The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) is an association of Commonwealth parliamentarians who, irrespective of gender, race, religion or culture, are united by community of interest – to promote knowledge of and understanding about parliamentary democracy and respect for the rule of law and individual rights and freedoms.
The association’s purpose is to promote knowledge and understanding of the constitutional, legislative, economic, social and cultural systems within a parliamentary democratic framework. The association 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.
It provides the sole means of regular consultation among members of Commonwealth Parliaments. It fosters cooperation and understanding among them and promotes the study of, and respect for, Parliament. Its role is endorsed by Commonwealth Parliaments and heads of government.
It pursues these objectives by means of:
- annual Commonwealth parliamentary conferences, regional conferences and other symposiums;
- inter-parliamentary visits;
- parliamentary seminars and workshops;
- publications, notably The Parliamentarian and two newsletters on CPA activities and parliamentary and political events; and
- a parliamentary information and reference centre.
The WA branch was established in 1925. Today, association branches exist in more than 170 national, state, provincial and territorial Parliaments, with a total membership of over 15,000 parliamentarians.
Branches are grouped geographically into nine Commonwealth regions for representation on the CPA executive committee and for the organisation of regional conferences and seminars on parliamentary practice and procedure. The regions are: Africa; Asia; Australia; British Islands and Mediterranean; Canada; Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic; India; Pacific; and South-East Asia.