CPA post-election seminar plays crucial role in embedding democracy in Cayman Islands and highlighting importance of equal gender representation in parliaments    

A two-day post-election seminar was held by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) at the Legislative Assembly of the Cayman Islands for newly elected and returning Members to provide training and guidance to the Legislature in all aspects of good parliamentary practice.
At the recent elections in May 2017, the Cayman Islands witnessed an impressive increase of almost 15% in the number of people registered to vote, demonstrating that Caymanians are taking a more active role in democracy and political processes. At a time when the legitimacy of parliaments is under heightened scrutiny and representative parliaments are essential, the CPA seminar highlighted that greater efforts are required to increase female representation in the Cayman Islands where only three of the 19 Members of the Legislative Assembly are female, falling significantly short of the Commonwealth’s target of 30% women in decision-making roles.
The Secretary-General of the CPA, Mr Akbar Khan said at the opening of the seminar: “The recent elections demonstrated the Cayman Islands’ commitment to the democratic ideals and standards upon which the Commonwealth is founded and are enshrined in the Commonwealth Charter. This CPA post-election seminar shares good practice on issues such as the importance of gender equality in parliament and the essential role that an effective parliamentary committee can play in holding government to account. This peer-to-peer learning and bringing together of expertise from across the Commonwealth, goes to the heart of the CPA’s key strength as an Association.”

To read the full speech by the CPA Secretary-General at the opening of the CPA Post-Election Seminar at the Cayman Islands Legislative Assembly please click here.
Hon. Roy McTaggart, JP, Minister of Public Finance and Economic Development responded on behalf of the Cayman Islands Government and said: “Thanks to the CPA, all Members of the Legislative Assembly, particularly those newly elected, can benefit from the expertise of the visiting Members and parliamentary staff at this seminar giving them a golden opportunity to empower themselves and to understand all aspects of their function as the people's representatives."
Presided over by the Cayman Islands Speaker, Hon. W. McKeeva Bush, the Members heard from experts from neighbouring jurisdictions in the region including: Hon. Senator Bridgid Annisette-George, MP, Speaker of the House of Representatives of Trinidad and Tobago; Hon. K. H. Randolph Horton, MP, former Speaker of the House of Assembly of Bermuda; and Mrs Heather E. Cooke, Clerk to the Houses of Parliament of Jamaica and CPA Caribbean Regional Secretary; as well as Hon. Mary Lawrence, former Speaker of the Cayman Islands Legislature and Mr Rolston Anglin, former Minister of Education, Training and Employment in the Cayman Islands Government.
Following the seminar, a CPA Roadshow for around 50 young people aged 14-18 in the Cayman Islands highlighted youth participation in a parliamentary democracy while local and overseas Members gave the students an insight into the different roles and employment opportunities within a legislature. 
During the visit, the CPA Secretary-General also held a bilateral meeting with the Governor of the Cayman Islands, Her Excellency Helen Kilpatrick to update her on the CPA’s parliamentary strengthening work. The CPA is the only Commonwealth body that works to strengthen territorial legislatures and provides a platform to develop good parliamentary practice within the UK Overseas Territories and to share good practice with other similar legislatures across the Commonwealth. 

To view images of the CPA Post-Election Seminar and CPA Roadshow in the Cayman Islands please click here.

Published on Tuesday 8 August 2017.


Notes to Editors

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), now in its 106th year with HM The Queen, Head of the Commonwealth as its Patron, exists to develop, promote and support Parliamentarians and their staff to identify benchmarks of good governance and to implement the enduring values of the Commonwealth. The CPA is an international community of over 180 Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures working together to deepen the Commonwealth’s commitment to the highest standards of democratic governance. Parliaments, their Members and officials learn from each other through CPA activities: Annual Commonwealth Parliamentary Conferences, Regional Conferences and other symposiums; Interparliamentary visits; Parliamentary Seminars and Workshops; Publications including The Parliamentarian, the Journal of Commonwealth Parliaments; and the Parliamentary Information and Reference Centre. 

For further information about the CPA, please contact:

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
CPA Secretariat, Westminster House, 
Suite 700, 7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA, 
United Kingdom  T: 44-20-7799-1460 
F: 44-20-7222-6073 

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