CPA Small Branches News 2020-2021

January 2021

Empowering small parliaments to tackle big challenges: CPA Small Branches network launches new three-year Strategic Plan  
The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Small Branches network has officially launched its new Strategic Plan for 2021 – 2023, charting an ambitious path for the network over the next three-year period. The Strategic Plan sets out the CPA Small Branches network’s priorities, contained within a strategic framework of outcomes, outputs and thematic priorities and is guided by a clear and powerful statement of intent

December 2020

‘All politics is local’ agree Bermudian Parliamentarians at CPA Post-Election Seminar 
Bermudian Parliamentarians have come together to discuss their responsibilities as representatives and learn from others across the Commonwealth at a three-day virtual Post-Election Seminar organised by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA). The seminar, held virtually from 1-3 December 2020, was designed to provide Bermudian Parliamentarians with an overview of their role and to explore the different parliamentary processes that they will participate in. 

November 2020

A valuable resource in strengthening the capacity of Parliaments – CPA Small Branches publishes Handbook on Lay Members for Commonwealth Parliaments
The CPA Small Branches network has launched its new ‘Handbook on Lay Members for Commonwealth Parliaments’, that serves as an information resource for encouraging the adoption of lay members into parliamentary systems. Although this handbook is more notably for the benefit of small states and territories, its contents are no doubt a valuable resource for all Commonwealth jurisdictions.

September 2020

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association hosts its second virtual post-election seminar in the Caribbean Region for newly elected Members of the House of Assembly of Dominica
Following the success of the first virtual Post-Election Seminar hosted by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) in Anguilla in July 2020, the CPA Headquarters Secretariat has hosted its second virtual seminar in the CPA Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic Region. The virtual CPA Post-Election Seminar in Dominica took place over the course of three days, from 23 to 25 September 2020. The workshops delivered within this programme sought to equip new and returning Parliamentarians with an in-depth understanding of parliamentary practice and procedure and the relevant skills required of them in their new roles as representatives.

August 2020

Key role of Parliamentarians and policy makers in promoting biodiversity in Small Island Developing States is highlighted at CPA and UNESCO webinars
Global leaders and experts from across the world have highlighted the role of legislators and decision-makers in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) on biodiversity and the Sustainable Development Agenda. Two online webinars were convened by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Small Branches network and UNESCO’s Small Islands and Indigenous Knowledge Section. 

July 2020

Virtual graduation ceremony held for Commonwealth Parliamentarians from small jurisdictions completing CPA course with McGill University
Commonwealth Parliamentarians from across the world joined a virtual graduation ceremony for the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Fundamentals Programme on Practice and Procedure for CPA Small Branches delivered in partnership with McGill University in Canada. The accredited programme for newly elected Parliamentarians provides guidance on international practices of parliamentary democracy with a particular focus on the smallest jurisdictions in the Commonwealth. 

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association joins Caribbean-focused webinar on gender responsiveness and disaster resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic
The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Headquarters Secretariat joined a number of international partners for the ParlAmericas webinar on gender-responsiveness and disaster resilience during COVID-19. The webinar was hosted in partnership with UN Women Caribbean and the Parliament of St Lucia and it brought together Parliamentarians, technical staff and representatives of civil society from across the Caribbean and Americas. 

Newly elected Members of the Anguilla House of Assembly benefit from Commonwealth expertise at the CPA’s first ever virtual post-election seminar
Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Secretary-General Elect, Mr Stephen Twigg addressed newly elected Members of the Anguilla House of Assembly at the opening of the CPA’s first ever fully virtual post-election seminar last week. The Seminar, which is the CPA’s longest running programme, was delivered for the first-time fully virtually with panellists presenting from across the Commonwealth, due to travel restrictions in place during the COVID-19 global pandemic. 

February 2020

Overcoming trade barriers for small jurisdictions highlighted at 45th Session of the Steering Committee of the Parliamentary Conference on the World Trade Organisation 
The former Chairperson of the CPA Small Branches, Hon. Angelo Farrugia MP, Speaker of the Parliament of Malta has represented the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) at the 42nd Session of the Steering Committee of the Parliamentary Conference on the World Trade Organisation (WTO), in Brussels, Belgium on 20 February 2020. The Speaker of Malta spoke about overcoming trade barriers for the smallest jurisdictions including fisheries subsidies and also highlighted the greater impact of climate change on small states as an important issue in relation to the impact of trade processes.

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The CPA’s Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures are helping the smallest of Parliaments in the Commonwealth to identify benchmarks of good governance and parliamentary standards 
Reinforcing the belief that effective Parliaments are one of the principal institutions of any functioning democracy, the CPA Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures provide a minimum standard and a guide on how a Parliament should be constituted and how it should function. The CPA Headquarters Secretariat has been engaged recently in assisting CPA Branches to conduct self-assessments using the CPA’s Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures. Recently the CPA Anguilla Branch and the House of Assembly of Anguilla became the eleventh Commonwealth Legislature to use the framework to conduct an Assessment.

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Climate Change and Small States: Parliamentarian’s Toolkit launched by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association 
The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association launches new toolkit for Parliamentarians on Climate Change and Small States - a practical guide supporting Parliamentarians from CPA Small Branches to be effective legislators in combating climate change. The new Climate Change toolkit was launched by the CPA Small Branches Chairperson and Speaker of the Cook Islands Parliament, Hon. Niki Rattle; the Speaker of Malta, Hon. Angelo Farrugia; and the Acting CPA Secretary-General, Mr Jarvis Matiya.

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January 2020

Commonwealth Parliamentarians from small jurisdictions meet in Malta to discuss sustainable ways of boosting their economies   
Over 20 senior Parliamentarians from jurisdictions across the Commonwealth have met in Malta to discuss sustainable ways of boosting their economies. The CPA programme was hosted by the Parliament of Malta and delivered by the CPA Headquarters Secretariat in partnership with the Commonwealth Small States Centre of Excellence. It discussed trade opportunities for small states, the development of the tourism sector, education, integration and equality, renewable energy and energy independence, ocean management and climate change and food security.

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Young people encouraged to play a positive role in democracy as Commonwealth Parliamentary Association brings CPA Roadshows to Gibraltar   
The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) has held two CPA Roadshows in Gibraltar aimed at introducing young people to the work of the CPA, the importance of the Commonwealth family and the CPA’s vital role in the democratic process. The CPA Roadshows were delivered by the CPA Acting Secretary-General, Mr Jarvis Matiya, and by the Deputy Chief Minister of Gibraltar, Hon. Dr Joseph Garcia, in his capacity as Minister with responsibility for relations with the Commonwealth.

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