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Commonwealth Parliamentary Association

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), previously known as the Empire Parliamentary Association, is an organisation which works to support good governance, democracy and human rights.

As of 1989, the CPA acknowledges as Patron – the Head of the Commonwealth, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II – and as Vice-Patron, by rotation Heads of State or Heads of Government of the Commonwealth national government hosting its upcoming annual Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference. The Association's supreme authority is the General Assembly, constituted by delegates to the annual Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference.[1] The business and activities of the CPA are managed by an Executive Committee, which reports to the General Assembly. The CPA's funds are derived from membership fees paid by its branches, as well as from two trust funds and benefactors.

The official publication of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association is The Parliamentarian, the Journal of Commonwealth Parliaments which was first published in 1919. The organisation administers the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP), a network across the Commonwealth which promotes greater representation for women in Parliament, the CPA Small Branches network, representing parliaments and legislatures with populations below 500,000 people, and the Commonwealth Youth Parliament, an annual gathering of young people hosted by a Commonwealth Parliament.

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) currently has approximately 180 branches and is divided into nine regions – Africa; Asia; Australia; British Islands and Mediterranean; Canada; Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic; India; Pacific, and South-East Asia. The CPA Headquarters Secretariat is based in London.


CPA conference, Isle of Man, October 1984
CPA African Branch meeting, 2014

The CPA was founded as the Empire Parliamentary Association in 1911, with its first branches being Australia, Canada, Newfoundland, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Kingdom, the latter branch administering the Association as a whole. In 1948 the Association changed its name to the current Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, and invited all branches to participate in the organisation's administration.


The current Chair of the CPA Executive Committee is Hon. Emilia Lifaka MP, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Cameroon. Previous Chairpersons have included Hon. Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Speaker of Jatiyo Sangsad Bhaban of Bangladesh (2014–2017),[2] who succeeded Rt Hon. Sir Alan Haselhurst MP (2011–2014), formerly Chairman of Ways and Means of the UK Parliament.

The current Vice-Chair is Hon. Alexandra Mendes MP, Parliament of Canada.

The current Treasurer is Hon. Vicki Dunne, Deputy Speaker of Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly.

The current Chairperson of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians is Hon. Noraini Ahmad, MP from the Parliament of Malaysia.

The current Chairperson for Small Branches is Hon. Angelo Farrugia, MP, Speaker of the House of Representatives of Malta in the Parliament of Malta. The Small Branches Chairperson is a new Officer position within the CPA from December 2016.


The CPA's 7th Secretary-General is Mr Akbar Khan.[3]

Previous Secretaries-General have been: Dr. William F. Shija, former Minister Tanzania Parliament (2007–2014); Hon. Denis Marshall, former Minister New Zealand Parliament (2002–2006); Hon. Arthur Donahoe, former Speaker Nova Scotia House of Assembly (1993–2001); Hon. Dr. David Tonkin, former Premier South Australia (1986–1992); Sir Robin Vandervelt from South Africa (1961–1985); Sir Howard d’Egville (1949–1960).[4]


Members of the CPA are listed below. Both national and subnational parliaments are included.

Members National and Sub-National Parliaments
  Alderney States of Alderney
  Anguilla Parliament of Anguilla
  Antigua and Barbuda
  The Bahamas Parliament of the Bahamas
  Bangladesh Parliament of Bangladesh
  Barbados Parliament of Barbados
  Belize Parliament of Belize
  Bermuda Parliament of Bermuda
  Botswana Parliament of Botswana
  British Virgin Islands House of Assembly of the British Virgin Islands
  Cameroon National Assembly of Cameroon
  Cayman Islands Legislative Assembly of the Cayman Islands
  Cook Islands Parliament of the Cook Islands
  Cyprus House of Representatives of Cyprus
  Dominica House of Assembly of Dominica
  Falkland Islands Legislative Assembly of the Falkland Islands
  Fiji Parliament of Fiji
  Ghana Parliament of Ghana
  Gibraltar Gibraltar Parliament
  Grenada Parliament of Grenada
  Guernsey States of Guernsey
  Guyana National Assembly of Guyana
  Isle of Man High Court of Tynwald
  Jamaica Parliament of Jamaica
  Jersey States of Jersey
  Kenya Parliament of Kenya
  Kiribati House of Assembly
  Lesotho Parliament of Lesotho
  Malawi Parliament of Malawi
  Malta Parliament of Malta
  Mauritius Parliament of Mauritius
  Montserrat Legislative Assembly of Montserrat
  Mozambique Parliament of Mozambique
  Namibia Parliament of Namibia
  Nauru Parliament of Nauru
  New Zealand Parliament of New Zealand
  Niue Niue Assembly
  Papua New Guinea
  Rwanda Parliament of Rwanda
  Samoa Legislative Assembly of Samoa
  Seychelles Parliament of Seychelles
  Sierra Leone Parliament of Sierra Leone
  Singapore Parliament of Singapore
  Solomon Islands National Parliament of the Solomon Islands
  South Africa
  Sri Lanka Parliament of Sri Lanka
  Saint Helena Legislative Council of Saint Helena
  Saint Kitts and Nevis. Also known as Saint Christopher and Nevis.
  Saint Lucia Parliament of Saint Lucia
  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines House of Assembly of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  Swaziland Parliament of Swaziland
  Tonga Legislative Assembly of Tonga
  Trinidad and Tobago
  Turks and Caicos Islands Turks and Caicos Islands House of Assembly
  Tuvalu Parliament of Tuvalu
  Uganda Parliament of Uganda
  United Kingdom
  Vanuatu Parliament of Vanuatu
  Zambia Parliament of Zambia

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