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About the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association

Commonwealth Parliamentary AssociationThe CPA is an Association of Commonwealth Parliamentarians who, irrespective of gender, race, religion or culture, are united by community of interest, by respect for the rule of law and individual rights and freedoms, and by pursuit of the positive ideals of parliamentary democracy. Its stated purpose is to promote knowledge and understanding of the constitutional, legislative, economic, social and cultural systems within a parliamentary democratic framework. It undertakes this mission with particular reference to the countries of the Commonwealth of Nations and to countries having close historical and parliamentary associations with it.

The CPA was founded in 1911 as the Empire Parliamentary Association, with the United Kingdom Branch administering its affairs. The original member Branches were Australia, Canada, Newfoundland, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Kingdom. Evolving with the Commonwealth, the CPA adopted its present name in 1948, changed its rules to enable all member Branches to participate in the Association's management, and established a separate Secretariat to manage its affairs. Association Branches now exist in 171 national, state, provincial and territorial Parliaments, with a total membership of over 16,000 Parliamentarians.

The Association provides the sole means of regular consultation among Members of Commonwealth Parliaments. It fosters co-operation and understanding among them and promotes the study of and respect for Parliament. Commonwealth Parliaments and Heads of Government endorse its role.