The Scottish Parliament is today marking Commonwealth Day 2017, under the theme ‘A Peace-building Commonwealth’. The celebrations include an address to MSPs by the Chair of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Hon. Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury MP, Speaker of the Bangladeshi Parliament.
The address is expected to highlight the importance of the Commonwealth in the post-Brexit world, and the importance of devolved legislatures to the CPA.
Dr Chaudhury, and the CPA Secretary General, Mr Akbar Khan, will also meet the Presiding Officer, Rt Hon Ken Macintosh MSP, President of the CPA Scotland Branch, as well as the branch’s Vice-Presidents, Rt Hon Nicola Sturgeon MSP and Ruth Davidson MSP during their visit to Parliament.
The day will also see the Chair, Secretary General and the Scottish Parliament’s Deputy Presiding Officer Linda Fabiani MSP visiting local schools in Edinburgh, and the Parliament will host a meeting with students from across the Commonwealth attending Scottish Universities. Finally, the delegation will watch a Member’s Business debate to celebrate the occasion.
President of the CPA Scotland Branch and Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, Rt Hon Ken Macintosh MSP, said:
“It’s an honour to welcome the CPA Chair to Scotland in Commonwealth Week. The CPA provides Members both here in the Scottish Parliament and across the 52 countries of the Commonwealth with a valuable opportunity to learn from one another and to improve ways of working.
“Today we have discussed highly topical issues, like engaging more with young people and strengthening the role of devolved legislatures in the CPA. However, we have also reinforced our shared values of peace, democracy and equality.”
The school visits to Stockbridge Primary and Holy Rood High involved pupils in a CPA Roadshow, centred on increasing young people’s awareness of parliament and democracy.
Find out more about the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Scotland Branch at: http://www.parliament.scot/abouttheparliament/12444.aspx
The Presiding Officer is president of the CPA Scotland Branch, while the First Minister and leader of the second largest party not in the Scottish Government are Vice Presidents. All MSPs are members unless they choose to opt out, and its work is steered by an Executive Committee, currently Bruce Crawford MSP, Margaret Mitchell MSP, Elaine Smith MSP and Tavish Scott MSP.
Active CPA Branches exist in 175 national, state, provincial and territorial Parliaments, with a total membership of approximately 17,000 Parliamentarians.
The address to MSPs will be available from Parliament Broadcasting and streamed live: http://www.scottishparliament.tv/Home/Index/a90c3b09-4b7a-4969-b4b8-5853c1586b02.