Chair of the UK Foreign Affairs Committee tells Commonwealth Parliamentarians: ‘The foremost responsibility of any Government is the security of its people.’

Published 02 November 2022

The next decades of national and international security will be defined by how we build all-of-state resilience to hostile states, Alicia Kearns MP, outlined today to Commonwealth parliamentarians.

Alicia Kearns MP addressed over 30 parliamentarians from 18 legislatures as part of the Conference on the Scrutiny of National Security Legislation organised by the UK Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA UK).

Global developments of the past years have highlighted the fast-evolving nature of security threats in the 21st century. The gathering of parliamentarians, which takes place in the UK Parliament from 1-3 November, will be a unique opportunity for delegates to equip themselves with the skills to shape and scrutinise legislation within rapidly changing local and international security landscapes.

The programme will address risks to cyber security and climate security, consider challenges to security from both conventional and non-conventional conflict, and discuss the prevention of violence against women and girls in conflict.

The Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, Alicia Kearns MP, stated ahead of the session:

“Programmes like this are vital in fostering discussion and sharing ideas for how we best protect our collective and individual security.

At a time of global insecurity, the Commonwealth offers us a network of likeminded allies. By Meeting and exploring our different views on security, we can all benefit and develop new strategies to protect our societies and people.”

Her key-note speech, which opened the Conference, highlighted that the foremost responsibility of any Government is the security of its people. It explored the large shift in national and international security challenges in the last twenty years and ask how Governments can adapt to these changes.

Security is one of CPA UK’s five priority themes, working for a safe and secure Commonwealth. CPA UK works with Parliaments to support their activities on security by increasing awareness on the most salient issues and building capacity to support parliamentarians with their responsibilities to legislate, ensure policy scrutiny and oversight, budget approval, and constituency engagement.