The Parliamentarian 2020: Issue Three - United Nations at 75: The Commonwealth and the UN

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CPA NEWS CPA Secretary-General Elect joins Botswana MPs for virtual workshop on effective parliamentary oversight

The Secretary-General Elect of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), Mr Stephen Twigg joined Commonwealth Parliamentarians via video conference at the Parliament of Botswana for the 12th Parliamentary Workshop on Effective Oversight from 29 June to 3 July 2020. The virtual workshop was opened by the Speaker of the National Assembly of Botswana, Hon. P. T. C. Skelemani, MP and the Clerk of the National Assembly, Ms B. N. Dithapo and was attended by around 50 Members of the Parliament of Botswana. The four-day virtual workshop examined parliamentary oversight and accountability and the tools available to MPs to undertake this role. The CPA Secretary-General Elect spoke in one of the opening sessions of the virtual workshop about the work of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association in providing advice and training to Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures and the CPA Recommended Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures which provides a benchmark for parliamentary standards. The CPA

Secretary-General Elect also spoke about his own experiences of oversight as a former Parliamentarian and Chairperson of the International Development Select Committee. The CPA Secretary-General Elect, Mr Stephen Twigg said: “I was delighted to join Parliamentarians from Botswana for my first public engagement as CPA Secretary-General-Elect. The opportunity to learn from each other is of critical importance and I was pleased to highlight some of the excellent resources which the CPA has developed to support Commonwealth Parliamentarians in their crucial oversight work.” The workshop also heard from Ms Meg Munn, a former UK Parliamentarian speaking on behalf of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and Dr R. Draman, Executive Director, African Center for Parliamentary Affairs. The virtual workshop at the Botswana Parliament was the first time that the CPA Secretary-General Elect took part in an overseas event with a CPA Branch ahead of the start of his new role which officially commences from 1 August 2020.

The CPA Acting Secretary-General, Mr Jarvis Matiya delivered the keynote address at a global online webinar titled 'Vanguards in the 21st century: Optimising Commonwealth Networks’. The CPA Acting Secretary-General highlighted the key role that Commonwealth organisations play in the international community and the role of the CPA as the parliamentary wing of the Commonwealth in connecting over 180 Parliaments and Legislatures. He said: “Through the ongoing work of the Commonwealth, citizens can reap the benefits that come from positive dialogue and engagement on issues of democracy, good governance, human rights and socioeconomic development. Through collaboration, consultation and speaking with one common voice, the Commonwealth is truly a global force for good, bringing a richness of its diversity and geographical reach to solve issues and identify new opportunities.” The online webinar was held as part of a series hosted by Global Policy Insights (GPI) and The Ramphal Institute and the session featured a panel discussion on the Commonwealth’s pivotal networks as they partner with each other and their national counterparts to deliver upon the Commonwealth's priorities. Guest panellists included: Mr Uday Nagaraju from Global Policy Insights; Mr David Gomez, Director of The Ramphal Institute; Ms Anne T. Gallagher, Director-General of the Commonwealth Foundation; Dr Greg Munro, SecretaryGeneral of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF); Dr Nicholas Watts, Chair of the Independent Forum of Commonwealth Organisations (IFCO); and Ms Neha Dewan, Political Affairs Officer at GPI and the Project Lead for the Commonwealth Project. To view the online webinar and to find out more about the webinar series hosted by Global Policy Insights (GPI) and The Ramphal Institute please visit or

The Parliamentarian | 2020: Issue Three | 100 years of publishing 1920-2020 | 209

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Commonwealth Parliamentary Association joins global webinar highlighting the vital role of the Commonwealth networks