The Parliamentarian 2017: Issue One - Conference Issue

The Parliamentarian is the quarterly Journal of Commonwealth Parliaments published by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) and features articles and news written by Members of Parliament and Parliamentary staff across the Commonwealth about international issues.
 
A COLLABORATIVE COMMONWEALTH: UNITY, DIVERSITY AND COMMON CHALLENGES

This issue of The Parliamentarian reports on the 62nd Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference, which took place in London, United Kingdom from 11 to 17 December 2016.

Over 400 Commonwealth Parliamentarians from across the world gathered for the 62nd Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC), hosted by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Headquarters Secretariat.

Commonwealth Parliamentarians focused on what unites them to find global solutions. Workshops and debates were held during the conference on a wide range of topics including the role of the Commonwealth in fostering freedom of religion or belief; ending violence against women and girls; the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); Climate Change; and the radicalisation of young people. Conference reports from all of the main workshops and sessions appear in this issue of The Parliamentarian along with the main recommendations for each workshop.

The opening ceremony of the 62nd Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference featured three keynote addresses which are published in this issue of The Parliamentarian. The Chairperson of the CPA International Executive Committee, Hon. Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury MP, Speaker of the Parliament of Bangladesh urged Commonwealth Parliamentarians to work together to find common solutions to global issues while the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Mr Akbar Khan gave the keynote plenary on the main conference theme. The Commonwealth Secretary-General, Rt Hon. Patricia Scotland QC also addressed the conference and her speech is published in this issue.

The 5th triennial Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) Conference was held on 14 and 15 December 2016 with over 100 Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians attending the conference from 43 countries and 56 Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Branches across the Commonwealth. Reports of the CWP conference sessions are published in this issue of The Parliamentarian.

The 35th CPA Small Branches Conference was held on 13 December 2016 with forty-seven Members of Parliaments and Legislatures from 26 CPA Small Branches attending the conference. The reports of this conference are also published in this issue of The Parliamentarian.

Alongside the substantive conference workshops and the CPA governance meetings, the 62nd CPC also saw a number of additional events which are reported on this issue.

The CPA Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic Regional ‘Hot Topic’ Forum on the ‘hot topic’ of the region - ‘Seeking to Increase Women’s Political Participation’ is featured as well as the inaugural Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Lecture which was held at the 62nd CPC with former Lord Speaker of the UK Parliament’s House of Lords, Rt Hon. Baroness D’Souza CMG PC.

Reports of The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) side event for Commonwealth Parliamentarians on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3: Tobacco Control Frameworks and effective Parliamentary Oversight is featured in this issue and a report by Baroness Berridge from the Commonwealth Initiative for Freedom of Religion and Belief (CIFoRB) outlines the event held on ‘Engaging Effectively with Freedom of Religion or Belief’.

In addition to the reports of the 62nd Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference, this issue of The Parliamentarian also reports on the 8th Commonwealth Youth Parliament (CYP8) which was hosted by the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia in Canada from 6 to 10 November 2016. Hon. Linda Reid MLA, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia reports on the events of the 8th Commonwealth Youth Parliament and hosting over 60 young participants representing the different regions of the Commonwealth while Laura Elliot shares her experiences as a young participant in the CYP8.

The Parliamentary Report and Third Reading section in this issue includes parliamentary and legislative news from Canada Federal, Quebec, India, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Australia States and Territories and the Australia Federal Parliament.

As always, we look forward to hearing your feedback and comments on this issue of The Parliamentarian and the issues of concern to Parliamentarians across the Commonwealth. 

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