CPA Parliamentary Academy
Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference

Virtual CPC Workshops

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Event Details

Dates: Various, December 2021/January 2022

Location: Online


In the lead up to the 65th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC), to be held in Halifax, Canada in August 2022, we are continuing our Virtual CPC Workshop series focussing on major issues that Commonwealth Parliamentarians grapple with every day. Each workshop will have a strong focus on the COVID-19 global pandemic and sustainable development.

To find out more about each of the upcoming workshops, scroll down and click on a title.


The Virtual CPC Workshops will be hosted on Zoom and require advance registration.

To register for a workshop, choose the workshop you would like to attend below and click the link to complete a registration form.

Important: Each workshop has a unique registration link. If you are planning to attend multiple workshops, please remember to register separately for each workshop.


Upcoming Workshops

Click + to find out more and register
2 Dec: How NHRIs and Parliaments can Protect and Promote Disability Rights



Date: 2 December 2021

Time: 12:00 UTC


  • Chair: Senator Floyd Morris, Member of the Senate of Jamaica,
    Representative of Jamaica on the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • Hon. Dennitah Ghati, Member of the National Assembly of Kenya and Chairperson of Commonwealth Parliamentarians with Disabilities
  • Caroline Waters OBE, Deputy Chair of the UK's Equality and Human Rights Commission
  • Hon. Eugene Mussolini MP, Member of the Rwandan Chamber of Deputies for Persons with Disabilities
  • Richard Rieser, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Disabled Person's Forum
  • Bonface Massah, Commissioner, Malawi Human Rights Commission

This session will bring together the Commonwealth Parliamentarians with Disabilities (CPwD) network and the Commonwealth Forum for National Human Rights Institutions (CFNHRI) to discuss how the rights of the Commonwealth’s citizens with disabilities can be defended and how their representation in democratic institutions can be improved, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath. The session will have a particular focus on how these rights can be addressed by the Parliaments of the Commonwealth in the legislation that they pass.

The workshop will be translated in American Sign Language (ASL) and live transcription will be provided by a palantypist (speech to text reporter).

Contact: Clive Barker, Programmes Manager, 


Click to register ->


7 Dec: Representation and Diversity in Democracy



Date: 7 December 2021

Time: 16:00 UTC

Speakers will be announced in due course

In the lead-up to International Human Rights Day, the CPA will bring together leading experts from around the globe to look at representation and diversity in democracy. Through the lens of gender, disabilities, LGBT+ and indigenous peoples, the webinar will examine how Parliaments should engage, represent and reflect the full spectrum of diversities within their countries and communities. Panellists will address questions including:

  • What initiatives should be established to increase representation of, or attract candidates from, under-represented or marginalised communities?
  • How can current Parliamentarians secure better access and opportunities?
  • Who should Parliamentarians be engaging with and how?
  • Are quotas the solution?
  • How do Commonwealth democracies move beyond symbolism and tokenism to embed change and sustainability to ensure Parliaments and all democratic institutions give the people power?
  • How has diversity and inclusion been hindered by COVID-19?
  • How do they interconnect with achieving the Sustainable Development Goals?


Contact: Matthew Salik, Head of Programmes, 


Click to register ->


9 Dec: Relationships between State and Sub-State Parliaments in the Commonwealth



Date: 9 December 2021

Time: 08:00 UTC


  • Chair: Joy Burch MLA, Speaker of the Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly
  • KK Kailash, Professor of Political Science at Hyderabad Central University
  • Peter Edge, Professor of Law, Oxford Brookes University 
  • Mark Egan, CEO of the Parliament of Jersey
  • TBC

The concept of federalism in parliamentary democracy varies greatly depending on the jurisdiction. However, the relations between both state and sub-state legislatures in the Commonwealth have never been more important than they are currently, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This session will look at three main themes: the relationship between state and sub-state parliaments, the function of federal Parliaments, and the unique challenges of sub-state Parliaments.

Contact: Clive Barker, Programmes Manager, 


Click to register ->


11 Jan: Parliamentary Responses to Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism

Date: 11 January 2022

Time: 14:00 UTC



  • John Mckay MP, Member of the House of Commons of Canada
  • Christopher Hockey, Research Fellow, RUSI
  • Hana Dogovic, Programme Officer, Ad Hoc Committee on Countering Terrorism, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly 

Parliament plays a central role in preventing and countering terrorism and violent extremism. Through law-making, budgeting and oversight processes, as well as representing citizens and working and with vulnerable communities and individuals, Parliamentarians actively contribute to national and international counter-terrorism efforts. Parliaments can work to ensure governments comply with international obligations, and utilise parliamentary scrutiny mechanisms such as committees, inquiries, and public platforms to hold the government to account and raise the profile of issues.

The session will be an interactive dialogue between Commonwealth Parliamentarians intimately involved in policy and legislative responses to terrorism and violent extremism, as well as leading practitioners in the field.

Contact: Jack Hardcastle, Programmes Manager, 


Click to register ->


Previous Virtual CPC Workshops

February / March 2021

In February and March 2021, over 200 Commonwealth Parliamentarians, parliamentary staff and international experts from a wide range of organisations came together to examine some of the most pressing, universal challenges faced by democracies worldwide in a series of virtual workshops.

The Virtual CPC Workshop series, hosted by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), brought together elected representatives, parliamentary officials, international organisations and leading academics for five workshops, held over the course of two weeks. Topics examined included: climate change; International Humanitarian Law; democracy and social media; disability representation; and youth activism.

Read the full report ->

Re-watch the workshops

All the Virtual CPC Workshops are available on the CPA YouTube channel

Find out more

Got a question? Get in touch

If you have any questions regarding the Virtual CPC Workshop series, please contact Matthew Salik, Head of Programmes: