Halifax, 27 August 2022 (TDI): The 65th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC) concluded on Friday, the 26th of August. The Conference was hosted by Canada this year.

It lasted from 20th August till 26th and was attended by more than 500 Parliamentarians, Secreteraits, and other officials from around the world.

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association:

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) links Parliamentarians and parliamentary staff from over 180 national, state, provincial and territorial parliaments and legislatures.

It is one of the oldest Commonwealth organizations, founded in 1911. Its mission is to promote the advancement of parliamentary democracy by enhancing knowledge and understanding of democratic governance.

Moreover, it promotes youth engagement in democracy, gender equality, and equal representation.

Its 65th Conference was hosted by Canada. The Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada, Anthony Rota chaired the Conference. Moreover, many sideline meetings between Parliamentarians also commenced during the conference.

During the 65th CPC, the participants debated several issues faced by today’s parliamentary system. Moreover, they also discussed issues of regional and international importance. Climate change, human rights, and sustainable development policies were also discussed during the conference.

Hosts of 66th and 67th CPC:

During, one of the General Assembly of CPA’s meetings, the hosts for future 66th and 67th CPC were also decided. The 66th CPC will be held in Ghana in 2024.

The CPA Ghana Branch along with the Parliament of Ghana in Accra will organize the conference from 30 September to 6 October 2023.

Additionally, the Parliament of New South Wales will host the 67th CPC in November 2024.

Election of New Chairperson and Treasurer:

During the conference, the members of the CPA elected Ian Liddell-Grainger, the Parliamentary Member of the United Kingdom as the new Chairperson of the CPA Executive Committee.

Chairperson Ian has been the Acting Chairperson of the CPA Executive Committee since April 2021.

During his tenure, the Chairperson will work with the CPA Secretary-General and the CPA Headquarters Secretariat to lead the Association. A new chairperson will be selected after three years.

Additionally, members also appointed Shri Anurag Sharma, Member of the Lok Sabha at the Parliament of India as the new CPA Treasurer. The Treasurer will work with the CPA Secretary-General and the CPA Headquarters Secretariat to monitor the finances of the Association.

Moreover, the CPA Executive Committee designated Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, Member of the Parliament of Ghana as the Vice-Chairperson of the Executive Committee.

The position of Vice-Chairperson is for a term of one year and the holder is also a Member of the CPA Co-ordinating Committee.

Workshop on Climate Emergency

During the Conference, a workshop on Climate emergency was also held. During the workshop, the parliamentarians discussed the respective accountability policies of their governments with regard to climate change.

Climate change is one of the major challenges faced today and jurisdictions across the Commonwealth face these challenges.

Recently, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) showed in a report that unless there are immediate reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, the goal of limiting global warming to even 2C will be impossible.

The workshop suggested that parliaments and parliamentarians have a critical role to play in this regard. They need to collaborate to build more effective and coordinated responses to their common concerns.

They need to ensure that the provisions of the Paris Agreement are translated into national legislation and that adequate budget allocations are made to support the implementation of relevant policies.

Moreover, the workshop emphasized that parliamentary oversight is crucial in holding governments accountable for their actions in response to climate change challenges.

During the workshop, officials learned about recent developments in the international climate change regime. Moreover, the workshop highlighted parliamentary-level work to combat climate change.

The workshop enabled parliamentarians to learn more about the important role of legislators in the domestic ratification process of the Paris Agreement.

Organizers of the workshop also discussed opportunities and challenges faced by the parliaments in this regard.

Remarks by Speaker Anthony

As the Conference concluded on Friday, the Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada, Anthony Rota expressed his pleasure in hosting the 65th CPC.

Moreover, he highlighted the importance of the Conference. Speaker Anthony said that such conferences help the parliaments in the world strengthen their bonds with each other.

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