International and Regional
Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) was founded in 1911 as the Empire Parliamentary Association. The original member branches were Australia, Canada, Newfoundland, New Zealand, South Africa and United Kingdom. Evolving with the Commonwealth, the CPA adopted its present name in 1948.
The Association is composed of Branches formed in legislatures in Commonwealth countries, which subscribe to Parliamentary democracy. Currently, the Association's/Parliamentary members of national, state, provincial and territorial Parliaments, stands at 164.
The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association's mission is to promote knowledge and understanding about Parliamentary democracy with particular reference to Commonwealth countries, and further co-operation and consultation between Commonwealth Parliaments. The CPA achieves its mission through the following activities:
Conferences, seminars, workshops and training events
Commonwealth Parliamentary Conferences
To date 53 Commonwealth Parliamentary Conferences have been held, of which two were held in Sri Lanka in 1974 and 1995. All Members of Parliament are eligible to apply for membership in the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (Sri Lanka Branch).
The Inter-Parliamentary Union was formed in 1889 on the initiative of two Parliamentarians and men of peace, William Randal Cremer (UK) and Frederic Passy (France). It is the world organization of National Parliaments. The Union is composed of the National Parliaments of 140 countries at present.
The main objective of the IPU is to foster peace and security through political dialogue, promote democracy and respect for human rights and to contribute to the development of respective and effective legislative institutions.
This is the main body through which the IPU expresses its views on International problems and makes recommendations. There have been 118 IPU Conferences up until 2008. Sri Lanka is yet to host a Conference. All Members of Parliament are eligible to apply for membership in the Inter-Parliamentary Union (Sri Lanka Group) - IPU (SLG).
SAARC Parliamentarians' Association
The proposal to form an association of Speakers and Parliamentarians of SAARC countries was first mooted at the IPU conference held in Guatemala in April 1988. The first meeting was held in Dhaka from 28-29 January 1994 and the SAARC Parliamentarians' Association was formed. The member countries of this Association include Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan.
The primary goal of this organization is to promote contact and a channel to exchange experiences amongst Parliaments and Parliamentarians of the SAARC countries by introducing a forum to exchange ideas, suggestions and information on Parliamentary practices and procedures. The secondary objective is to achieve mutual understanding, trust and friendship among the people of the SAARC countries and to strengthen ties between the nations so as to cooperate in matters of common interest at International forums. The Association also promotes knowledge of its principles and activities among Parliamentarians of South Asia as well as the public, with a view to gathering support for the work of the SAARC.
All Members of Parliament are eligible to apply for membership in the SAARC Parliamentarians' Association (Sri Lanka Branch).
For further details and Membership application forms please contact:
Mr. S. A. UPALI KUMARASINGHE
Chief Parliamentary Protocol Officer
Foreign Relations & Protocol Office
4th Floor, Parliament of Sri Lanka,
Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte.