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The 66th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference to be held in Accra 

By Elsie Appiah-Osei 

Accra, Sept 27, GNA- The Parliament of Ghana will from Saturday, September 30 to Friday, October 6, 2023, host the 66th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC) in Accra at the Accra International Conference Center (AICC). 

Themed: “The Commonwealth Charter 10 years on: Values and principles for Parliaments to uphold”, the seven-day Conference would have about 686 delegates including Speakers and Presiding Officers, parliamentarians, Clerks-to-Parliaments, Parliamentary staff, and key stakeholders in the parliamentary governance sector as well as 56 national legislatures. 

Addressing the Parliamentary Press Corps in Parliament on Tuesday, Mr Cyril K.O. Nsiah, the Clerk to Parliament said other 111 sub-national branches (state and provincial legislatures) across the nine geographic regions of the Commonwealth would be participants of the CPC. 

He said: “The adoption of the Ghana as a host country came as a result of the 64th edition held in Kampala. This 66th edition will be held under the patronage of the Speaker of Parliament, Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, who is also the President of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) and the President of the Ghana Branch of the Association.” 

Mr Nsiah said the Conference, which had the goal of fostering dialogue and cooperation among member countries to address pressing global challenges within the context of Commonwealth values would emphasise the importance of Parliamentary diplomacy in addressing the challenges and highlight the role of Parliaments in shaping policies that benefited their citizens. 

He said the conference would officially be opened on Wednesday, October 4, 2023, under the patronage of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana and the Vice-Patron of the CPA as the keynote speaker. 

“The opening ceremony will be followed by workshops to discuss various topics relating to security, human rights, environment, economy, gender and other cross-cutting issues. 

“Host nation’s workshop will be organised by Ghana to deliberate on the topic: “Combating the threat of terrorism to Statehood: The Role of Parliament,” he said. 

According to Mr Nsiah, Mr Albert Kan Dappah, the Minister for National Security was invited to lead discussions on the topic. 

He, therefore, mentioned that the CPC would be held simultaneously with other conferences, meetings, and workshops, which would include the CPA General Assembly; meetings of the CPA Executive Committee; 39th CPA Small branches conference and meetings of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP). 

Others would be the meeting of Commonwealth Parliamentarians with Disabilities (CPwD) networks; 57th meeting of the Society of Clerks at the Table (SoCATT) and the presentation of the 2023 Commonwealth Parliamentarian of the Year awards. 

Mr Nsiah said as part of efforts to promote Ghana by highlighting the natural resource endowments, history, culture, and traditions of Ghana to the international community, some tourist sites had been specified for visit by the delegates on Tuesday, October 3, 2023.  

He cited the Cape Coast Castle, the Kakum National Park, a cultural durbar at Manhyia Palace, the Akosombo Hydroelectric Dam and boat cruise to the Dodi Island and Bisa Aberwa Museum. 

The CPC is the annual Conference of the CPA.  

It is the largest annual gathering of Commonwealth Parliamentarians, who come together to discuss global parliamentary and political issues.  

Each year, the Conference is hosted by a different Commonwealth Parliament. 

The CPA, previously known as the Empire Parliamentary Association, is an organisation which works to support good governance, democracy, and human rights. In 1989 the patron of the CPA was the Head of the Commonwealth, Queen Elizabeth II. 

One of the oldest Commonwealth organisations, the CPA was founded in 1911 with the mission to promote the advancement of parliamentary democracy by enhancing knowledge and understanding of democratic governance, youth engagement in democracy, gender equality and equal representation. 

At present, there are 54 Commonwealth Association countries, in which 164 CPA Branches are Parliaments and Legislatures, with a total membership of 18,000 Parliamentarians and Legislators, were established.