Commonwealth Parliamentary Association plays crucial role in embedding good governance in Turks and Caicos with post-election seminar for newly elected Members of the Legislature    

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) has held a post-election seminar for newly elected Members of the Turks and Caicos Legislature to strengthen parliamentary practice and procedure following the recent elections. The CPA is the only Commonwealth body that works to strengthen territorial assemblies and legislatures such as the House of Assembly in Turks and Caicos as well as national, state and provincial legislatures. The relationship between Turks and Caicos and the CPA is key in providing a platform to develop good parliamentary practice within the UK Overseas Territories and to share good practice with other similar legislatures across the Commonwealth.

In her address at the opening ceremony, Turks and Caicos Premier, Hon. Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson, MHA said that she wholeheartedly welcomed the CPA seminar, the purpose of which is to equip local Parliamentarians with the tools and knowledge they need to better serve the people who elected them. She further encouraged: "It is so important that as Parliamentarians we sharpen our skills and that we keep doing so to better equip ourselves.”

To view the opening ceremony of the CPA Post-Election Seminar in Turks and Caicos please click here. 

On 15 December 2016, Turks and Caicos held transparent, free and fair elections for the second time since the introduction of the interim administration in 2009. The elections demonstrated the islands’ commitment to the democratic ideals and standards upon which the Commonwealth is founded and the ideals enshrined in the Commonwealth Charter. The election also resulted in the first female Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands signifying a strong commitment to gender equality and the importance of women’s political leadership.

The CPA Post-Election Seminar in Turks and Caicos provided an excellent opportunity for newly elected Members of the House of Assembly to ask questions about parliamentary practice and procedure and provided Members with a better understanding of the parliamentary system and democratic processes in other Commonwealth jurisdictions. The seminar was opened by Hon. Dwayne S. Taylor, MHA, Speaker of the House of Assembly of Turks and Caicos. Commitment to improving democratic processes in the legislature was demonstrated by the active participation in the seminar of Members from all sides of the House. 

The CPA Secretary-General, Mr Akbar Khan also addressed Members at the CPA Post-Election Seminar. Please click here to read the full text of the CPA Secretary-General’s opening address. The CPA Secretary-General said: “The Post-Election Seminar in Turks and Caicos demonstrates the CPA’s commitment to our Small Branches and to the territorial legislatures that we represent. I am delighted to visit the CPA Turks and Caicos Branch to share good practice with local Members on issues such as the importance of Codes of Conduct as a tool to help address the trust deficit in Parliaments; the importance of gender equality in parliament; and the essential role that an effective Committee can play. 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.”

The newly elected Members of the House of Assembly heard from experts from across the Commonwealth including: Hon. Shirley Osborne, MLA, Speaker of the Montserrat Legislative Assembly; Hon. Dave Levac, MPP, Speaker of the Ontario Legislative Assembly, Canada; Mrs Jacqui Sampson-Miguel, Clerk of the House of Representatives, Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago; as well as local Members and officials from Turks and Caicos.

Following the CPA seminar, a CPA Roadshow for over 150 young people was held at the Helena Jones Robinson High School Auditorium in Turks and Caicos as part of the CPA Roadshows tour of Commonwealth schools and universities. The CPA Secretary-General was accompanied at the CPA Roadshow by the Speaker; the Premier and the Leader of the Opposition; and many Members of the House of Assembly of Turks and Caicos.

Students had the opportunity to discuss the importance of the Commonwealth and of parliamentary democracy with the CPA Secretary-General. The Premier of Turks and Caicos spoke to students about what unites them with each other and with others across the Commonwealth and to recognise that focusing on unity will benefit all citizens in Turks and Caicos. Hon. Shirley Osborne, MLA spoke about the work of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) as the CWP regional representative for the Caribbean Region and she highlighted the great success of women’s representation in Turks and Caicos with women occupying many senior positions in all three arms of the state – executive, legislature and judiciary. Hon. Shirley Osborne also reminded young people that parliaments work best when all people including women govern together. 

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 CPA visit to Turks and Caicos, the CPA Secretary-General held a range of bilateral meetings with the Speaker of the House of Assembly; the Premier; the Leader of the Opposition,
Hon. Charles W. Misick, OBE, JP, MHA; and His Excellency the Governor of Turks and Caicos, Dr John Freeman, CMG. The Secretary-General discussed the range of parliamentary strengthening programmes that the CPA offers to its members and is developing to support the professional development of Members of Parliament and parliamentary staff. The newly-elected Members attended the CPA Post-Election Seminar, which took place in Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos, from 7 to 9 June 2017, hosted by the CPA Turks and Caicos Branch.

For images of the CPA Post-Election Seminar and CPA Roadshow in Turks and Caicos please click here

Published on Tuesday 20 June 2017.

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Notes to Editors

The
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 
Email hq.sec@cpqhq.org

For media enquiries, please contact 
editor@cpahq.org