encourage women Parliamentarians and Commonwealth Parliaments to advance issues around gender equality and to advocate for greater representation of women in Parliaments across the Commonwealth. 



CPA Chairperson welcomes new CPA Secretary-General at virtual meeting and CPA Secretary-General sends video message to all CPA Branches at the end of his first week in office
The Chairperson of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), Hon. Emilia Monjowa Lifaka, MP, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Cameroon held a virtual meeting of the CPA Co-ordinating Committee today to welcome the new CPA Secretary-General, Mr Stephen Twigg as he started his term of office from 1 August 2020. The CPA Secretary-General also sent video message to all CPA Branches at the end of his first week in office. 



Key role of Parliamentarians and policy makers in promoting biodiversity in Small Island Developing States is highlighted at CPA and UNESCO webinars
Global leaders and experts from across the world have highlighted the role of legislators and decision-makers in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) on biodiversity and the Sustainable Development Agenda. Two online webinars were convened by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Small Branches network and UNESCO’s Small Islands and Indigenous Knowledge Section. 





July 2020



Virtual graduation ceremony held for Commonwealth Parliamentarians from small jurisdictions completing CPA course with McGill University
Commonwealth Parliamentarians from across the world joined a virtual graduation ceremony for the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Fundamentals Programme on Practice and Procedure for CPA Small Branches delivered in partnership with McGill University in Canada. The accredited programme for newly elected Parliamentarians provides guidance on international practices of parliamentary democracy with a particular focus on the smallest jurisdictions in the Commonwealth. 



Commonwealth Parliamentary Association joins Caribbean-focused webinar on gender responsiveness and disaster resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic
The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Headquarters Secretariat joined a number of international partners for the ParlAmericas webinar on gender-responsiveness and disaster resilience during COVID-19. The webinar was hosted in partnership with UN Women Caribbean and the Parliament of St Lucia and it brought together Parliamentarians, technical staff and representatives of civil society from across the Caribbean and Americas. 



Newly elected Members of the Anguilla House of Assembly benefit from Commonwealth expertise at the CPA’s first ever virtual post-election seminar
Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Secretary-General Elect, Mr Stephen Twigg addressed newly elected Members of the Anguilla House of Assembly at the opening of the CPA’s first ever fully virtual post-election seminar last week. The Seminar, which is the CPA’s longest running programme, was delivered for the first-time fully virtually with panellists presenting from across the Commonwealth, due to travel restrictions in place during the COVID-19 global pandemic. 



A ‘technological milestone’ for the CPA as it delivers its first ever virtual post-election seminar for newly elected Members of the Anguilla House of Assembly
Following its election on 29 June 2020, the newly elected Members of the House of Assembly of Anguilla will be recipients of a Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Post-Election Seminar. The Seminar, which is the CPA’s longest running programme, will be delivered for the first-time virtually with panellists presenting from across the Commonwealth, due to travel restrictions in place during the COVID-19 global pandemic. 





CPA Secretary-General Elect speaks of the importance of the SDGs with Commonwealth Scholars at UK Parliament event
The Secretary-General Elect of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), Mr Stephen Twigg, joined Government Ministers, Parliamentarians and other guest speakers at the annual event for Commonwealth Scholars. The event offered a rare opportunity for young people on the scheme to hear from Members of the UK Parliament and gain an insight into the role of Parliament in UK politics.

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CPA Secretary-General Elect joins Botswana MPs for virtual workshop on effective parliamentary oversight
The Secretary-General Elect of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Mr Stephen Twigg has joined Commonwealth Parliamentarians via video link at the Parliament of Botswana for the 12th Parliamentary Workshop on Effective Oversight this week. The virtual workshop was opened by the Speaker of the National Assembly of Botswana, Hon. P. T. C. Skelemani, MP and the Clerk of the National Assembly, Ms B. N. Dithapo and was attended by around 50 Members of the Parliament of Botswana. The four-day workshop examined parliamentary oversight and accountability and the tools available to MPs to undertake this role.

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June 2020



International Day of Parliamentarism celebrates the vital role of Parliaments especially during the current COVID-19 global pandemic
The International Day of Parliamentarism (World Parliament Day) is celebrated every year on 30 June and this year, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association is celebrating the vital role that Parliaments and Legislatures are playing during the current global COVID-19 pandemic to pass emergency laws, allocate resources and scrutinize government action. 

The CPA Headquarters Secretariat is continuing to support its membership of over 180 Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures to connect and exchange ideas during the current pandemic through innovative methods.

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New Commonwealth report provides reflections on democracy and development during postponed CHOGM 2020 week
Leaders of the Commonwealth’s 54 countries were due to meet this week in Kigali, Rwanda, at the biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting has been postponed, however a new report has been launched to reinforce the values and aspirations of the Commonwealth and discuss shared goals of democracy and development.

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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 8th CPA Secretary-General of one of the oldest established organisations in the Commonwealth.

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Commonwealth Parliamentary Association joins global webinar highlighting the vital role of the Commonwealth networks
The CPA Acting Secretary-General has delivered the keynote address at a global online webinar titled 'Vanguards in the 21st century: Optimising Commonwealth Networks’ and highlighted the key role that Commonwealth organisations play in the international community.

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May 2020



Helping Parliaments to gain greater independence from Governments – CPA launches its Model Law for Independent Parliaments
As part of its commitment to the Commonwealth Latimer House Principles, as well as its work in benchmarking Parliaments against international standards, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) has developed a Model Law for Independent Parliaments to help empower Parliaments to take control away from the Executive to ensure it has the administrative, operational and financial resources it needs to function effectively.

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Remote working during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic: CPA Masterclass videos equip Commonwealth Parliamentarians and parliamentary staff with practical techniques
Three new CPA Masterclass videos have been launched by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association to equip Commonwealth Parliamentarians and parliamentary staff with practical techniques to effectively plan and manage parliamentary responsibilities.

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Commonwealth Parliamentary Association hosts two virtual panel discussions for Clerks and parliamentary staff to share best practice on delivery of parliamentary democracy during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) global pandemic
The CPA Headquarters Secretariat held two virtual webinars for Commonwealth Clerks and parliamentary staff from across its membership of 180 Parliaments and Legislatures to share best practice on delivering parliamentary democracy during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) global pandemic.

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Presiding Officers, Parliamentarians and Clerks gather for an online meeting on virtual parliamentary sittings during the COVID-19 pandemic hosted by the CPA and ParlAmericas
The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) and ParlAmericas held an online meeting on virtual parliamentary sessions during the COVID-19 pandemic for Presiding Officers and Clerks of English-speaking Parliaments in the Americas and the Caribbean on Friday 1 May 2020. Parliamentary officials from over 30 Parliaments in the region attended the meeting virtually.

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April 2020



COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic and delivering parliamentary democracy: Toolkit launched by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
The CPA Headquarters Secretariat has conducted research amongst its membership of 180 Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures to synthesise a forward-looking ‘CPA Toolkit for Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures on the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic and delivering parliamentary democracy’. This toolkit provides various measures and recommendations that can be adopted by both Parliaments and Parliamentarians in order to continue to deliver on the Legislatures’ role of scrutinising legislation and delivering democracy during a global pandemic.

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CPA Statement: 7th CPA Secretary-General (2016-2019)
The CPA Headquarters Secretariat has released a statement regarding the outgoing 7th CPA Secretary-General.

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