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CPA discusses climate change, gender representation and the economy

Stephen Twigg, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. Photo by Johnny Bugeja.

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) hosted a mid-year meeting in Gibraltar earlier this week, where they discussed major financial situations, climate change and gender representation.

The CPA was in Gibraltar for two days discussing core issues which affect the regions.

The meeting saw Gibraltar welcome Speakers and Members of Parliament from across the Commonwealth, both in-person and via video link.

Stephen Twigg, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, said the CPA aids the regions parliamentarians understand and learn from each other.

"We have a number of tools we have developed over a long period of time, for example, one of our best known is our recommended bench marks for democratic legislatures that is all about what you need to do to be a really effective legislature in Parliament," he said.

"On climate change a lot of our work has been driven by a lot of our small branches and of course, Gibraltar is one of our small branches."

He added that climate change is existential for some of the CPA members.

"What we try to do is equip the parliaments with the information and skills they need to champion the measures needed to be taken in response to climate change," he said.

He described how mutual learning is a core part of what the CPA does.

"It's about brokering so people can learn from each other," he said.

Mr Twigg said the CPA continue to monitor gender representation within its member parliaments and have seen New Zealand reach 50% representation and Rwanda 60%.

Though many of the member parliaments have not reached parity with women.

Fiji has seen the number of women reduced, in Tonga just one women sits in Parliament, and, in Gibraltar, there are two women in Parliament.

He said representation of women will be a continued conversation.

Within the governance of the CPA, Mr Twigg said, it has been decided that women should make up at least a third of the members.

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