Ghana hosts 66th Commonwealth Parliamentary confab

Rt. Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, Ghana’s Speaker of Parliament, has called on Ghanaians to showcase the rich hospitality of the country to the world during the upcoming 66th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference, scheduled for September 30 to October 6, 2023 at the Accra International Conference Center.

The official opening ceremony, scheduled for October 4, 2023 will be held under the patronage of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who is also the Vice-Patron of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.

It will set the stage for a series of workshops addressing critical topics, including security, human rights, the environment, the economy, gender equality and other cross-cutting issues. Notably, one of the workshops will focus on “Combating the Threat of Terrorism to Statehood: the Role of Parliament.

The 66th CPC in Accra will bring together Speakers, Parliamentarians, Clerks-to-Parliaments, Parliamentary Staff and key stakeholders from 56 National Branches and 111 Sub-National Branches across the Commonwealth’s nine geographic regions.

The conference will also feature various meetings and conferences, including the 39th CPA Small Branches Conference, gatherings of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) and Commonwealth Parliamentarians with Disabilities (CPwD) networks.

Other meetings are the 66th CPA General Assembly, meetings of the CPA Executive Committee and the 57th Society of Clerks at the Table (SOCATT) meetings, as well as emphasise the vital role of parliamentary diplomacy in tackling challenges and shaping policies that benefit our citizens in order to achieve its vision.

The 66th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference, the pinnacle of the CPA’s annual gatherings, is set to bring together over 500 Parliamentarians, parliamentary staff, and decision-makers from across the Commonwealth.
Speaker Bagbin, in his capacity as the President of the Association, will preside over the General Assembly, chair the Elections Committee and actively participate in the Executive Committee’s deliberations.

Addressing the media in Parliament last week Thursday, September 28, 2023 Speaker Bagbin, who doubles as the President of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) and the President of the Ghana Branch of the Association underscored the privilege Ghana feels in hosting this prestigious international  gathering.
According to him, the conference holds a particular significant milestone in Ghana’s democratic journey and reaffirms its status as a beacon of democracy on the African continent.

Speaker Bagbin has, therefore, called upon all involved to demonstrate unwavering dedication and commitment in their respective roles.
“As we gear up to host this remarkable event, let’s summon our utmost dedication and commitment, regardless of the roles we assume to transform the 66th CPA conference in Accra into an indelible experience for all attendees, one that leaves lasting imprints and fosters profound collaborations among the Commonwealth nations,” Speaker Bagbin  advised.

The roots of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association can be traced back to the Empire Parliamentary Association’s founding in 1948, where parliamentarians recognised the importance of collective effort in building a better world.
Over the years, the CPA has evolved, becoming an annual event in 1961 and broadening its agenda to encompass discussions on parliamentary and electoral processes. Presently, the CPA serves more than 30 jurisdictions with smaller populations and, in 2016, elected its first CPA Small Branches Chairperson.

The establishment of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) in 1989 further demonstrates the CPA’s commitment to increasing female representation in Commonwealth Parliaments and prioritising gender-related issues in legislative debates.


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