NATIONAL

Conference of small C’wealth states from today

Gargi Parsai

NEW DELHI: Smaller countries with a population of less than 4 lakh will have an opportunity to share their problems at the 27th Conference of Small Countries of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) beginning on Sunday. Vice-President and Chairman of the Rajya Sabha Hamid Ansari will inaugurate the conference.

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association introduced the Small Countries Conference in 1981 on requests from small countries for a forum to discuss their problems. The conference is held annually preceding the plenary conference of the CPA.

Discussions

The Small Countries Conference will hold discussions on themes such as Parliamentary Initiatives on Managing the Effects of Globalisation on Small Countries, Collaborative versus Adversarial Systems of Government in Small Countries, Regulating Immigration and Human Trafficking and Protecting the Environment to Ensure Sustainable Development.

On September 25, President Pratibha Patil will inaugurate the CPA and release a commemorative souvenir brought out by the Lok Sabha secretariat. The Vice-President, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee and several leaders will address the conference on Tuesday.

Its main theme is ‘Delivering Democracy and Sustainable Development.’ There will be six workshops relating to climate change, global water and energy use, sustainable development, parliamentary procedures and practices and roles, rights and responsibility of the Opposition and on strengthening financial scrutiny.

There will be also be a Women Parliamentarians Conference and an Exhibition on Democracy and Sustainable Development.

This is the fourth time that India is hosting the CPA conference, which will bring together about 800 delegates. New Delhi hosted the conference earlier in 1957, 1975 and 1991.

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