Speaker to visit Swaziland


New Delhi : Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar is going to Swaziland to attend the executive committee meetings of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) from May 8 to 13, officials said Friday.

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She will also meet Swaziland’s king, who is the executive head of the southern African nation which is surrounded by South Africa on three sides and also shares a border with Mozambique.

“The speaker’s visit to Swaziland assumes importance in the context of the fact that though Swazi ministers have been visiting India from time to time, there has been no high level visit from India in the recent past,” a statement issued by the Lok Sabha secretariat said.

“Meira Kumar would be calling on King Mswati III of Swaziland, who has expressed interest in visiting India,” said the statement.

She would share developmental experiences as part of India’s commitment to South-South cooperation and strengthen institutional linkages, it added.

The agenda of the CPA executive committee meetings consists of reviewing the organisational aspects and functioning of the association of parliamentarians from the Commonwealth countries, which aims at promoting the advancement of parliamentary democracy by enhancing knowledge and understanding of democratic governance.

The CPA works in the fields of democratic elections, human rights, gender sensitising (through the Committee of Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians) and promoting awareness of parliamentary democracy among the youth.

The meeting will also plan the activities to be undertaken by CPA in the next few years.

“Active CPA branches, grouped in regional branches, now exist in nearly 175 national, state, provincial and territorial parliaments and legislatures, with a total membership of about 17,000 parliamentarians,” the statement said.

“CPA India region consists of parliamentarians and all the members of state legislative assemblies in India. Meira Kumar is the chairperson of the CPA India region branch,” it said.