42nd Regional Conference of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic Region takes place in St Kitts

The St Kitts and Nevis Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) has hosted the 42nd Regional Conference of the Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic (CAA) Region from 16 to 24 June 2017 in Basseterre, St Kitts. Hundreds of Commonwealth Parliamentarians and observers from around the region gathered in St. Kitts and Nevis for the week-long conference hosted in St. Kitts and Nevis for the second time in its history.

The theme of the Regional Conference was ‘Enhancing Democracy through the use of the Parliamentary System and the Media’ and the conference was attended by Speakers, Members of Parliament and parliamentary staff from across the region, hosted by
Hon. Anthony Michael Perkins, Speaker of the National Assembly of St Kitts.The CPA Regional Conference was attended by delegates from across the region including Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Guyana, Jamaica, Nevis, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago and Turks and Caicos as well as specially invited observers from Canada, Scotland and Cameroon.

The 42nd Regional Conference of the Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic Region saw several other events take place during the conference including the Regional Executive Committee Meeting and the Annual General Meeting. The
10th Regional Conference of Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) which took place in St Kitts in the margins of the main conference was chaired by Hon. Shirley Osborne MLA, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Montserrat and Chair of the Regional CWP and saw updates on the activities of the CWP across the region.

The
13th Caribbean Regional Youth Parliament, hosted by the St Kitts National Youth Parliament Association (SKNYPA), also took place with young people aged 18 -29 years from across the region. The Youth Parliament aims to foster an appreciation and understanding of the rules and procedures of parliament among the youth of the region and this year’s event focused on the ‘International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families’.

Hon. Anthony Michael Perkins, Speaker of the National Assembly of St Kitts presented the prizes for Best Speaker for the Opposition to Mr Kamarlie Mannix from Antigua and Barbuda and the award for Best Speaker for the Government went to Mr Ade O'Neal of Barbados. Participants in the youth parliament came from St.Kitts, Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Cayman Islands and Bermuda.

During the conference, the
CPA Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic Regional ‘Hot Topic’ Forum Part Two took place which heard from a number of speakers on the need for increased women’s political participation for the benefit of wider society as they discussed the ‘hot topic’ of the region - ‘Seeking to Increase Women’s Political Participation’. 

The CPA Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic Regional ‘Hot Topic’ Forum was moderated by Professor Verene Shepherd, Gender and Development, University of West Indies (Mona) and the discussion was led by: Senator Akila Byron-Nisbett, St. Kitts & Nevis Parliament; Dr Yvonne Weekes, Education and Theatre Arts, University of West Indies (Cave HIll); and Dr Wendy Grenade, Political Science, University of West Indies (Cave Hill).

This was the second part of the forum following 
part one which took place in the margins of the 62nd Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in December 2016 in London, United Kingdom, hosted by the CPA Headquarters Secretariat and led by Hon. Shirley Osborne, MLA, Speaker of the Montserrat Legislative Assembly. The CPA Regional ‘Hot Topic’ Forums bring together not only Commonwealth Parliamentarians, but also academics, students, civil society organisations and the wider Commonwealth family.


Updated Thursday 29th June 2017/CPAHQ.

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