Public Relations Officer
Office of the House of Assembly
Telephone: 494-4757 ext. 6958
Representatives from thirteen countries are in the BVI attending the 40th Conference of the Caribbean, the Americas and the Atlantic Region of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA).
The conference began on July 25th and is set to conclude on August 1st, 2015. It is being held under the theme “Promoting Democracy and Good Governance: A Unified Approach”.
The Plenary Sessions of the conference began on Monday with delegates discussing topics such as “Losing Confidence in the Motion of No Confidence” and “Promoting Democracy and Realizing Good Governance; giving the Public a Wider Say in the Policy Making Process”. Delegates also had the opportunity to make presentations and contributions to these particular topics as they are being used as tools to investigate progress made by the CPA branches of the region.
The opening ceremony of the conference was held on Monday, July 27 at the Eileene L. Parsons Auditorium at the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College. Speaker of the House of Assembly and President of the 40th CPA conference, Hon. Ingrid Moses-Scatliffe welcomed the visiting delegates, observers and Youth Parliamentarians to the Virgin Islands. She stated that it was an honour for the Virgin Islands to be hosting the distinguished conference.
Acting Secretary General and Director of Finance and Administration of the CPA Secretariat, Mr. Joe Omorodion said that this year’s conference theme is relevant and timely for the Caribbean Island States.
He added, “I believe promoting democracy is essential to each of the states here today and the wider Commonwealth, as it is pivotal to the advancement of sustainable, social and economic development.”
Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE expressed his pleasure in having the discussions during the plenary sessions held earlier in the day. He said, “Our public participation could lead to effective policy creation and implementation. We all know that public participation is critically important for a well-functioning democracy.”
The Premier also spoke about the launching of the National Youth Policy and the importance of preparing and molding our future leaders and parliamentarians.
As a part of the CPA Conference, the youth of the BVI will join their counterparts from Antigua and Barbuda, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Nevis and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in debating a motion at the 11th Regional Commonwealth Youth Parliament.
The motion speaks to the significance of the participation of young people in any representative democracy. The public is invited to attend the Youth Parliament on Thursday, July 30 at the Eileene L. Parsons Auditorium, H. Lavity Stoutt Community College at 9:00 a.m. The debate will also be aired live on ZBVI 780 AM and Stingray TV channel 52.
The purpose of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Branches of the Caribbean, the Americas and the Atlantic Region (CPA CAA) is to provide a forum to promote the aims and objectives and implement the activities of CPA CAA and the branches in the region. Member States of the CPA include Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, St. Kitts, Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands.