Statement of the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa on the Commemoration of Commonwealth Day Issued by Hon Lindiwe Maseko, Chairperson of the CPA – Africa Region

Parliament- Parliament of the Republic of South Africa joins the 53 Commonwealth Member States and 2.4 billion of its citizens in observing the 2018 Commonwealth day under the theme Towards a Common Future. Building on the 2017 theme of a Peace Building Commonwealth, this year's theme explores the question of how the Commonwealth can address global challenges and work to create a better future for all its citizens through sub-themes of sustainability, safety, prosperity and development.

Consistent with this theme, our parliament embraces this moment as a platform to respond to the commitment of addressing the challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment in Africa and beyond. As a custodian of oversight and law-making on both domestic and global matters, Parliament further recommits to double its efforts towards ensuring delivery of services to its people which should contribute towards bringing a common future for all humanity.

Parliament is where the heartbeat of democracy can be felt. In this regard our Parliament further commits to strive for a Commonwealth that embraces values of democracy, justice, equality, rule of law and development. As a country that has emerged from the segregation of apartheid and skewed colonial patterns of development, our parliament seeks to contribute towards a common future that will guarantee opportunities for all South Africans regardless of race, gender and class. In this regards, The National Development Plan provides a road-map and serves as a blueprint on which South Africas vision 2030 should be achieved. At a continental level, our parliament contributes towards a common future which seeks to promote an integrated Africa at both economic, social and political level.

South African Parliament through its affiliation in the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) at both International and Africa Region, continuously support efforts aimed at supporting Africas Agenda 2063 to contribute to the socio-economic development of the African continent. This is in keeping with the notion that the struggle for a better South Africa is intertwined with the pursuit of better Africa in a better world.

To this end, South Africas commitments derived from its mandate through parliamentary engagements will seek to complement efforts towards achieving seven aspirations expressed in the Agenda 2063 aimed at positioning Africa as a strong, united and influential, global player and partner.

At a global level, our parliament contributes towards common future aimed at achieving sustainable development goals. The Post-2015 Development Agenda through Sustainable Development Goals help to define the future global development framework that recognises the need to address the challenges of poverty, gender equality, climate change, health, decent work, economic growth and financing for development, as well as an expanded and strengthened global partnership as critical factors for its successful implementation.

At Commonwealth Parliamentary Association level, our parliament is actively supporting the current transition of transforming the status of the Association from a Charity Organisation under the UK laws into an International Organisation with Diplomatic status. An accomplishment of this objective is at the centre of ensuring a common future for all the developing countries in the Commonwealth and thereby guarantee unity and development. As we approach the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), Parliament further appeals to Ministers of International Relations and Heads of States and Governments to support the initiative and the resolution taken at the 63rd Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in November 2017 of transforming the status of the Association as a matter of urgency

Source: Parliament of the Republic of South Africa