Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Conference hailed a resounding success

Sandton Convention Centre, Thursday, 05 September 2013 - The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association's 59th Conference, came to an end yesterday in Johannesburg, and was described by the Secretary General, Rt Hon Dr William Shija, as a resounding success.

Dr Shija praised the delegates for ensuring that for the first time Concluding Statement was made through the recommendations from the workshops.

“For the first time we are testing coming out with a Concluding Statement from the various workshops that were held as part of the conference,” said Dr Shija.

The conference held under the theme “Effective solutions to Commonwealth developmental challenges,” succeeded in throwing a spotlight on the central role parliaments are expected to play as champions of real change and instruments for accountability and development.

Many exchanges of policies and practices in a variety of areas from economic development, to women's issues and issues pertinent to the aged, were robustly exchanged in debate and discussed as models for fellow Commonwealth countries to follow.

The Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) elected, Hon Rebecca Kadaga, Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda, as its fourth elected chairperson for the next three years.

Ms Kadaga said the CWP will be visiting countries where women representation in Parliament is very low to create awareness about the implications this has on gender equity.

“We aim to bring gender equity into the mainstream through advocacy and ensure there are resources allocated to improve the situation,” she said.

NCOP Chair Person and outgoing President of the CPA, Hon Mninwa Mahlangu MP thanked Delegates from around the globe and said, “As custodians of law-making, parliaments have the power to shape a different world and bring hope to the people. I am therefore confident that the deliberations and sharing of experiences in the workshops have been able to come up with policy alternatives to current challenges facing the Commonwealth Community,”

The 60th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference will be held in Cameroon in October 2014.