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The CPA Secretary-General at CHOGM 2022

The CPA Secretary-General reflects on his time at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kigali, Rwanda from 20 - 25 June 2022.

Kigali 2022 brought together the Commonwealth family for the first Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) since London 2018. It was a busy and vibrant week as participants addressed some of the big challenges facing the global community in the light of the COVID pandemic.

The Communique published at the end of CHOGM was comprehensive in addressing these challenges, including the reaffirmation of the Commonwealth’s support for the CPA’s Recommended Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures. The Benchmarks play a vital role in CPA’s work and it is very welcome that they feature in the Communique.

At our last CPA Executive Committee meeting in Assam, India, and at the CPA Africa Regional Conference in Freetown, Sierra Leone, it was agreed that CHOGM provided a good opportunity to raise the important issue of the CPA’s legal status.

On the final day in Kigali, I spoke to Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Ministers, as part of the Associated Organisations’ Roundtable, and I set out the importance of the CPA gaining recognition as an international, interparliamentary organisation. I am immensely grateful to the Government of The Seychelles for their active involvement in raising the issue of CPA Status with the United Kingdom Government during CHOGM and to the Seychelles Parliament for bringing this to their Government’s attention.

Photos from CHOGM

A selection of images from the week in Kigali. Find the full selection on our Flickr page.
View the Flickr album

Photos from CHOGM

A selection of images from the week in Kigali. Find the full selection on our Flickr page.
View the Flickr album

Photos from CHOGM

A selection of images from the week in Kigali. Find the full selection on our Flickr page.
View the Flickr album

Photos from CHOGM

A selection of images from the week in Kigali. Find the full selection on our Flickr page.
View the Flickr album

Whilst in Kigali, we visited the Rwanda Parliament where we were hosted by the Speaker and met with members of the Women’s Parliamentary Forum and others. We had an excellent discussion with a particular focus on Rwanda’s exemplary record on women’s representation in Parliament.

The CPA helped organise two of the panel sessions at the Commonwealth Women’s Forum. We were joined by our outgoing CWP Chairperson, Hon. Shandana Gulzar Khan, who spoke about women’s leadership and by Hon. Regina Esparon, from The Seychelles, who spoke about women and climate change. In both sessions, there was a strong sense of urgency about the need for us all to do more to promote women’s equality and to tackle climate change.

I spoke at a panel event, as part of the Women’s Forum, which explored the importance of accountability for gender equality. One of the other panellists was Steve Letsike from South Africa who is Chairperson of the Commonwealth Equality Network (TCEN). She spoke powerfully about the challenges faced by LGBTI people in many Commonwealth countries. I was pleased to have the opportunity, whilst in Kigali, to meet with members of TCEN.

I paid a visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial which is always a powerful and emotional experience as we remember the 1994 Rwanda Genocide and learn about efforts since then to promote justice, reconciliation and peace.

 


Kwibuka27: Remembrance and Genocide Prevention

What parliamentary democracies can do to remember victims of genocide and prevent future genocides?
Listen to our podcast with Lieutenant-General Hon. Roméo Dallaire, the former Commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Rwanda; Hon. Emma Furaha Rubagumya, MP, Rwanda Chamber of Deputies; Dr. Joseph Ryarasa Nkurunziza, Executive Director, Never Again Rwanda and Dr. Kate Ferguson, Co-Executive Director, Protection Approaches.
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Let me take this opportunity to congratulate Baroness Patricia Scotland on her reappointment as the Commonwealth Secretary-General. I look forward to continuing to work closely with her and the wider Commonwealth Secretariat on our shared priorities including the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the Commonwealth Latimer House Principles and human rights.

Finally, two new members have now joined the Commonwealth – Gabon and Togo. I hope that both countries’ Parliaments will join, and become active in, the CPA.

Related Resources

CPA Recommended Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures

Building on the Commonwealth Latimer House Principles on the separation of powers, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Recommended Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures provide a framework for excellence in Commonwealth parliamentary and legislative practice.

Field Guide: CPA Recommended Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures

The Field Guide is a useful resource to support legislatures to conduct their own internal self-assessment against the CPA Recommended Benchmarks. 

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