67th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference
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Parliament of St Kitts and Nevis undertakes CPA Benchmarks self-assessment to focus on parliamentary strengthening and reform

A delegation from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Headquarters met with the National Assembly of St Kitts and Nevis from 20 to 24 May 2024 as part of a CPA Benchmarks self-assessment.

The CPA’s Recommended Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures provide a framework for excellence in Commonwealth parliamentary and legislative practice and were updated to include the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG16 on strong and sustainable democratic institutions. In recent years, 26 Commonwealth Parliaments have undertaken further assessments against the updated CPA Benchmarks.

As part of their visit, the CPA delegation of Matthew Salik, Head of Programmes and Avni Kondhia, Programmes Manager, met with the Prime Minister, Hon. Dr Terrance Drew, MP; the Speaker, Hon. Lanein Blanchette; the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Latoya Jones; the Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Dr Mark Brantley; as well as the Clerk and Members of the National Assembly, parliamentary staff, the media, civil society groups and other relevant stakeholders.

Speaking about the self-assessment, the Speaker of the National Assembly of St Kitts and Nevis, Hon. Lanein Blanchette said:

“Working with the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Secretariat on the CPA Benchmarks self-assessment has given us the opportunity to examine our parliamentary procedures and practices as well as to hear from experts in the Commonwealth. The recommendations that come from this self-assessment will help us to see where we are performing well and to outline the reforms required to further our parliamentary governance and development.”

At the conclusion of the process, a report will be formulated with recommendations for reform to strengthen parliamentary institutions in St Kitts. The outcomes report will play an important role in developing the effectiveness of the Parliament and contribute to its implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The CPA Secretary-General, Stephen Twigg, said:

“Effective Parliaments are the cornerstone of good governance and the CPA works to ensure that Legislatures can function to their maximum potential. Self-assessment against to the CPA Benchmarks ensures that Parliaments can vigorously scrutinise their practices and procedures to become better performing Legislatures. In addition, the CPA Benchmarks assessments have strengthened public outreach, engagement and confidence.”

This CPA Benchmarks assessment was supported with project funding from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) aimed at further parliamentary democracy and good governance across the Commonwealth.

The CPA supports Parliaments to fulfil the outcomes of the self-assessments through CPA Technical Assistance Programmes, which could involve updating the rules of procedures, training for Parliamentarians and parliamentary staff, or developing corporate policies. These project outputs will strengthen parliamentary institutions for improved good governance.

To find out more about this project please email hq.sec@cpahq.org. The CPA's Recommended Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures are available to download on the CPA website.

-ENDS-

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 media enquiries, please contact communications@cpahq.org.

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