The International Day of Parliamentarism (World Parliament Day) is celebrated every year on 30 June and this year, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association is celebrating the vital role that Parliaments and Legislatures are playing during the current global COVID-19 pandemic to pass emergency laws, allocate resources and scrutinize government action.
The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association is helping to facilitate parliamentary exchange and support with a programme of webinars and publications that share examples of how Parliaments can continue to legislate, debate and scrutinize the actions of government in a time of lockdown and social distancing. The CPA Headquarters Secretariat is continuing to support its membership of over 180 Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures to connect and exchange ideas during the current pandemic through innovative methods.
On International Day of Parliamentarism (#WorldParliamentDay), the CPA Headquarters Secretariat is also celebrating the work it does to support its membership to achieve their key goals to be more representative and to adapt to different times.
The Chairperson of the CPA Executive Committee, Hon. Emilia Monjowa Lifaka, MP, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Cameroon released a statement to mark International Day of Parliamentarism which highlighted the importance of parliamentary democracy and its value to societies and the global community. The CPA Chairperson said: “Parliamentarians are now focusing their minds on creating safe and secure environments for their countries and constituencies. To succeed in this endeavour, Parliamentarians and our Parliaments have had to embrace rapid and uncertain change in the form of technical, social and cultural adaption; from how we communicate and travel to the ways in which we legislate, represent and scrutinise governments. As such, adapting to new ways of working is essential.”
The CPA Chairperson also spoke about the diversity of the Commonwealth and the role that Parliamentarians can play in representing all members of the community: “As Parliamentarians, we are the representatives of our communities, and as such, we must speak for all those who might be at a potential disadvantage because of their perceived differences and the negative prejudices of others. Even if, we as representatives are not reflective of the diversity of our people, we must as Parliamentarians still speak for all and ensure their views, ideas and knowledge can be voiced in the Chambers of our Parliaments, in the meeting rooms of government departments or on the streets of our constituencies.” To read the CPA Chairperson’s full statement please click here or see copy attached.
The International Day of Parliamentarism is a time to review the progress that Parliaments and Legislatures have made in achieving key goals to be more representative and to adapt to different times, including carrying out self-assessments against the CPA Recommended Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures, working to include more women, disabled and young MPs, representing the smallest jurisdictions in the Commonwealth, and adapting to new technologies and innovations.
The International Day of Parliamentarism is celebrated every year on 30 June. The Day was established in 2018 through a United Nations General Assembly Resolution. For more information please visit https://www.un.org/en/observances/parliamentarism-day.