Commonwealth speakers' conference begins

However, the conference, being attended by 50 speakers and presiding officers from 42 parliaments in the Commonwealth Jan 4-8, will be formally inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Tuesday at Vigyan Bhavan. He will also deliver the keynote address.

"This is the third time the Indian parliament hosts the CSPOC. India had earlier hosted the conference in 1971 and 1986," Meira Kumar told reporters in parliament.
A total of 250 guests, including 34 clerks/secretary generals of Commonwealth parliaments and 34 speakers and presiding officers of state legislatures, are also attending the conference, the speaker said.

"The aims of the conference are the maintenance, fostering and encouragement of the impartiality and fairness of speakers and presiding officers of parliaments, the promotion of knowledge and understanding of parliamentary democracy in its various forms and the development of parliamentary institutions," she said.

The CSPOC was created in 1969 as an initiative of then speaker of Canada's House of Commons, Lucien Lamoureux.
The last conference was held in London in 2008.

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