International parliamentarians gather at Westminster

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Today saw the arrival of nearly 70 legislators representing parliaments across the globe at Westminster to participate in CPA UK’s International Parliamentary Conference on the Millennium Development Goals, ‘Reaching for 2015: Governance, Accountability and the Role of the Parliamentarian.’

The conference brings together parliamentarians from countries spanning six continents, including the world’s newest state, South Sudan, as well as nations as far-flung as St Helena, Vanuatu and Mauritania.

Delegates were welcomed by UK House of Commons Speaker Rt Hon. John Bercow MP, who expressed his hope that talks would be ‘fruitful, candid, knew that they would be respectful,’ and would make ‘each of us [present] ask what we can do to realise [the MDGs].’

CPA UK and International Chairperson, Rt Hon. Sir Alan Haselhurst MP, also greeted them on behalf of the CPA, saying ‘we hope this conference will boost the determination of parliamentarians towards achieving the MDGs.’

The visiting parliamentarians then had the opportunity to meet with representatives from High Commissions and Embassies, in advance of the official opening of the conference tomorrow at a session themed ‘Reaching for 2015: An Agenda for Parliamentarians.’ It will feature addresses from Commonwealth Secretary-General, H.E. Kamalesh Sharma; Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Rt Hon. Lord Howell of Guildford; and founder of the UN Millennium Campaign, Ms Eveline Herfkens.