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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
07 March 2017
The UK branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA UK) is organising a Westminster Seminar in Brisbane, Australia that will bring together parliamentarians from Fiji, Cook Islands, Samoa, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Tonga and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.
The Westminster Seminar, now in its 66th year, is CPA UK’s flagship capacity-building event, equipping parliamentarians and clerks from the Commonwealth on issues related to parliamentary practice and procedure.
Held in London, the previous Westminster Seminars have proven difficult to get to by some parliamentarians and clerks, particularly those from the Pacific Islands. Consequently, CPA UK is taking the Westminster Seminar to the Parliament of Queensland in Australia to enable greater participation from the region.READ MORE
03 March 2017
On Thursday, 2 March 2017, the CPA UK & UK Overseas Territories’ Parliamentary Forum on Public Financial Management continued its sessions for 28 delegates from the UK and the UK Overseas Territories (UKOTs). Two-track bilateral meetings dominated the second day of the Forum, which facilitated a direct exchange between PAC Chairs and two members of the UK PAC, and offered the Heads of Internal and External Audit an opportunity to explore areas which could benefit from collaboration and support with representatives of the UK National Audit Office (NAO) and UK Government Internal Audit Agency (GIAA).
These insights will form the basis of future activities of the UK Overseas Territories Project, a three-year programme funded by the Conflict, Stability, and Security Fund (CSSF) partnering with the UK Overseas Territories.READ MORE
03 March 2017
On Wednesday, 1 March 2017, the CPA UK & UK Overseas Territories’ Forum on Public Financial Oversight held its first sessions for 28 delegates from the UK and the Overseas Territories (OTs). Delegates participated in discussions on the role and coordination of the PAC, Internal Audit, and External Audit; the role of the media in strengthening public financial oversight; committee consensus and political impartiality, and the procedure and impact of the Head of Internal Audit’s annual report.
The assembled delegates, PAC Chairs and Heads of Internal and External Audit from nine UKOTs, highlighted some common challenges and solutions, exploring good practice in making recommendations to government, training for elected and lay members of PACs, the specific challenges around working in small jurisdictions, and managing the work of the committee within a political landscape.READ MORE
24 February 2017
CPA UK, in consortium with the UK National Audit Office (NAO) and the UK Government Internal Audit Agency (GIAA), will facilitate a Multilateral Forum for the UK Overseas Territories and UK on public financial management.
The Forum - taking place in Miami from 1-2 March - will bring together Chairs of Public Accounts Committees and Heads of Internal and External Audit from the UK Overseas Territories and the UK to exchange ideas and discuss challenges and successes in achieving good practice in public financial oversight.
The Forum will also see the launch of the Good Practice Guide developed by the NAO as a tool for supporting good governance.READ MORE
15 February 2017
CPA UK is to host a major conference in London to discuss national security and cybersecurity.
The International Parliamentary Conference on National Security runs from Monday 27 March to Thursday 30 March and is followed by a Cybersecurity Day on Friday 31 March as part of an international parliamentary project on cybersecurity and cybercrime.
Over 80 National Security Ministers, Chairs of National Security Committees and other expert parliamentarians from around the world will participate in the week-long conference.READ MORE
14 February 2017
CPA UK, in partnership with the Parliament of Namibia, is to deliver a programme that aims to support effective parliamentary scrutiny.
The UK delegation will deliver a programme for parliamentarians to explore the role of parliaments in conducting oversight of government at the national level. The delegation will also meet a number of stakeholders during the programme.READ MORE