About the International and Community Relations Office

The International and Community Relations Office (ICRO) provides advice and support relevant to the conduct of the Parliament's international and regional affairs. It provides general support for inter-parliamentary conferences and incoming and outgoing parliamentary delegations; training support for other parliaments, particularly the smaller parliaments in our region; and advice to the Presiding Officers and members on international parliamentary matters.

The ICRO's objective is to support external relations for the Parliament with a view to achieving productive and amicable international and regional relationships with other parliaments and parliamentary bodies and organisations.

Support for other parliaments

The ICRO facilitates development programs for parliamentary visitors. This activity is primarily aimed at exchanging information on procedural and organisational aspects of the operation of parliaments. It has also taken on a significant role with regard to the promotion of good governance in parliaments, complementing programs operated by the United Nations, World Bank and Asia Development Bank and a number of non-government organisations. It involves the provision of training for many parliaments in the Pacific, South East Asia and other parts of the world.

The Australian Parliament has a focus on the Pacific region, particularly through the CPA. In addition to promoting bilateral relations, the Parliament provides a considerable amount of training and equipment to Pacific parliaments. The ICRO provides a regional secretariat to support both Australian and Pacific branches of the CPA. This encompasses support for a range of conferences, seminars and visits at both the regional and the individual branch levels.

Parliamentary Organisations

ICRO also provides the Secretariat for the Commonwealth of Australia Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), the Australian and Pacific Regions of the CPA, and the Australian National Groups of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF).

Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) aims to promote personal contacts among parliamentarians. It also aims to unite them in common action to secure and maintain the full participation of their respective states in the firm establishment and development of democratic institutions, and in the advancement of international peace and cooperation, particularly by supporting the work of the United Nations. Established in 1889, the IPU is an international organisation composed of National Groups established in national legislatures. Over 140 national parliaments are currently members of IPU. Five regional parliamentary assemblies are associate Members.

The Australian National Group was established in 1956. The Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate are the Joint Presidents, the Clerk of the Senate is the Honorary Secretary, and Mr Andrew Templeton is the Executive Officer.

Parliamentary groups

Parliamentary Groups are formed under the auspices of the Australian National Group of the IPU. The aim of Parliamentary Groups is to foster and maintain friendship with, and understanding of, particular countries through links with national legislatures. The Groups meet with members of visiting parliamentary delegations and other distinguished visitors of relevance to the groups, as well as with diplomatic representatives in Australia of the countries concerned. Members of the Groups may also take the opportunity to meet with their counterparts when travelling overseas.

The Parliamentary Groups for the 42nd Parliament are:

Afghanistan

Eritrea

Malaysia

Singapore

Albania

European Parliament

Malta

Slovakia

Algeria

Finland

Mauritius

Slovenia

Argentina

Former Yugoslav
Republic of Macedonia

Mexico

South Africa

Armenia

France

Mongolia

Spain

Austria

Germany

Montenegro

Sri Lanka

Baltic States

Greece

Morocco

Sweden

Bangladesh

Hungary

Nepal

Switzerland

Belgium

Iceland

Netherlands

Syria

Bosnia and Herzegovina

India

New Zealand

Thailand

Brazil

Indonesia

Nigeria

Timor Leste

Bulgaria

Iran

Pacific

Turkey

Cambodia

Iraq

Pakistan

Uganda

Canada

Ireland

Papua New Guinea

Ukraine

Chile

Israel

Peru

United Arab Emirates

China

Italy

Philippines

United Kingdom

Croatia

Japan

Poland

United States of America

Cuba

Jordan

Portugal

Uruguay

Cyprus

Republic of Korea

Romania

Venezuela

Czech Republic

Kuwait

Russia

Vietnam

Denmark

Laos

Saudi Arabia

Zimbabwe

Egypt

Lebanon Serbia  

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA)

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) provides the means for regular communication between members of Commonwealth Parliaments. It seeks to promote understanding and cooperation among countries, and the study of and respect for parliamentary institutions. The Association pursues these objectives through annual general conferences, regional conferences and seminars, the interchange of delegations, and through publications and the Association's quarterly magazine The Parliamentarian.

The President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives are Joint Presidents of the Commonwealth of Australia CPA Branch, the Clerk of the House is the Honorary Secretary, and Ms Lyn Witheridge is the Executive Officer. The ICRO also provides the Regional Secretariat to the Australian Region of the CPA.

Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF)

The Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF) was established in Tokyo in 1993. Its objective is to promote greater regional identification and cooperation among national parliamentarians in the Asia Pacific region, especially those from ASEAN, APEC group nations and the South Pacific Forum. The APPF seeks to further the advancement of peace, freedom, democracy and prosperity.

The Australian National Group of the APPF was established in 1995. The Presiding Officers are the Joint Presidents and the Clerk of the House is the Honorary Secretary. The Executive Officer is Mr Andrew Templeton.

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Contacts

  • ICRO Director
    Mr Andres Lomp
    Telephone: (61 2) 6277 4339

  • Secretariat for Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF), Australian National Group
    Contact: Mr Andrew Templeton, Executive Officer
    Telephone: (61 2) 6277 2158

  • Secretariat for Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) and Australian Region (CPA)
    Contact: Mr Andres Lomp, Regional Secretary
    Telephone: (61 2) 6277 4339

  • Secretariat for Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), Commonwealth of Australia Branch
    Contact: Executive Officer
    Telephone: (61 2) 6277 4367

  • Secretariat for Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Australian National Group
    Contact: Mr Andrew Templeton, Executive Officer
    Telephone: (61 2) 6277 2158

  • General Inquiries
    International and Community Relations Office
    Parliament House
    CANBERRA ACT 2600
    AUSTRALIA

  • Tel: (61 2) 6277 4340
    Fax: (61 2) 6277 2000
    Email: icro@aph.gov.au

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