The 3rd Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Asia Regional Conference will be held in Colombo from 12th to 16th February.
Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne, will inaugurate the Conference on February 12. The Speaker, Lok Sabha and Chairperson of CPA, India region, Miera Kumar will grace the occasion as the guest of honour.
The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) consists of 52 countries out of the 54 countries belonging to the Commonwealth. It is represented by 185 branches including National Parliaments, Provincial and State Parliaments and other Legislative Institutions.
The CPA branches are currently grouped in to nine geographical regions namely Africa, Asia, Australia, British Islands and Mediterranean, Canada, Caribbean Americas and Atlantic, India, Pacific and South East Asia.
The Asia region of the CPA consists of Bangladesh, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka while Pakistan also has 4 Provincial Assemblies which form four branches belonging to the CPA Asia region. India being able to form its own region in 2005 led Bangladesh, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka to be the present members of the CPA Asia region.
A Regional Constitution was drafted at the 1st CPA Asia Regional Conference held in Islamabad, Pakistan in 2005 which stipulated that the region would host a conference annually in one of the branches belonging to this region.
This conference will bring together Parliamentarians, including Speakers, from the National and Provincial Legislatures of Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka to discuss and exchange ides and experiences on issues of mutual interest to the South Asia region.
The conference will include two days of business sessions on the weekend of February 12 and 13, 2011, during which the participants will take part in three plenary sessions on the subjects of 'Climate Change and Natural Disasters', 'Poverty Alleviation' and 'Mother and Child' which have been identified as top-priority areas to which Parliamentarians of the region should pay special attention.
A meeting of the Executive Committee of the CPA Asia Region will also take place on February 12 during which the committee members will approve the agenda and program for the conference and take decisions regarding the course of actions to be taken by the CPA Asia region on various issues during the course of this year.