Itanagar: Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Wednesday reached here to participate in the 18th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) India Region Zone-III conference hosted by the Arunachal Pradesh State Legislative Assembly.

Chief Minister Pema Khandu, Lok Sabha MP Tapir Gao, deputy chief minister Chowna Mein, state legislative speaker P D Sona, deputy speaker Tesam Pongte and a host of other dignitaries received Birla at the Naharlagun helipad earlier in the day.

Brila will inaugurate and address the conference on Thursday.

“Looking forward to inaugurate and address 18th CPA India Region Zone III Conference at the Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly tomorrow. Besides strengthening the functioning of democratic institutions, this Conference will open new avenues of development in the NE region,” the Lok Sabha speaker said in a tweet following his arrival at the state capital.

The CPA is an international community of 180 parliaments and legislatures working together to deepen the commonwealth’s commitment to the highest standards of democratic governance.

It is an association to serve the parliamentarians of the commonwealth countries by providing machinery for regular consultation and exchange of ideas and information among the members. It aims to promote closer understanding and cooperation for common purposes between those engaged in the parliamentary form of countries of the commonwealth and also focuses to strengthen parliamentary democracy through the promotion of good governance and sharing best practice.

The CPA conference, which is being hosted by Arunachal for the third time, will focus on the issues of the North East region besides promoting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘vocal for local’ mantra.

To discuss the issues of the region, plenary sessions on the theme – “Challenges of the north east region and the way forward” and “Preservation of ethnic culture for future generations and role of lawmakers”- are scheduled for May 12 and 13.

Rajya Sabha deputy chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh and the legislative assembly speakers and other delegates from all the eight North Eastern states including Sikkim are taking part in the conference.

The other highlights of the conference include a cultural presentation titled ‘Mountain Rhythms: Folk Art of the Northeast’ and presentation of delicacies and exhibition of handicrafts and handloom products, etc. by the caterers and artisans respectively of the participating states.

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