Speaker Welcomes New Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association to Parliament Buildings

Session: Session currently unavailable

Date: 26 September 2016

Reference: SO 04/16/17

Speaker Newton with the Secretary General of the CPAThe Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Robin Newton MLA today welcomed the new Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), Mr Akbar Khan to Parliament Buildings (pictured above). This will be Mr Khan’s first visit to Northern Ireland since he took up the role in January 2016. 

Mr Khan will attend meetings with the Speaker who is also the President of the CPA Northern Ireland Assembly Branch, and Members of the CPA Northern Ireland Assembly Branch Executive Committee.

The Speaker, Robin Newton MLA said: “I am delighted on behalf of the Northern Ireland Assembly to welcome the new Secretary-General to Parliament Buildings today. The CPA plays an important role in developing, strengthening and sharing good parliamentary practice in legislatures across the Commonwealth. It is important that the Assembly has the opportunity to benefit from experience elsewhere but I also know that there are Assembly initiatives which others are keen to learn from including our research and policy partnerships with local academics.

“The fact that Mr Khan is visiting schools during the visit is also a recognition that the Assembly and all parliamentary institutions now recognise the importance of engaging with the community and schools to increase understanding of how decisions are made.” 

On Tuesday 27 September; Mr Khan will visit two local schools, Lurgan College with Jo-Anne Dobson MLA, Chair of the CPA Northern Ireland Branch and Dromore Central Primary School with Brenda Hale MLA, Member of the CPA Northern Ireland Branch, as part of the CPA Roadshows tour of Commonwealth Schools and Universities.

The Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Mr Akbar Khan pictured with Jo-Anne Dobson MLA, Chair of the CPA Northern Ireland Branch on a visit to Lurgan College. Today’s visit was organised as part of the CPA Roadshows tour of Commonwealth Schools and Universities.

The Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Mr Akbar Khan pictured with Jo-Anne Dobson MLA, Chair of the CPA Northern Ireland Branch on a visit to Lurgan College. Today’s visit was organised as part of the CPA Roadshows tour of Commonwealth Schools and Universities.

(Pictured l-r:  Jessica Johnston, John Mulholland, Robert Uprichard (teacher), Jo-Anne Dobson MLA, Chair of the CPA Northern Ireland Branch, Councillor Colin McCusker Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, The Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Mr Akbar Khan, Trevor Robinson (principal), Aaron Jackson and Bethany Brown.)  

Pictured back row l-r: Brenda Hale MLA  Member of the CPA Executive Committee, The Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Mr Akbar Khan and Principal Mrs Linda Allen.  Front row l-r: Christopher McBride, Kaitlyn Jess, Suzanna Howard and Samuel Dillon

The Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Mr Akbar Khan pictured with Brenda Hale MLA, Member of the CPA Executive Committee on a visit to Dromore Central Primary School. Today’s visit was organised as part of the CPA Roadshows tour of Commonwealth Schools and Universities.

(Pictured back row l-r: Brenda Hale MLA Member of the CPA Executive Committee, The Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Mr Akbar Khan and Principal Mrs Linda Allen. Front row l-r: Christopher McBride, Kaitlyn Jess, Suzanna Howard and Samuel Dillon)

The Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Mr Akbar Khan said: “As the CPA approaches its 105th year, we are very excited about bringing the CPA Roadshow to Northern Ireland for the first time and to engage with local students on the values that unite the Commonwealth. I am delighted to visit the Northern Ireland Branch of the CPA and to talk about the important and innovative work they are undertaking to enhance the functioning of the Assembly and to empower Assembly Members to be more effective in their work. I would like to express my sincere thanks to Jo-Anne Dobson MLA for her invitation to visit the Branch and further strengthen relations between the CPA and the Assembly.”

Jo-Anne Dobson MLA, CPA Chair, Northern Ireland Assembly Branch said: “We are delighted to welcome the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Mr Akbar Khan to the Northern Ireland Assembly today. We are delighted that he has taken the time to bring the CPA Roadshows to local schools and to meet with Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly.”

ENDS

Notes to Editor:

School visits:The Secretary-General will visit Lurgan College with Jo-Anne Dobson MLA on Tuesday 27 September from 10am -12pm and Dromore Central Primary School from 1.30pm -3pm. Members of the media are welcome to attend.

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), now in its 105th year with HM The Queen, Head of the Commonwealth as its Patron, exists to develop, promote and support Parliamentarians and their staff to identify benchmarks of good governance and to implement the enduring values of the Commonwealth.

The CPA is an international community of around 180 Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures working together to deepen the Commonwealth’s commitment to the highest standards of democratic governance. Parliaments, their Members and officials learn from each other through CPA activities: Annual Commonwealth Parliamentary Conferences, Regional Conferences and other symposiums; Interparliamentary visits; Parliamentary Seminars and Workshops; Publications including The Parliamentarian, the Journal of Commonwealth Parliaments; and the Parliamentary Information and Reference Centre.

CPA Secretary-General: Mr Akbar Khan is the 7th Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) and he was appointed by the 61st General Assembly of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) in October 2015, taking up his post in January 2016. The Secretary-General, was born in Guyana, South America before moving to the United Kingdom. Mr Khan is an honours graduate in both International Law and English Law and has worked as a Barrister-at-Law. After joining Her Majesty’s Diplomatic Service at the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 2003 as a legal adviser, he held several senior diplomatic positions. These include Head of the International Law Section at the British Embassy, The Hague representing British legal interests before the International Courts and United Nations Tribunals. This was followed by a period of special leave in which he served as the Director of Legal Affairs and Principal Legal Counsel to the Commonwealth Secretary-General at the Commonwealth Secretariat.

 

 

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