Commonwealth Parliamentarians focus on ensuring greater sustainability for the smallest jurisdictions across the Commonwealth at 39th CPA Small Branches Conference in Ghana
Following several recent natural disasters that have affected the smallest jurisdictions in the Commonwealth, Parliaments and Governments are increasingly required to prepare for different eventualities.
Commonwealth Parliamentarians met at the 39th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Small Branches Conference to examine the unique challenges they face in mobilising resources for greater sustainability.
Delegates at the 39th CPA Small Branches Conference in Accra, Ghana. For further images please click here. Image credits: CPA Headquarters/Parliament of Ghana.
The conference discussed strategies to meet the unique developmental needs of the CPA’s smallest Legislatures through key thematic workshops that helped to build parliamentary capacity for the CPA Small Branches and create greater opportunities for the sharing of knowledge, parliamentary strengthening and cooperation across the network.
The CPA Small Branches Chairperson, Joy Burch, MLA, Speaker of the Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly said:
“The CPA Small Branches Conference helps to build capacities for the small Parliaments and Legislatures of the Commonwealth and create greater and more constant opportunities for the sharing of knowledge and cooperation across the CPA network. The CPA Small Branches come together to address their common difficulties, common strengths and their shared experiences.”
The CPA Small Branches network highlighted the importance of tackling climate change and disaster risk management for the Commonwealth, especially its 31 small and developing states which are often the least polluting but the first casualties of climate change.
The CPA Secretary-General, Stephen Twigg said:
“The CPA works with its Small Branches network across the Commonwealth in strengthening parliamentary democracy. The smallest of the CPA’s Legislatures seek to meet the same expectations of service delivery as larger Legislatures and in doing so, they recognise the importance of constantly innovating in the face of fiscal and human resource constraints; and the threats in the face of natural disasters and climate change to some of the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable.”
The CPA Small Branches Conference included four plenary sessions exploring key themes proposed by the Membership:
- The Impact of Population Changes on Small Jurisdictions;
- Small Parliaments Working Together: Services and Resource Sharing;
- Building Independent Parliaments: Ensuring Financial and Administrative Autonomy;
- Tackling Climate Change Through Environmental Impact Assessments.
To find out more about the workshops and to read the recommendations and additional resources please click here.
In the margins of the conference, the CPA Small Branches Steering Committee met to discuss the strategic direction for the network.
Above: Members of the CPA Small Branches Steering Committee at their meeting in Ghana. For further images please click here.
The CPA Small Branches Steering Committee comprises the CPA Small Branches Chairperson and nine Commonwealth Parliamentarians who represent the nine Regions of the CPA with Small Branches: Africa; Asia; Australia; British Isles and the Mediterranean; Canada; Caribbean, Americas and the Atlantic; India; Pacific; and South-East Asia.
Of the almost 180 Branches of the CPA, forty-nine Branches are classified as ‘Small Branches’. The classification for CPA Small Branches was changed by the CPA General Assembly last year to raise the population threshold to one million people.
Examples of CPA Small Branches include Commonwealth countries such as Barbados and Tonga, as well UK Overseas Territories such as Turks and Caicos or states and provinces within larger countries like Northwest Territories in Canada or the Northern Territory in Australia.
The 39th CPA Small Branches Conference took place as part of the wider 66th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in Accra, Ghana.
Further information about the 66th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC) can be found at the official conference website and also at the 66th CPC Hub.
On social media follow the hashtag #66CPC
Images of the 66th CPC are also available at the CPA's Flickr page.
The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) organises its annual Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC) to address global political issues and developments in the parliamentary system through conference workshops and sessions for leading Parliamentarians representing Parliaments and Legislatures throughout the Commonwealth.
The CPA is an international community of almost 180 Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures working together to deepen the Commonwealth’s commitment to the highest standards of democratic governance.
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