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Speech to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association

John Bercow speech from the closing ceremony of the Speech to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association General Assembly.

Mr Speaker Marende, Mr Prime Minister, Chairperson Shafie, Secretary-General, fellow parliamentarians, I understand that CPC 2010 has gone exceptionally well and I congratulate the Parliament on arranging and running a very good conference. On behalf of all the delegates and accompanying persons, thank you for your warm hospitality and for the very smooth administrative arrangements.

Much will have been considered and achieved by the wide CPA family at this conference and I hope you will have addressed real matters of substance for parliamentarians and for those who elect us. I also hope that the important networking and friendships made in the margins of the conference will last for many years.

I am grateful to Sir Alan Haselhurst for standing in for me as Vice-President and for his excellent address at the opening ceremony on Tuesday. I add my congratulations to you Mr Speaker, Mr Prime Minister, Kenyan parliamentary colleagues and the Kenyan people on Kenya's very successful and peaceful referendum, new Constitution and all the benefits it will bring to your wonderful country.

I understand that government and parliament are now hard at work to produce over 50 related new pieces of legislation; we all understand the challenges that face you and I wish you every success in your important task.
Mindful of Commonwealth Secretary-General Sharma's address in which he called for a reinvigoration of the Commonwealth, I look forward to CPC 2011, to leading the CPA in its centennial celebrations and to launching a reinvigorated CPA into its next 100 years.

I am confident that Chairperson Moanna Mackay and the members of her CPA Working Party will make their initial positive and innovative recommendations to our Executive Committee when we meet in the Yukon in February.

As Chairperson Shafie so eloquently charged the CPA to do in his address on Tuesday, no change is not an option. It is so important for parliamentarians, the Commonwealth, democracy and for coming generations to take the CPA forward by setting ourselves key performance indicators, increasing outputs and measuring the performance of our programmes, whilst enhancing transparency, governance and, in these challenging fiscal times, achieving value for money.

I conclude by thanking Hon. David Musila MP and CPA Kenya for the excellent organisation and I wish specifically to thank Clerk Patrick Gichohi, Michael Sialai and all those unseen and unsung members of staff who have worked so hard to make CPC 2010 successful.