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Commonwealth Parliamentary Association recognises valuable contribution of Parliamentarians and parliamentary staff to healthy, thriving democracies on International Day of Parliamentarism

On International Day of Parliamentarism, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) celebrates the unique contribution of Parliamentarians and parliamentary staff to democracy in the Commonwealth and reaffirms its mission to promote knowledge of the constitutional, legislative, economic, social and cultural aspects of parliamentary democracy.

In a special video message to mark the day, the CPA Secretary-General, Stephen Twigg, emphasised the need for Parliaments and Parliamentarians to lead the recovery from the current COVID-19 pandemic. He said:

“This has been an incredibly challenging past 12 months as the people of the Commonwealth have adapted to the pandemic. Parliaments and Parliamentarians have a crucial role to play – holding governments to account, passing the necessary legislation and budgets, and speaking up for the citizens of their country. International Day of Parliamentarism enables us to remember the crucial role of Parliaments, Parliamentarians and parliamentary staff.”

In the last year, the COVID-19 emergency has made the full operation of Parliament challenging and created new threats to the sovereignty of Parliaments. Across the Commonwealth, there has been an impressive response from Parliamentarians and parliamentary staff, who have acted resolutely to maintain proper oversight of government decisions and worked hard to keep democratic processes running smoothly.

The Parliamentarians of the Commonwealth balance many different roles as elected representatives of the people. They serve as advocates for their constituents, rule-makers, scrutineers of the government and guardians of public finances.

As stated in the Commonwealth Latimer House Principles, the preservation and progression of healthy, thriving democracies relies on Parliamentarians being

"able to carry out their legislative and constitutional functions in accordance with the Constitution, free from unlawful interference".

International Day of Parliamentarianism is also an opportunity to pay tribute to the crucial contribution of parliamentary staff to democracy. Throughout the Commonwealth, Parliaments are constantly evolving to become more modern, inclusive and accessible institutions, serving as a model that others can follow. It is the leadership shown by those within Parliaments, from Clerks and Committee staff to HR, communications, and finance professionals, that drives Parliaments forward, ensuring that they remain relevant democratic institutions in the 21st century.

For 110 years, the CPA has represented the interests of Parliaments and championed democracy, good governance and best practice. Our work continues to enable Parliamentarians and officials to uphold and strengthen parliamentary democracy, the rule of law, sustainable development and human rights.

The International Day of Parliamentarism, also known as World Parliament Day, is celebrated every year on 30 June. The Day was established in 2018 through a United Nations General Assembly Resolution.


The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association connects, develops, promotes and supports Parliamentarians and their staff to identify benchmarks of good governance and the implementation of the enduring values of the Commonwealth. The CPA is an international community of around 180 Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures working together to deepen the Commonwealth’s commitment to the highest standards of democratic governance.

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Related Resources

CPA Strategic Plan 2022-2025

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Strategic Plan for 2022-2025 sets out its support for our membership of 180 Commonwealth Parliaments as well as how the organisation will advance and develop support to CPA Members through focusing on six core objectives and cross cutting themes that will be mainstreamed across CPA operations and workstreams.

Commonwealth Latimer House Principles

The Commonwealth Latimer House Principles (officially titled: Commonwealth (Latimer House) Principles on the Three Branches of Government) highlight the importance of the separation of powers between the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary to ensure effective governance and democracy. 

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.

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