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2020 was a year like no other. It was a difficult, tumultuous and challenging year for our Association, owing to the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic. The roadmap we had adopted during the 64th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC) in Kampala, Uganda could no longer be fully implemented as scheduled as the aforementioned pandemic resulted in restrictions on gatherings, travel bans and the cancellation or postponement of events. Nevertheless, we were able to keep our Association afloat thanks to the numerous efforts of the CPA Headquarters Secretariat and our Branches, as well as our rapid switch to virtual work and communication – which are now the world’s greatest modus operandi.
Though 2020 has been a year full of challenges, we should be ready to start 2021 with joy and enthusiasm.
The CPA Executive Committee, which was initially due to meet in April 2020 in Assam, India, eventually held a meeting virtually from 19th to 22nd August 2020. All nine regions of the CPA were represented, and all Officers of the Association were in attendance. During the meeting, key governance issues concerning the CPA were discussed and the CPA Executive Committee confirmed the recruitment of our new Secretary-General, Stephen Twigg, former Parliamentarian of the United Kingdom, who assumed his duties on 1st August 2020 and has been doing exceedingly well. We look forward to the next Mid-Year CPA Executive Committee Meeting which will take place this March.
In addition to this, the CPA Coordinating Committee has held a series of meetings, with the participation of all Coordinating Committee Members, assisted by the CPA Secretary-General and other CPA staff members.
I am grateful to the CPA Vice-Chairperson, Treasurer, CWP Chairperson, CPA Small Branches Chairperson, all CPA Branches, CPA Headquarters Secretariat and Regional Secretaries for what has been achieved in these difficult moments.
It is my greatest hope that 2021 will bring normalcy in the health sector so that we can hold our crowd-pulling event, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC), which is due to be hosted by the CPA Canada Region in Halifax, Canada in August 2021.
Let us go into 2021 by banishing worry, doubt and fear, whilst hoping that COVID-19 will be a thing of the past and pave the way for us to continue to conduct business as usual.
I would therefore like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy and prosperous 2021 and that it should bring you and your loved one’s peace, love and happiness.
Thank you all for your support. Happy New Year!
Rt Hon. Emilia Monjowa Lifaka, MP
Chairperson of the CPA Executive Committee
Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Cameroon