Ghana’s Parliament is set to host the extraordinary 66th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC) in Accra, starting from September 30th to October 6th, 2023.
The 66th Commonwealth conference is to be held under the theme “The Commonwealth Charter 10 Years on Values and Principles for Parliaments to Uphold.”
The conference is expected to bring together over 600 delegates and observers including Speakers of parliaments, Clerks to Parliaments, parliamentary leaders, legislators, staff of Parliament, and key stakeholders worldwide for a week of discussions, workshops, and committee meetings, among others.
Briefing members of the Parliamentary Press Corps in Accra on Tuesday, September 26, 2023, Clerk to Ghana’s Parliament and Secretary to the Ghana Chapter of the CPA, Mr. Cyril Kwabena Oteng Nsiah, said the Commonwealth Conference is very significant for the country to showcase its democratic credentials.
“The 66th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference aims to foster dialogue and cooperation among member countries to address pressing global challenges within the context of Commonwealth Values,”
“We will highlight the crucial role of parliaments in shaping policies that benefit citizens and the importance of parliamentary diplomacy in addressing these challenges,” he stated.
According to him, the CPA was founded in 1911 as the Empire Parliamentary Association and later transformed into the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association in 1948, boasts 181 national and sub-branches across the Commonwealth’s nine regions. This year’s conference marks the 17th time the CPA Africa Region has hosted the CPC.
He said, as part of planned activities, the seven-day conference is expected to receive delegates, observers, and officials from 56 National Branches (National Legislatures) and 111 Sub-National Branches (State/Provincial Legislatures) across the Commonwealth.
Mr. Nsiah said all activities would run in tandem with other conferences, meetings, and workshops, including the 66th CPA General Assembly meetings of the CPA Executive Committee, the 39th CPA Small Branches Conference, gatherings of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians, and more.
He said the official opening ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday, October 4th, 2023, where President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the Vice-Patron of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association would deliver the keynote address to the General Assembly.During the conference, the Clerk said, Ghana would lead a workshop focusing on, “Combating the threat of terrorism to Statehood: the Role of Parliament. “among other topical issues such as security, human rights, environment, economy, and gender equality.
Mr. Nsiah added that, Ghana’s Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, who is the President of the Association, will preside over the General Assembly on Thursday, 5th October 2023, and also chair the Elections Committee of the Association.
He noted that Rt Hon Bagbin who is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Association would also participate in the deliberations at the Meeting of the Executive Committee.
In memory of Hon. Emilia Monjowa Lifaka, a former Deputy Speaker of Cameroon and a passionate champion of the CPA, an inaugural lecture will take place on Monday, October 2nd, 2023, at the Accra International Conference Centre. Open to the public, the lecture will pay tribute to her legacy.
Other external activities to showcase Ghana include a tour of some selected tourist sites, and a visit to the Asantehene Palace, and the Akosombo Dam, among other tourist-attracting sites within the Southern enclave of the country.