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25 April 2017
The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association at Westminster (CPA UK) welcomes parliamentarians and officials from the Asia-Pacific Region for a workshop on modern slavery, in Westminster.
As part of a two-year multilateral Modern Slavery Project, the workshop will focus specifically on the challenges and opportunities in the Asia-Pacific Region, which records the highest number of victims of modern slavery worldwide with an estimated 30.4 million people.
The workshop – which will consist of delegates from Australia, Bangladesh, India, New Zealand, Pakistan and Sri Lanka – aims to build networks to support the development of modern slavery legislation in individual jurisdictions, whilst developing groups of informed and empowered parliamentarians and officials with the confidence and ability to take the lead on legislative reform.READ MORE
04 April 2017
CPA UK, in consortium with the UK National Audit Office (NAO) and the UK Government Internal Audit Agency (GIAA), will manage and implement a three year project on public financial oversight in the UK Overseas Territories. The project will be delivered through partnering with Internal Auditors, External Auditors and Public Accounts Committees in the Territories.
As part of the project, representatives from ten UKOTs were recently brought together for a Forum on Supporting the Role of Public Accounts Committees & Audit Institutions: Oversight of Public Funds. This was an opportunity for Chairs of Public Accounts Committees and Heads of Internal and External Audit from the UKOTs to share good practice and exchange ideas with regards to public financial management.READ MORE
31 March 2017
Welcome to the summary of the final day of the International Parliamentary Conference on National Security, which was given over to the issue of cybersecurity.
The first session focussed on cyber hacking and explained the different types of hacks and strategies that can be carried out and how to be prevent these from happening. The session also touched on the current challenges authorities face with accessing encrypted platforms such as WhatsApp. There was a demonstration of an ethical hack which highlighted the ease of hacking using accessible apps.
The following session explored the role of the National Cyber Security Centre, which is part of GCHQ, and its mission to make the UK the safest place. As cybercrime overtakes normal crime it was stressed that there is a need to grow by partnering with the private sector so information can be shared more easily and by capability by bringing more talent into the organisation.
31 March 2017
Welcome to the summary of the fourth day if the International Parliamentary Conference on National Security and Cybersecurity.
National Security vs Human Rights
Day 4 of the International Parliamentary Conference (IPC) began with a session looking at the balance between protecting citizens with robust national security measures; while also ensuring civil liberties are enshrined in the law. The session covered the tactics of surveillance and interception as well as international human rights standards and the special powers of courts. The session also offered parliamentarian perspective into the way in which elected representatives create legislation and scrutinise bills that effectively balance protecting citizens whilst maintaining freedom.
Countering Extremism and Community Cohesion
The following session then asked how parliamentarians can promote community cohesion and counter the narrative of violent extremism. With the recent examples of the Westminster attack and the murder of Jo Cox MP, the role for parliamentarians to be leaders that promote unity in their communities is as important as ever. The session also highlighted the use of online tools by terrorist organisations to entice individuals to various causes and the panellists emphasised the importance of educating children at a young age of the dangers online. Finally, the importance of the family was explored in countering extremism and violence. An example was cited of a rival football match in Brazil that had a history of crowd trouble until it employed mothers from the community to act as match stewards.READ MORE
31 March 2017
Day 3 of the International Parliamentary Conference (IPC) on National Security looked into intelligence, peacekeeping, trafficking and the media. The Conference remains under Chatham House Rule.
Intelligence and Peacekeeping
Day 3 of the International Parliamentary Conference (IPC) began with session 7: Scrutinising Security which explored scrutiny and the oversight of national security. The session gave delegates an insight into the work of the UK Intelligence & Security Committee in scrutinising the intelligence community. It went further and looked into the work of the Security Service (MI5) in protecting the public, the role of the Interception of Communications Commissioner in interception and collecting communications data and, the work Europol does with European authorities.
Delegates then participated in a regional themed breakout session (session 8) which allowed them to engage in the security threats faced on different continents.READ MORE
29 March 2017
Day 2 of the International Parliamentary Conference (IPC) on National Security focused on the role of Parliamentarians in tackling the threats to modern day national security. The Conference remains under Chatham House Rule.
National Security: Terrorism, the role of Parliaments and legislations
Day 2 began with the third session of the Conference, an in-depth look into terrorism in the 21st Century and the role of Parliamentarians in National Security. The session began with looking into the definitions of terrorism and how strategies must depend on the nature of the enemy as the nature of terrorism is now one in which rules don’t apply. This was followed by an examination into the role parliamentarians can play in counter-terrorism, highlighting that human rights and good governance are at the core of security and need to be embedded into legislation.READ MORE
28 March 2017
Today saw the launch of the International Parliamentary Conference (IPC) on National Security & Cybersecurity Day at Church House in Westminster. The IPC is a major event hosted each year by the UK branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA UK), which brings together parliamentarians from around the world to explore issues of particular importance.
Introducing this year’s IPC, CPA UK Chief Executive Andrew Tuggey CBE, highlighted that this was the largest to date with over 90 delegates representing 37 countries. Andrew Tuggey CBE went on to pay his respect to the victims of last week’s terrorist attack on Parliament and emphasised to delegates that parliamentary life in Westminster goes on undeterred.
Introduction to National Security
Following the introductory comments, the IPC was formally opened with an address from the Secretary of State for Defence, Rt. Hon. Sir Michael Fallon MP. Sir Michael began with reference to last week’s attack on Westminster and underlined the international nature of the victims, who included citizens from France, the U.S., Romania, South Korea and elsewhere. The Westminster attack, he stated, was not only an attack on individuals, but also an attempt to cause division. He assured delegates, however, that in spite of these efforts “we are more united than ever in defending our way of life”.
23 March 2017
The UK branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA UK) at Westminster will deliver an International Parliamentary Conference to address fundamental issues on national and cybersecurity faced by parliaments across the world.
From 27-31 March, CPA UK will bring together over 90 participants including National Security Ministers, Chairs of National Security Committees and other expert parliamentarians from 36 countries.
Following the tragic events in Westminster on Wednesday 22 March, today the UK Parliament continues business as usual, as does CPA UK. The conference will be an opportunity to explore issues such as defence expenditure, counter-terrorism, and cybersecurity.READ MORE
18 March 2017
Welcome to the summary of the third and final day of the Pacific Islands Westminster Seminar.
The final day was an opportunity for delegates to engage in a more interactive programme that focused on an issue of particular relevance, namely the issue of climate change.
Role of Parliamentarians and External Support
The morning began with Baroness Taylor introducing the opening session. Speaking on the issue of climate change she acknowledged that, while the Pacific region has done little to cause the changing global environment, they are suffering acutely with rising sea levels and more extreme weather patterns.
Delegates then heard from Hon. Akosita Lavulavu MP of Tonga, who spoke passionately about how climate change is effecting her and her community. She said that the Tongan people’s livelihood, built on fishing and agriculture, was dependent on the environment and the consequences of rising sea levels has had a severely detrimental impact on the local economy, as well as bringing waterborne diseases and coastal erosion.
17 March 2017
Welcome to the summary of the second day’s proceedings at the Pacific Islands Westminster Seminar. Day Two was an opportunity to explore in greater detail the various roles and functions within the parliamentary system.
MPs’ Roles and Responsibilities
The morning saw the delegates divided into parliamentarians and clerks and the opening session with the parliamentarians, chaired by Ian Liddell-Grainger MP, explored the various demands on an MP.
The session heard from Fijian MP, Hon. Lorna Eden, who highlighted the challenges she faces with regards to accountability in a country with just one constituency. The session also heard from Hon. Talaititama Talaiti MAM from Niue who explored the relationship between Ministers and MPs and made some observations about the interplay between the two.
16 March 2017
Today saw the launch of the Pacific Islands Westminster Seminar at the Parliament of Queensland in Australia. By holding the Westminster Seminar – now in its 66th year – for the first time in Australia, the programme on parliamentary practice and procedure, has brought together around 40 delegates from Fiji, Cook Islands, Samoa, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Solomon Islands, Tonga and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.
The Big Picture
Following the official welcome, Baroness Taylor of Bolton chaired the opening session of the programme, introducing the Westminster System. With most parliaments in the Pacific replicating the Westminster System, this was an opportunity to give a broad overview of parliamentary democracy including key challenges.
Baroness Taylor outlined some of her own experiences adapting to change during her 40 years as a parliamentarian, highlighting in particular the modernisation period the UK underwent while she was leader of the House of Commons in the late 90s and the present challenges of Brexit and House of Lords reform.
08 March 2017
CPA UK is delivering its second workshop in its ongoing programme with young Members of the National Assembly of Malawi. This workshop taking place in the Houses of Parliament from Thursday 9 March to Friday 10 March, will be run in partnership with the UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) and explore the use of evidence in parliamentary work.
This work builds on and ties together CPA UK’s first programme with young Members and aspiring Members, as well as POST’s SECURE training programme for parliamentary staff.
CPA UK’s inaugural programme on parliamentary practice and procedure for young parliamentarians took place in November 2016 in Lilongwe, Malawi. This programme strengthened young parliamentarians’ understanding of parliamentary procedure, explored issues based campaigning and how to engage with young people. Following on from this programme, the young Members of National Assembly of Malawi are in the process of establishing a Youth Caucus, to create space within parliamentary dialogue to engage with young people and issues affecting young people.READ MORE