Young people encouraged to play a positive role in democracy by Commonwealth Parliamentarians at CPA Roadshow in Trinidad and Tobago 

While in Trinidad and Tobago for the 44th CPA Caribbean, Americas and the Atlantic (CAA) Regional Conference, the CPA Secretary-General, Mr Akbar Khan highlighted the positive role of youth engagement in democracy and Parliament at a CPA Roadshow for over 120 young people and representatives of youth organisations at City Hall in Port of Spain. The CPA Secretary-General spoke about the importance of youth engagement in the political process and the sharing of Commonwealth political values enshrined in the Commonwealth Charter, especially with the 60% of the 2.4 billion population of the Commonwealth who are aged under 30.

The CPA Secretary-General accompanied Members of Parliament to the CPA Roadshow who spoke about their parliamentary roles and encouraging youth involvement in local and international politics. Senator Nigel de Freitas, Vice-President of the Senate of Trinidad and Tobago spoke of the CPA’s ‘fruitful relationship’ with the Commonwealth members of the Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic (CAA) Region and he encouraged the young people to view themselves as the future drivers of development and peace.

Hon. Shamfa Cudjoe, MP, Minister for Sport and Youth Affairs in Trinidad and Tobago, encouraged the attendees to become more involved in local politics and spoke of how, although she felt inexperienced when she became the youngest MP in Trinidad and Tobago in 2010, she has since learned that Parliament is not only for seasoned debaters. The advent of technology, social media and live streaming of Parliament on the local Parliament channel meant that young people have no excuse to not know what is happening in their Legislature.

Hon. Shirley Osborne, MP, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Montserrat spoke about the CPA’s role in promoting gender equality through the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) network and representation for all as she fielded questions from youth participants about the best entry points into politics and LGBT+ rights in the Commonwealth.

The final guest speaker at the CPA Roadshow was Hon. Dr W. McKeeva Bush, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Cayman Islands, who has held a hugely successful Youth Parliament in the Cayman Islands linked to the islands’ Commonwealth Day youth programme and actively encourages youth participation in local politics.

The CPA Roadshows for Schools and Universities 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 through their questions at the sessions. 

For more information and resource materials about the CPA Roadshows for young people please click here.


For images of the CPA Roadshow in Trinidad and Tobago please click here.

-Ends-

Updated 19th July 2019.

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 Headquarters Secretariat 

T: +44 (0)20 7799 1460
Email hq.sec@cpahq.org
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