Commonwealth Parliamentary Association embeds good governance at Post-Election Seminar in Nevis, one of the smallest legislatures in the Commonwealth  

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) has helped to strengthen parliamentary practice and procedure with the delivery of a CPA Post-Election Seminar for the recently elected Nevis Island Assembly from 15 to 16 May 2018. The CPA Post-Election Seminar, held in Charlestown, Nevis, was held to enable current and recently elected Parliamentarians to gain a broader understanding of the principles of parliamentary democracy and to strengthen their skillsets. 

The eight Member Nevis Island Assembly is one of the smallest legislatures in the CPA’s membership of over 180 Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures. It is located on a small island with a population of 13,000 people that is an autonomous region within the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis. Last year, on 18 December, Nevis Island held transparent, free and fair elections with a 59% voter turnout which demonstrated the island’s commitment to the democratic ideals enshrined in the Commonwealth Charter. 

The CPA is the only Commonwealth body that works to strengthen small legislatures like the Nevis Island Assembly as well as working with larger national, state and provincial legislatures. 

The CPA Post-Election Seminar gave Members of the Nevis Island Assembly an excellent opportunity to learn about parliamentary practice and procedure and to gain a better understanding of the parliamentary system and democratic processes in other Commonwealth jurisdictions. The seminar was opened by Hon. Farrel Smithen, President of the Nevis Island Assembly; Her Excellency Mrs Marjorie Morton, Acting Deputy Governor-General of St Kitts and Nevis; Hon. Mark Brantley, MP, Premier of Nevis Island and Minister of Foreign Affairs for St Kitts and Nevis; and the CPA Secretary-General, Mr Akbar Khan

Hon. Mark Brantley, the Premier of Nevis said: “The Commonwealth is diverse and democracy among its member states takes different shapes and forms.  It is therefore critical that we become inclusive and embrace different cultures, traditions and values as we endeavour to strengthen and promote democracy globally. As we become more inclusive, we must however continue to commit ourselves to the values and tenets that define us – free and fair elections, rule of law, separation of powers, respect, understanding, tolerance, freedom of expression, gender equality, good governance and human rights.” Please click here to read the Nevis Premier’s opening address.

At the opening of the seminar, the CPA Secretary-General said: “The CPA is pleased to partner with the Nevis Island Assembly to support the strengthening of democratic governance in one of the smallest legislatures in our Commonwealth western hemisphere. The CPA Post-Election Seminar has demonstrated the CPA’s commitment to our Small Branches and to the mutuality of learning among CPA Members. We must always seek opportunities to strengthen Parliament, nurture public trust in the institution and build the capacity of its Parliamentarians through programmes like the CPA Post-Election Seminars.”  Please click here to read the full opening address.

The newly elected and current Members of the Nevis Island Assembly were joined at the CPA Post-Election Seminar by Members of the St Kitts and Nevis National Assembly and they heard from experts from across the Commonwealth at the CPA Post-Election Seminar including: Senator Wade Mark (Trinidad and Tobago); Hon. Gail Teixeira, MP, Opposition Chief Whip (Guyana); Mr Nigel Jones, Deputy Clerk of Parliament of Barbados; as well as local Members and officials from St Kitts and Nevis.

During the visit to Nevis Island, the CPA Secretary-General also delivered a CPA Roadshow for 25 students from two local schools, Charlestown Secondary School and Gingerland Secondary School. The Secretary-General was accompanied to the CPA Roadshow by local Members including Hon. Farrel Smithen, President of the Nevis Island Assembly; Hon. Alexis Jeffers, Deputy Premier of Nevis; and Senator Wade Mark from Trinidad and Tobago who spoke to students about their role as Parliamentarians. The students also heard from Nevis Islander, Michelle Slack who attended the 9th Commonwealth Youth Parliament in Jersey earlier this year.

The CPA Roadshows provide an opportunity for young people to learn about the political values of the Commonwealth such as diversity, development and parliamentary democracy; to discuss issues of concern about the society in which they live; and to find out about the work of the CPA.

During the Secretary-General’s visit to Nevis, he held a bilateral meeting with Hon. Anthony Michael Perkins, Speaker of the National Assembly of St Kitts and Nevis and CPA Executive Committee Member for the CPA Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic Region to discuss CPA activities in the region.

The CPA Secretary-General also held meetings with Mrs Marjorie Morton, Acting Deputy Governor-General; Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams, Junior Minister for Health; and Hon. Alexis Jeffers, Deputy Premier of Nevis.


For images of the CPA Nevis Post-Election Seminar and CPA Roadshow for young people please click here

Updated 16th May 2018.

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association connects, develops, promotes and supports Parliamentarians and their staff to identify benchmarks of good governance and the implementation of the enduring values of the Commonwealth. The CPA is an international community of around 180 Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures working together to deepen the Commonwealth’s commitment to the highest standards of democratic governance. 
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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