Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA)  

The 7th Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) is Mr Akbar Khan.

The CPA is one of the oldest established organisations in the Commonwealth. Founded in 1911, it is a membership association which brings together Members, irrespective of gender, race, religion or culture, who are united by community of interest, respect for the rule of law and individual rights and freedoms, and by the pursuit of the positive ideals of parliamentary democracy. The Association is made up of over 180 Branches across the nine regions of the Commonwealth. It offers a vast opportunity for Parliamentarians and parliamentary staff to collaborate on issues of mutual interest and to share good practice. 

Mr Akbar Khan was appointed by the 61st General Assembly of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) in October 2015 and he took up his post in January 2016. Mr Khan was recommended to the 61st General Assembly by the Association’s International Executive Committee, which is made up of representatives of the nine regions of the CPA – Africa; Asia; Australia; British Islands and Mediterranean; Canada; Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic; India; Pacific; South-East Asia. 

The CPA Secretary-General, was born in Guyana, South America before moving to the United Kingdom. Mr Khan is an honours graduate in both International Law from the University of Cambridge (Jesus College) and in English Law from the University of Reading (UK). Following graduation, Mr Khan qualified at the English Bar as a Barrister-at-Law (1990) and subsequently as an Attorney-at-Law at the New York Bar in 2000 (USA). He is also a qualified Workplace Investigator for Misconduct.

Mr Khan has practised at the English Bar and has worked in the fields of international law and human rights for the United Nations Organisation in Geneva and the Palestinian Territories (Gaza). He joined Her Majesty’s Diplomatic Service at the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 2003 as a legal adviser and has held several diplomatic positions. These include Head of the International Law Section at the British Embassy, The Hague representing British legal interests before the International Courts and United Nations Tribunals. This was followed by a period of special leave in which he served as the Director of Legal Affairs and Principal Legal Counsel to the Commonwealth Secretary-General at the Commonwealth Secretariat. In 2012, as Head of the Commonwealth Delegation he led the high-level fact finding mission to the Republic of the Maldives to establish the circumstances behind the transfer of executive power.

Between 2013/15 he headed the UK Delegation to the International Meetings of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS), and Chaired the CGPCS Working Group on Capacity Building off the Horn of Africa. In recognition of his contribution to promoting the international rule of law and good governance he was appointed a Member of the prestigious World Economic Forum Global Council on the Rule of Law (2012 -2013). He was also featured as one of the ‘Leaders’ on the Rule of Law by The Hague Institute on the Internationalisation of Law (HiiL).

Mr Khan is currently an Independent Member of the Audit Committee for the London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames; a Legally Qualified Chair (LQC) of the Police Misconduct Panels; and is a Board Level Diversity Champion for ParliREACH, a UK Parliamentary staff association that promotes race, ethnicity and cultural heritage.

Images of the Secretary-General are available on request.

For more information about the CPA staff at the CPA Headquarters Secretariat please click here.

For further information about the CPA, please contact:
Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA)
CPA Secretariat
, c/o Richmond House, Houses of Parliament, London SW1A 0AA, United Kingdom.
T: +44 (0)20 7799 1460. F: +44 (0)20 7222 6073.

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