Sustainable Development and Human Rights

“The scale and ambition of the new [Sustainable Development] Agenda requires a revitalized Global Partnership to ensure its implementation. We fully commit to this… We… acknowledge the essential role of national parliaments through their enactment of legislation and adoption of budgets and their role in ensuring accountability for the effective implementation of our commitments…”

Transforming our World, The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, 1 August 2015

In 2015, the global community set an aspirational framework in the development of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). this work was a culmination of years of consultation across the globe and with a desire to continue and learn from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).  As representatives, legislators and scrutineers, parliamentarians have a responsibility to actively engage in the development agenda, to shape its success and in so doing make concrete improvements to the lives of their people and the global community.

CPA UK working in partnership with the UNDP and other global organisations, through its MDG Conferences and its International Parliamentary Project on Sustainability, Energy and Development and linked regional workshops in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean sought to examine issues of sustainable development, energy security and resource management. It examined best practice, case studies, ideas and innovation to strengthen parliamentarians capabilities and ultimate direction.


Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians

CWP is the network of women Members of CPA Parliaments, and aims to:

  • Build the capacity of women elected to parliament to be more effective in their roles;
  • Improve the awareness and ability of parliamentarians, male and female, to include a gender perspective in all aspects of their role - legislation, oversight and representation;
  • Help parliaments to become gender-sensitive institutions

CWP is governed by a Steering Committee made up of representatives from each CPA region. The International Steering Committee is chaired by Hon. Dato' Noraini Ahmad MP, Member of Parliament of Malaysia.

CWP works on a regional basis, with each of the nine regions of the CPA coordinating programmes, conferences and meetings among its legislatures. CPA UK coordinates the British Islands and Mediterranean Region (BIMR).

Other related programmes

Commonwealth Parliamentarians' Forum

Ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) which took place in the UK in April 2018, we hosted the first Commonwealth Parliamentarians’ Forum.

The programme presented parliamentarians an opportunity to engage with the overarching CHOGM theme, ‘Towards a Common Future’, and with its key objectives:

  • A more Sustainable future
  • A fairer future
  • A more Secure future
  • A more Prosperous future

Approximately 80 parliamentarians, officials, and youth delegates attended the Forum which took place between 26 February – 1 March and delivered a number of outputs including:

  • A “virtual” pan-Commonwealth group of parliamentarians to monitor the Commonwealth’s work towards achieving the 2018-20 strategic plan
  • An artistic visual representation of the “Commonwealth Body”- representing a 21st Century Commonwealth of diversity, inclusion, commonality
  • Combined Declarations from parliamentarians and Forum delegates on areas including Climate Change and parliamentary engagement
  • Mixed media including written opinion pieces, interviews, blogs, articles, and short video reflections

We have developed a framework of practice to monitor CHOGM outcomes, for more information about the Forum outcomes, you can read the full report here .

Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference on the Rule of Law & Human Rights, 24 -26 January 2017 - London (UK)

CPA UK and the UK’s Joint Committee on Human Rights - in partnership with the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) and the Commonwealth Secretariat – hosted the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference on the Rule of Law and Human Rights.

The conference built on the work done by The Westminster Consortium’s Parliaments and Democracy programme and the “Parliaments, the Rule of Law and Human Rights” research project run by the University of Oxford which first developed and then tested Principles and Guidelines on the Role of Parliaments in the Protection and Realisation of the Rule of Law and Human Rights.

The Conference sought to increase knowledge and strengthen procedures and good practice for the parliamentary protection and realisation of the rule of law and human rights. Delegates examined the role of parliaments in ensuring the rule of law and universal human rights, as well as exploring the functions of parliamentary human rights committees and the importance of developing and maintaining relationship with the executive, parliament, other committees and other national and international human rights organisations.

International Parliamentary Conference on the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Placing Parliamentarians at the Centre of Global Development

From Monday 25 – Thursday 28 November 2013, CPA UK and UNDP hosted the International Parliamentary Conference on the Post-2015 Development Agenda (IPCP2015) ‘Placing Parliamentarians at the Centre of Global Development’ at the Houses of Parliament, London. The conference programme took place over three days and brought together an audience of international parliamentarians and high profile experts from international and non-governmental organisations, civil society groups and academia from Commonwealth and non-Commonwealth countries.

The programme toolkit can be found here.

International Parliamentary Conference on the Millennium Development Goals: "Reaching for 2015: Governance, Accountability and the role of the Parliamentarian"

CPA UK organised the first International Parliamentary Conference on the Millennium Development Goals ‘Reaching for 2015: Governance, Accountability and the Role of the Parliamentarian’ at the Houses of Parliament, 28 November-2 December 2011.

The purpose of the Conference was to build the capacity of parliamentarians to ensure that effective accountability mechanisms are at the core of all elements of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) process. In particular it sought to inform parliamentarians on the most recent information on progress towards the MDGs and identify the key challenges that remain in achieving the 2015 targets.

The programme toolkit can be found here.