Anguilla Parliamentarians attend CPA’s first ever virtual post-election seminar
Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Secretary-General Elect, Mr Stephen Twigg addressed newly elected Members of the Anguilla House of Assembly at the opening of the CPA’s first ever fully virtual post-election seminar last week. The Seminar, which is the CPA’s longest running programme, was delivered for the first-time fully virtually with panellists presenting from across the Commonwealth, due to travel restrictions in place during the COVID-19 global pandemic.
The CPA Secretary-General Elect, Mr Stephen Twigg said: “The CPA is pleased to work with the House of Assembly in the delivery of this important and worthwhile programme to support the strengthening of democracy and good governance in Anguilla. Delivering this programme through a virtual platform highlights Anguilla’s forward-thinking and adaptive approach to new ways of working in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. This clearly demonstrates a positive future for democracy on the island.”
The opening ceremony of the CPA post-election seminar also heard speeches from the new Speaker of the House, Hon. Barbara Webster-Bourne, the CPA UK CEO, Mr Jon Davies and the Governor of Anguilla, His Excellency Tim Foy OBE.
The CPA Post-Election Seminar which ran from the 20-24 July 2020, provided a valuable opportunity to help shape the parliamentary careers of the newly elected and returning Members of the House to develop their skills and understanding of parliamentary democracy. The programme covered areas focusing on parliamentary practice and procedure, administration and financing of Parliament, public outreach and engagement, the role of select committees as well as key Commonwealth values and principles, such as the Latimer House Principles on the Separation of Powers.
Key highlights included:
- Two highly experienced Commonwealth Parliamentarians from Bermuda and Canada – Hon. Dennis P. Lister, JP, MP, Speaker of the House of Assembly of Bermuda and Hon. Yasmin Ratansi MP (Canada) - shared their experiences of being a newly elected Member of Parliament.
- Parliamentary experts including Ms Jacqui Sampson Meiguel, Clerk of the House of Representatives, Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago and Mr Lenox Proctor, Clerk of the House of Assembly of Anguilla examined the importance of updating Standing Orders and good practice for parliamentary procedures.
- A session was held for female MPs from Anguilla to discuss women’s representation and the work of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) network with Hon. Yasmin Ratansi, MP (Canada) and Hon. Akierra Missick MP (Turks & Caicos Islands) who shared their own experiences of working in Parliament.
- Hon. D. Ezzard Miller, MLA (Cayman Islands), Chair of the Public Accounts Committee spoke about the importance of the legislative process and financial scrutiny.
- Hon. Akierra Missick MP (Turks & Caicos) and Hon. Sharie B. de Castro, MHA, Junior Minister for Tourism (British Virgin Islands) spoke about balancing government and parliamentary roles and the role of the Minister.
- A session was also held for the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Anguilla House of Assembly that focused on the multifaceted role and function of the Presiding Officer, both within and outside the Chamber. The session heard from three distinguished current and former Commonwealth Speakers - Hon. Dennis P. Lister, JP, MP, Speaker of the House, Bermuda; Hon. Alix Boyd Knights, Speaker Emeritus, Dominica; Mr Terry Harrigan, former Speaker of the House of Assembly of Anguilla.
Members of the House also addressed key and urgent areas of parliamentary and electoral reform in Anguilla emanating from the recent CPA Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures report and the CPA BIMR Election Assessment Mission. The election for Members of the House of Assembly of Anguilla was held on 29 June 2020.
The CPA Headquarters Secretariat delivered the programme in partnership with the House of Assembly of Anguilla, the Government of Anguilla and the CPA British Islands and Mediterranean Regional Secretariat (CPA UK Branch).
For images of the CPA post-election seminar in Anguilla please click here.
The final report from the seminar is available to view below.