Friday 23 February 2018
Over 80 parliamentarians from 25 Commonwealth countries will attend the first Commonwealth Parliamentarians’ Forum in London next week (26 February – 1 March). High-profile speakers include:
The Forum is taking place to ensure Commonwealth parliaments feed into the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in April 2018.
Parliamentarians will return to their countries better placed to inform and influence their governments ahead of CHOGM, and thereafter.
Chair of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK (CPA UK), James Duddridge MP, said:
“The Commonwealth Parliamentarians’ Forum is a great opportunity for Commonwealth parliamentarians as they will be able to engage and feed into a Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in a way they haven’t before.
“We look forward to welcoming parliamentarians to Westminster, and to a really engaging programme. I know we will have many valuable and productive discussions.”
The Commonwealth is a vibrant and diverse organisation which promotes development, democracy and peace. CPA UK seeks to advance democracy and strengthen parliaments across the Commonwealth to lead to more sustainable development.
This year, the Commonwealth’s theme - Towards a Common Future - will explore how the Commonwealth can address global challenges focussing on four sub-themes: sustainability, fairness, security, and prosperity.
The Bi-annual CHOGM is hosted by a different Commonwealth country each time and the host country takes on a 2 year Chair-in-Office role which the UK will hold from 2018-2020.
Earlier this year, The Gambia returned to the Commonwealth and became the 53rd member state.
2018 will also see the Commonwealth Games take place in the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia in April. The next Games will take place in Birmingham, UK in 2022.
The Commonwealth is an organisation made up of 53 independent countries, 2.4 billion people, of which 60% are aged 29 or under, with a combined GDP of $10.4 trillion. Queen Elizabeth II is the Head of the Commonwealth and Head of State to 16 countries including the UK.
Commonwealth Day will take place on 12 March 2018 to celebrate the diversity, unity and values of the Commonwealth.