Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
Commonwealth Day 2019
'A Connected Commonwealth'
Monday 11 March 2019

Commonwealth Day will be observed in 2019 on Monday 11 March 2019.  The theme will be 'A Connected Commonwealth'.

A new theme is chosen annually for Commonwealth Day, and as a focus for activities undertaken during the ensuing year led by the Governments of Commonwealth member states and by Commonwealth organisations including the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. Themes are agreed in consultation with representatives of Commonwealth civil society.

In 2019, the Commonwealth will mark the 70th anniversary of the modern Commonwealth, and the theme ‘A Connected Commonwealth’ speaks of the enduring practical value and global engagement made possible as a result of the determination of our culturally diverse and widely dispersed family of nations to cooperate and work together in friendship and goodwill.

Our Parliaments, governments, institutions and people connect at many levels, including through universities and civil society organisations. We work together to protect our natural environment and the ocean which we share and that connects many of our nations shore to shore. We cooperate on trade to encourage inclusive economic empowerment for all people - particularly women, youth and marginalised communities. We take part in friendly sporting rivalry and encourage our young people to participate in sport for development and peace. As a connected Commonwealth we collaborate by varied means in ever closer accord around the shared values and principles of the Commonwealth Charter.

Observance of Commonwealth Day 2019 at the CPA Headquarters 
The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, through the CPA Headquarters Secretariat, will celebrate Commonwealth Day with a programme for our young citizens. This programme remains one of the most popular in the Association’s calendar. The arrangements that the CPA Headquarters Secretariat has made for the Observance of the Day in London have resulted in much positive feedback and over the years, we have used different methods to reinforce the benefits derived by the young people who attend. 

The one-day programme in London will include: 
Discussions on the Commonwealth and specifically on the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and our contribution to parliamentary democracy;
Short debates or other presentations on current critical issues in the Commonwealth;
Attendance at the Commonwealth Day Observance at Westminster Abbey where Her Majesty The Queen, as Head of the Commonwealth, is usually present together with all Commonwealth High Commissioners in London; and 
Attendance at the Commonwealth Secretary-General’s (CSG) evening reception.

CPA Branches can nominate up to two young people, ideally one male, one female, to attend the Commonwealth Day celebrations with the CPA. If there are more nominees than the number we can accommodate, the final participants will be selected by taking account of regional and gender balance and previous Branch participation. Unfortunately, due to a limited number of tickets for the CSG’s reception, not all participants will be able to attend this event. However, there will be an alternative function organised for the remaining participants. Nominees should be within the approximate age range of 18-25, have shown an interest in Commonwealth and parliamentary affairs, displayed potential leadership qualities and (except in special instances) already have planned to be in London on Commonwealth Day or are studying or working in the UK. 

Branches wishing to nominate participants are asked to send names, contact addresses and other details (e.g. age, gender, occupation) to the CPA Headquarters Secretariat as soon as possible. Due to the increasing demand for places nominations received at a later date cannot be considered. CPA Branches can contact the CPA Headquarters Secretariat for more information on nominations via hq.sec@cpahq.org.

Observance of Commonwealth Day 2019 in CPA Branches
In addition to the activities taking place in London, UK, Commonwealth Day will also be observed on Monday 11 March 2019 in CPA Branches and across the Commonwealth.
 
The CPA Headquarters Secretariat has set aside some funding to facilitate the organisation of Commonwealth Day programmes by CPA Branches. Grants will be made to Branches on the basis of activities and projects run by, or for, young people. Awards will be more generous to those Branches which can demonstrate innovation, for example in developing a website for young people or in establishing a Youth Parliament to commemorate Commonwealth Day. Many Branches have been successful in obtaining additional sources of funds through the British Council and High Commissions of possible donor countries for further Commonwealth Day activities. 

CPA Branches are invited to submit details of any event planned for Commonwealth Day 2019 in order to apply for funding from the CPA Headquarters Secretariat. Awards will be based on the merit of proposals received and, as usual, with due regard to achieving regional balance in the distribution of funds. Branches are required to submit a short report to the CPA Headquarters Secretariat after the event on the outcomes of the final project and are also required to submit invoices detailing how the funds were utilised. Details of the proposed Commonwealth Day programme and a statement of how any bursary/award money will be spent should be sent to the CPA Headquarters Secretariat as soon as possible. Requests should be addressed to the CPA Secretary-General and the Programmes team.

For further details of all of the CPA activities and programmes on Commonwealth Day 2019 please contact the CPA Headquarters Secretariat via hq.sec@cpahq.org.  

To read about the CPA's activities for Commonwealth Day in 2018 please click here.


Web page updated 17/01/2019/CPAHQ/JH