The 65th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC) is being hosted by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Canada Region in Halifax, Canada from August 20 to 26, 2022. The annual flagship event brings together over 500 Parliamentarians, parliamentary staff and decision makers from across the Commonwealth to address the critical issues facing today’s Parliaments.

Tonga’s delegation to the 65th CPC is led by the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Lord Fakafanua and Hon Fekitamoeloa ‘Utoikamanu (Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism). Accompanying the members is Ms. Silivia ‘Atiola (Legislative Counsel). The theme for 2022 is “Inclusive, Accessible, Accountable and Strong Parliaments: the Cornerstone of Democracy, and Essential for Development.”


Workshops centered around the above theme are currently underway at the 65th CPC. Hon. Fekitamoeloa ‘Utoikamanu was invited by the CPA Small Branches Network to be part of a panel of speakers who addressed Disaster Risk Preparedness for Small Jurisdictions on August 2022. (The CPA Small Branches Network represents the smallest jurisdictions in all regions of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), to identify their needs and requirements in parliamentary strengthening, development, and cooperation.)

Hon ‘Utoikamanu shared Tonga’s recent experience with the devastating Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai volcanic eruption and tsunami. She also spoke of the challenges we continually face including Tonga’s extreme vulnerability to the existential threat of climate change and climate disasters.

The Minister stated that, ‘Our reality as small jurisdictions is that we continue to have limited means and capacity to respond to and manage the risks of the ever-accelerating climate change and disasters...the recent volcanic eruption and tsunami are potent reminders of how we must urgently invest in more disaster risk preparedness.’

She spoke of various laws and policies enacted to proactively address disaster management as well as laws, regulations and policies that were subsequently implemented by Parliament and Government, in response.

The Minister was joined on the panel by Professor Kate Cochrane from Durham University’s Institute of Hazard Risk and Resilience and Head of Resilience, NHS Highlands. Together they engaged the participants to create a better understanding of disaster risk, the strengthening of disaster risk governance as well as investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience.

Hon ‘Utoikamanu is also representing Tonga at the 7th Triennial Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians Conference which is being held during the 65Tth CPC.

Go to top