67th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference

Commonwealth Parliamentarians mark World Parliament Day 2024 and highlight parliamentary diplomacy and its role in building peaceful dialogues

The International Day of Parliamentarism, also known as World Parliament Day, is celebrated every year on 30 June. It was established in 2018 through a United Nations General Assembly Resolution and the day also marks the anniversary of the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s (IPU) establishment. 2024 also marks the IPU’s 135th anniversary since its foundation on 30 June 1889.

To mark World Parliament Day 2024, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association supported the IPU’s campaign  to highlight how Commonwealth Parliaments are utilising parliamentary diplomacy.

The CPA Secretary-General, Stephen Twigg said:

“On World Parliament Day 2024, the CPA is pleased to be supporting the IPU’s campaign to highlight the role of parliamentary diplomacy in building bridges for peace and understanding as well as promoting cooperation and dialogue between Parliaments and Legislatures.”

During a recent panel discussion at the Parliament of Malaysia on ‘The power and purpose of parliamentary diplomacy: Strengthening relations among Commonwealth nations’, the CPA Secretary-General said:

“If Parliaments are to play a role in diplomacy, it can’t just be left to individuals. It has to be about having an effective, healthy and functioning parliamentary institution. Parliamentary diplomacy, alongside other forms of diplomacy including citizen diplomacy as well as the more traditional government diplomacy, is more important than ever. The CPA’s role in parliamentary diplomacy is about strengthening Parliaments, supporting individual MPs and developing strong international partnerships.”
Watch: Panel discussion on 'The Power and Purpose of Parliamentary Diplomacy: Strengthening Relations Among Commonwealth Nations' at the Parliament of Malaysia – click here



To mark World Parliament Day, the CPA has also published new blogs on:

  • Commonwealth Parliaments are playing a central part in the global drive to provide children with a healthy meal at school every day - The International Parliamentary Network for Education (IPNEd) recently published its toolkit for Parliamentarians on campaigning for school meals for all children. Find out about their campaign.
  • Connecting disability rights and accessibility in South Africa and the UK – a case study on disability rights that connects South Africa to the United Kingdom - click here.


Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians explore systemic barriers for women in politics to mark World Parliament Day 2024

To mark International Day of Parliamentarism 2024, Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians heard from leading experts exploring contemporary systemic barriers to women’s participation in politics at a CWP webinar.

Panellists reflected on different pathways to politics considering the disproportionate structural barriers women Parliamentarians face and what actions can be taken. With 2024 set to be ‘an era-defining election year’, the webinar also explored ways to encourage more women to stand for election. On average, only a quarter of Commonwealth Parliamentarians are women.

  • The panel was chaired by Hon. Kate Doust, MLC, Member of the Western Australian Legislative Council and Vice-Chairperson of the CWP network.
  • Hon. Aparajita Haque, MP from the Parliament of Bangladesh and the CWP Regional Representative for the CPA Asia Region stressed the need for a multi-stakeholder approach to empowerment and breaking barriers for Women MPs while Hon. Grace Kwelepeta, MP from the Parliament of Malawi presented her experience of Gendered Electoral Financing in Malawi and the 50:50 Gender Parity initiative to combat this barrier to political participation for Women MPs.
  • CWP President, Hon. Lynda Voltz MP from the Parliament of New South Wales discussed the huge spikes in the threat landscape for Women MPs and specifically the increase in online gender-based violence which is compounded by advancements in technology and Artificial Intelligence.
  • Dr Minna Cowper-Coles, Research Fellow at the Global Institute for Women's Leadership at King’s College London outlined how 'beyond financing constraints, women face high social and cultural barriers to political participation' and how women can help women to overcome barriers.
  • Sara Haapalainen, Gender Adviser to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) outlined the tools available to political parties as the 'gatekeepers of democracy' and how they can commit to reducing barriers to gender equality for Women MPs.

The CWP’s Gender Sensitising Parliaments Guidelines: Standards and a Checklist for Parliamentary Change show that negative gender stereotypes and socio-cultural norms are obstacles to women’s participation in politics. However, research increasingly highlights how these structural barriers are compounded by the exponential increase in harmful online activity and exposure.



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.

For media enquiries, please contact communications@cpahq.org.

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