Dhaka ready to host 63rd Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference

Muhammad Syfullah
Thursday, November 2nd, 2017


Dhaka wears a festive look as colorful billboards have been hung from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport to Sangsad Bhaban areas as foreign delegates have started arriving in the city to join the annual assembly of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA).


The 63rd Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC) will officially be inaugurated on November 5.


Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, also the patron of the 63rd CPC, will officially inaugurate the eight-day conference at the South Plaza of Jatiya Sangsad on Sunday. But, the meetings of different CPA committees and sub-committee are set to be held from Thursday to Saturday.


Various billboards with portraits of President Abdul Hamid and  Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Bangladesh’s Jatiya Sangsad and parliaments of different commonwealth countries have been put display in the city, particularly around the conference venues — Jatiya Sangsad Complex, Bangabandhu International Conference Centre, Radisson Blu hotel— and the reads leading to the venues.


The portraits of Queen Elizabeth-II are being displayed at the venues as she is the patron of the 63rd CPC, being arranged by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) and Bangladesh Jatiya Sangsad.


The conference is being held with the theme ‘Continuing to Enhance the High Standards of Performance of Parliamentarian’ with some 550 representatives, including parliament speakers, deputy speakers and parliament members from nearly 144 national and provincial assemblies of 44 commonwealth countries,  joining it.


Dhaka is hosting the conference for the first time. This is the second such mega event for Dhaka after it had successfully arranged the 136th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly in April this year.


Fifty-six speakers and 23 deputy speakers of 144 national and provincial assemblies of 44 countries are expected to participate in the conference, according to a CPC fact-sheet.


A Jatiya Sangsad delegation, led by Deputy Speaker Fazle Rabbi Miah, will join the event. CPA executive committee chairperson Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury is the president of the CPC 2017.


Bangladesh expects that the ongoing Rohingya crisis will come for discussions at a workshop of the conference on Monday next, though the CPC agenda was finalised before the Rohingya crisis had broken out.


A workshop, titled ‘What Factor Fuel the Rise of Different Kinds of Nationalism’, is likely to highlight the Rohingya issue, said Kazi Nabil Ahmed MP, a member of the 63rd CPC media supervision committee.


He said the issue was not previously in the CPC agenda as the programmes were finalised before the crisis had broken out, but he thinks the Bangladesh Parliamentary delegation will place a proposal to discuss Rohingya issue at the workshop.


The General Assembly, Election of Chairpersons of the CPA Executive Committee and eight workshops will be held at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) after the official inauguration of the CPC 2017 on Monday and Tuesday next, while the meetings of CPA main executive committee, different committees and sub-committees including Commonwealth Parliamentary Steering Committees, Coordinating Committee, CPA regional secretaries are set to be held at Radisson Blu Water Garden Hotel from Thursday to Saturday.


Earlier, the 62nd CPC was scheduled to be held in Dhaka in September 2016 but it was postponed due to the Gulshan terror attack.


In October 2014, the Jatiya Sangsad Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury was elected Chairperson of the CPA Executive Committee for a three-year term.


The theme of the CPA is Democracy, Diversity and Development, which has 180 branches (national and provincial assembles) in 52 commonwealth countries.


The CPA was founded in 1911 as the Empire Parliamentary Association and its affairs were administered by the UK branch.

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