Public Relations Officer
Office of the House of Assembly
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Twenty-five young people from the across the region recently participated in the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association’s (CPA) annual Regional Youth Parliament at the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College.
The Eileene L. Parsons Auditorium was transformed into the House of Assembly on Thursday, July 30 to accommodate the 11th Regional Youth Parliament, one of the events of the 40th Conference of the Caribbean, the Americas and the Atlantic Region of the CPA.
The young people representing 14 countries debated the Motion:
WHEREAS the participation of young people in any representative democracy is essential for the continued growth and strengthening of that democracy;
AND WHEREAS the youth are an integral part of the future leadership of a Country and must therefore be engaged from an early age to ensure succession planning and continued development of that Country;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Regional Youth Parliament agrees to engage future generations in representative democracy.
Speaker of the House of Assembly, Honourable Ingrid Moses-Scatliffe said that the CPA Youth Parliament is in recognition of the importance of young people to the Commonwealth and its future and that it was hoped that this work will be further strengthened by the creation of the BVI National Youth Council.
She said with the establishment of the National Youth Policy, a mandate was also established for the creation of a National Youth Council, thereby forming the National Youth Parliament.
Honourable Moses-Scatliffe explained that publicising such projects as widely as possible, both within and outside the CPA, will ensure that Parliamentarians and the wider Commonwealth are informed of the value of young people.
At the end of the Regional Youth Parliament, presentations were made to Mr. Rol-J Williams of Nevis for ‘Best Orator’ on the Government’s side and to Ms. Juanna Bovell of Barbados for ‘Best Orator’ of the Opposition’s side. Presentations were also made to Ms. Roshanna Trim of Barbados for ‘Exceptional Youth Parliamentarian’ and to Ms. Tassai Pemberton of Nevis for ‘Youngest Parliamentarian’, at fifteen years old.
Host country, the British Virgin Islands had ten young people participating in this year’s event. Mr. Temulji Hughes participated as Premier and Minister of Finance and Tourism; Mr. Sonniel Pickering participated as Speaker; Ms. Brianna Nelson participated as Deputy Premier, Minister for Natural Resources and Labour and Member for the 7th District; Ms. Rea Vanterpool participated as Minister for Health and Social Development and Member for the 4th District; Mr. Kladius Maynard participated as Leader of the Opposition and Member for the 3rd District; Mr. Shaquille Malone participated as Member for the 1st District; Mr. Trevor Bridgewater participated as the Attorney General; Ms. Riiyha Nibbs participated as the Clerk; Ms. Monet James participated as the Deputy Clerk; and Mr. Hubert Akeem Lennard participated as Sergeant-At-Arms.
The aims and objectives of the Association are to promote knowledge of the respective Constitutions, as well as the legislative, economic, social and cultural aspects of Parliamentary democracy, with particular reference to the Commonwealth countries 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.