What is CPC 2011?

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The Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference 2011 (CPC 2011) will bring together over 600 Parliamentarians and parliamentary staff from 175 commonwealth parliaments and legislatures to exchange views on global political issues and developments in the parliamentary system. As a solution-seeking rather than decision-making body, the conference is a forum for parliamentarians to exchange views and ideas in an open manner. 

Centennial conference

This conference will mark the centenary of the Empire Parliamentary Association, the predecessor of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. It will highlight the role of the CPA as the voice of parliamentary democracy throughout the Commonwealth, whilst enabling parliamentarians to discuss the shape of the Commonwealth over the next century.


Although this is the 57th annual CPC, there have been frequent plenary meetings since the founding of the Empire Parliamentary Association. Since 1911, with the expansion of its member parliaments, legislatures and assemblies, plenary meetings have taken place in a variety of locations. 

This will be the sixth time that the United Kingdom has hosted the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference since 1948.

The conference

The CPA General Assembly, International Executive Committee and Working Party will meet during the conference, as will the following events:

Small Branches Conference
Since 1981, the CPA has held this conference for parliamentarians from more than 30 jurisdictions where the population is less than 500,000 people. Delegates discuss political issues which have a particular impact on smaller states.
The themes for this year’s 31st Small Branches Conference include:

  • Commonwealth Initiatives in Handling Migration Issues;
  • Countering Threats to the Stability of Small Democracies: Piracy, Drug Trafficking, Terrorism;
  • Women as Agents of Change in Small Societies;
  • Strengthening Democracy in Small States: Youth Leadership Training, Citizen Involvement and Parliamentary Reform.

Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) meeting
The CWP was founded by delegates at the 1989 plenary conference to ensure female parliamentarians have a forum to discuss ways of increasing female representation in parliaments and work towards the mainstreaming of gender considerations in all CPA activities and programmes.

Society of Clerks-at-the-Table (SOCATT) meetings
The 48th meeting of the Society will take place as part of CPC 2011. The Society was founded in 1932 to provide a means by which parliamentary officials could share knowledge of the practices and procedures of the various legislatures of the Commonwealth. 

Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference workshops
On Tuesday 26 July delegates will have an opportunity to participate in workshops on the following themes:

  • Parliament and Reforms – Raising the Benchmarks;
  • Commonwealth Initiatives in Handling Migration Issues;
  • Enhancing Good Governance and Accountability: Improving Standards and Probity of Performance;
  • The World Economy and Obstacles Facing the Commonwealth;
  • Women as Agents of Change: Where Are We Now? The Way Forward;
  • Technological Threats to International, National and Personal Security;
  • The Role of Parliamentarians in Advancing the Transfer of Agricultural Technology and Research.

Regional groups
These meetings provide delegates with an opportunity to discuss matters of regional interest. The nine regions are:
1. African Region
2. Asia Region
3. Australia Region
4. British Islands and Mediterranean Region
5. Canadian Region
6. Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic Region
7. India Region
8. Pacific Region
9. South-East Asia Region

The conference will be formally opened at a ceremony in Westminster Hall on Monday 25 July. The CPA’s centenary will be celebrated in a cultural evening which will be held in Westminster Hall on the evening of Tuesday 26 July and at a plenary meeting at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge hotel on Wednesday 27 July.

Our role
The CPA International Secretariat is responsible for the organisation and conduct of the meetings, while the CPA UK provides the conference facilities, accommodation, hospitality and local transportation where necessary.