The Parliamentarian 2018: Issue Two: Post-CHOGM 2018 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.

Following recent events, there is a renewed focus on the Commonwealth that we have not seen for a number of years. The diverse community of the 53 Commonwealth nations has an opportunity to increase its promotion of prosperity, democracy and peace and to tackle the worldwide challenges such as climate change that affect all of our global population. 

The role of the Commonwealth’s wide network of organisations – from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) and the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) through to the Commonwealth Games Federation and the Commonwealth Local Government Forum – is of huge importance in giving the Commonwealth a unique role in responding to the world’s universal challenges.

This issue of The Parliamentarian reports on a wide range of recent events and activities that have reached our membership in all nine regions of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.

This issue reports on the many events that took place prior and during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2018 and Commonwealth Summit in the United Kingdom with a wide range of activities involving Commonwealth Parliamentarians. From the opening ceremony by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace to the Commonwealth Foreign Ministers meeting at Lancaster House, all of these events had a great impact.

This issue reports from three of the four Commonwealth Forums - Women’s, People’s and Youth – which, together with the Business Forum, took place in London ahead of the main CHOGM 2018 bringing together Parliamentarians, heads of government, global leaders, business executives, civil society groups, international and women’s organisations and young people. The Commonwealth Forums were a valuable opportunity to discuss shared agendas, forge important new partnerships and celebrate common interests.  

The Chairperson of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Executive Committee, Hon. Emilia Monjowa Lifaka, MP (Cameroon) builds on the outcomes of the Commonwealth Women’s Forum in her View article on the subject of ‘Women and Politics’ and the CPA Secretary-General, Mr Akbar Khan in his View article writes about leveraging the Commonwealth network to make lasting change.

Hon. Anġelo Farrugia, MP, Chairperson of the CPA Small Branches (Malta) writes about the importance of the separation of powers to democracy in the Commonwealth, a subject he spoke about at the 2018 Commonwealth People’s Forum in London, ahead of CHOGM 2018. Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy, MP (Lok Sabha, India) gives us a view of CHOGM 2018 from India’s perspective and write of the increasing importance that his country is placing on the Commonwealth connection.

Just prior to the CHOGM 2018, the successful XXI Commonwealth Games was held in the Gold Coast in Australia. This issue hears from Queensland Government Minister for the Games, Hon. Kate Jones, MP (Queensland, Australia) about the impact of the event on the state and the country as a whole.

This issue of The Parliamentarian features an article by Rt Hon. David Hanson, MP (United Kingdom) about the CPA UK Branch’s Modern Slavery Project in partnership with the UK Government that is reaching many Commonwealth countries. 
Hon. Meraj Hamayun Khan, MPA (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan) is the Chairperson of the Women’s Parliamentary Caucus in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly and she writes about the inspiring Malala Yousafzai.

This issue celebrates the ten-year anniversary of the Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services (PIPS) with an article by its Executive Director, Mr Zafarullah Khan about the work that the Institute has undertaken in parliamentary development and youth engagement.

The CPA Recommended Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures were developed as a global tool for parliamentary benchmarking and several CPA Branches are undertaking self-assessments using the benchmarks. This issue of The Parliamentarian hears from Ciara Furlong and Amanda Honeyman from the Queensland Parliament who share their insights and experiences of the benchmarking process.

V. K. Babu Prakash, Secretary of the Kerala Legislative Assembly (Kerala, India) writes about the Indian Parliament in relation to judicial matters and the role that it plays.

On 12 March 2018, the CPA Headquarters Secretariat celebrated Commonwealth Day 2018 with young people from the Commonwealth and this issue features a report and images of the events in London alongside reports from many CPA Branches about the wide range of activities that took place across the Commonwealth from St Helena to Zanzibar, Manitoba to New Zealand. 

The 9th Commonwealth Youth Parliament took place at the States Assembly in St Helier, Jersey in a cold and wintry February earlier this year with over fifty Commonwealth youth delegates aged between 18 to 29 years old. This issue features a full report from the event and two perspectives from youth participants from Jamaica and the United Kingdom.
International Women's Day 2018 was marked by Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) and Commonwealth Parliaments across the world and this issue reports on some of the events to mark the day as well as reports of CWP regional strengthening activities and the historic unveiling of the first statue of a woman in the UK’s Parliament Square.
This issue of The Parliamentarian features news reports from the CPA Executive Committee’s Mid-Year meetings in Mauritius; the Post-Election Seminar for the National Assembly of Kenya; Parliamentary staff training organised by the Centre for Parliamentary Studies and Training (CPST) and the Parliament of Kenya in partnership with McGill University; and other CPA and Commonwealth news.

The Parliamentary Report and Third Reading section in this issue includes parliamentary and legislative news from Canada Federal, British Columbia, India, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Australia Federal. 

We look forward to hearing your feedback and comments on this issue of The Parliamentarian, on the issues of concern to Parliamentarians across the Commonwealth and to receive your future contributions.

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