The Parliamentarian
2020: Issue Three: United Nations at 75: The Commonwealth and the UN

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.
In 2020, the United Nations is commemorating its 75th anniversary, marking the anniversary of the signing of the UN Charter on 26 June 1945. This year, the UN will mark this anniversary on UN Day on 24 October 2020 and through observance ceremonies in New York, with a one-day high-level meeting of the UN General Assembly planned for Monday 21 September 2020 on the theme of 'The Future We Want, the UN We Need: Reaffirming our Collective Commitment to Multilateralism'.

The United Nations is marking its 75th anniversary at a time of great disruption for the world, compounded by an unprecedented global health crisis with severe economic and social impacts. COVID-19 is a stark reminder of the need for cooperation across borders, sectors and generations.

Throughout their shared histories, the relationship between the United Nations and the Commonwealth has been co-operative and the common goals of both organisations has been apparent. The UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Commonwealth Charter have many shared aspirations. There are many global issues that require a response from both organisations including climate change, global inequality, gender equality, justice and human rights, youth engagement, technological development and population growth. 

This issue of The Parliamentarian marks the 75th anniversary of the United Nations and explores the relationship between the Commonwealth and the UN.

In this issue of The Parliamentarian, the Chairperson of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Executive Committee, Hon. Emilia Monjowa Lifaka, MP (Cameroon) in her View article shares her message celebrating International Day of Parliamentarism in June 2020 and also marks the 75th anniversary of the United Nations. 

The Chairperson of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP), Hon. Shandana Gulzar Khan, MNA (Pakistan), writes about financial inclusivity for women in the Commonwealth and asks is this the ultimate challenge and barrier in the post-COVID-19 world?

The CPA Small Branches Chairperson, Hon. Niki Rattle, Speaker of the Parliament of the Cook Islands writes about celebrating the 75th anniversary of the United Nations and the recent work of the CPA Small Branches network with UNESCO to highlight global biodiversity policy in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) through a series of webinars.
The new CPA Secretary-General, Mr Stephen Twigg in his first View article for The Parliamentarian focuses on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and outlines that they are at the heart of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association's global mission.

The CPA is delighted to publish an article by eminent former diplomat Sir Peter Marshall who has worked both with the Commonwealth Secretariat and the United Nations as he examines 75 years of international symbiosis between the Commonwealth and the United Nations.

The Speaker of the 17th Lok Sabha in the Parliament of India, Hon. Shri Om Birla writes about the impact of the United Nations in Commonwealth countries and in particular, about the relationship between India and the UN.

The Secretary-General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Mr Martin Chungong writes about making the United Nations more effective and the need for greater inclusion of Parliamentarians in its decision making and policy processes.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has carefully focused on the delivery of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in its global work and in their joint article, Mr Charles Chauvel, UNDP Global Lead, Inclusive Processes and Ms Agata Walczak, UNDP Parliamentary Project Manager examine 'The Future We Want, the UN We Need: Reaffirming our Collective Commitment to Multilateralism'.

United Kingdom Parliamentarian, Lord Stewart Wood of Anfield reflects on the United Nations at 75 and looks at the institution from the perspective of an academic, a Parliamentarian and as the Chair of a UN Association (UNA-UK).

The importance of youth engagement with Parliaments is critical to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Ms Jayathma Wickramanayake gives her perspective.

Both the UN and the Commonwealth have highlighted gender equality in their global goals and in this issue of The Parliamentarian, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka writes about the power of women’s leadership and its importance for a more inclusive and collaborative future.

The future of gender equality and the empowerment of women in the Commonwealth as well as marking UN Women’s 10th anniversary and the work of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) is highlighted in an article by the CPA Headquarters Secretariat’s Ms Bénite Dibateza.
In addition to celebrating the UN at 75, this issue of The Parliamentarian also examines other current issues in the Commonwealth.

The Education portfolio is one of the most important in government. A former Education Minister from Yukon, Canada, Mr Patrick Rouble gives an insight into his experience of the role.

Reforms by the Judiciary have resulted in the decriminalising of parts of the electoral system in India and this is examined by Mr Vivek K. Agnihotri, former Secretary-General of Rajya Sabha at the Parliament of India.

In the second of a three-part series for The Parliamentarian, Parliamentary Consultant at the Lok Sabha Secretariat at the Parliament of India, Mr Ravindra Garimella, looks at the origins and history of some of the parliamentary expressions and practices used in Commonwealth Legislatures and focuses on the different colours used in the architecture of many Commonwealth Parliaments.

The Parliamentary Report and Third Reading section in this issue includes parliamentary and legislative news from Canada Federal; Trinidad and Tobago; India; New Zealand; United Kingdom; and Australia Federal. 

The CPA Headquarters Secretariat would also like to thank Dr Jayadev Sahu, Director at the Lok Sabha Secretariat for his dedication and commitment as the parliamentary correspondent for the Parliament of India for The Parliamentarian for the last 20 years and for his parliamentary service to the Lok Sabha Secretariat on his retirement. His parliamentary reports and articles about the Parliament of India for the last 20 years have provided a record of events for future generations and a source of interest for other Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures who want to share their experiences of parliamentary democracy. 
We look forward to hearing your feedback and comments on this issue of The Parliamentarian, on the issues affecting Parliamentarians across the Commonwealth and to receiving your future contributions to this publication.

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Updated 24/08/2020/CPAHQ