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AFRICA CHARTS WAY FOR NEW COMMONWEALTH

African member states who subscribe to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association that is registered in 1911 as "charitable association" in the United Kingdom have expressed the need to present a unified front in the push to reform the association during the 72nd meeting of the Executive Committee of the CPA Africa Region held in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.


"We must explore all avenues to transform the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association from a "charitable" Association to become a vibrant organization that will address modern socio-economic and political challenges and respond to the aspirations of the populace that we represent", urged the Speaker of the National Assembly who spearheaded the latest attempt by African Member States to reform the Association.


As early as 1966 there have been numerous attempts made by Commonwealth Member States to change the status of the Association as its structure lacks sufficient flexibility to undertake other activities and programs within its broader mandate which presently, it cannot do because of its "charity" status under the laws of the UK and Wales.

"We attend these conferences and we go back home with the feeling that the ensuing deliberations have minimal impact to the people we represent", said the Speaker of the Kenyan Parliament whose sentiments were echoed by delegates in attendance.


The outcome of the meeting includes resolve by African member states to chart a course for the reconstitution of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association from a charitable association to an international non-charitable organisation that is comparable to recognized international parliamentary bodies such as the Interparliamentary Union (IPU). Member states have further resolved to prepare a draft constitution for the proposed reconstitution of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.
In her closing remarks the Chair of the Executive Committee of CPA Africa Region, Hon. Lindiwe Maseko urged African Member States to be united and more aggressive in the pursuit of a new Commonwealth Association that with increased autonomy and greater decision making power.

 

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