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Commonwealth Speakers from UK and Overseas Territories meet in Turks and Caicos for discussions on parliamentary democracy, security and outreach

The 3rd Commons and Overseas Territories Speakers’ Conference (COTSC) has been held in Turks and Caicos Islands from 3 to 5 April 2024.

The Conference was hosted by the Speaker of the Turks and Caicos House of Assembly, Hon. Gordon Burton, MHA in Providenciales and Grand Turk. Speakers and Clerks attended from Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Montserrat, St Helena and Turks and Caicos as well as the United Kingdom.

At this year’s Conference, the Speakers, alongside Parliamentary Clerks and technical experts, examined different aspects of building strong Legislatures and effective parliamentary democracy focusing on AI, Cyber and Physical Security of Parliaments and on Parliamentary Education and Outreach.

The CPA Headquarters’ Head of Programmes, Matthew Salik provided expertise on protocol and precedent as it relates to Commonwealth Speakers as well as using the Conference as valuable opportunity to promote the CPA’s recent publication ‘Parliamentary Handbook on Disinformation, AI and Synthetic Media’.

3rd Commons and Overseas Territories Speakers’ Conference (COTSC)

Speakers from UK and Overseas Territories meet in Turks and Caicos for discussion on parliamentary democracy, security and outreach

3rd Commons and Overseas Territories Speakers’ Conference (COTSC)

Clerks from UK and Overseas Territories meet in Turks and Caicos for discussion on parliamentary democracy, security and outreach

Speakers and Presiding Officers attending included:

  • Hon. Gordon Burton, MHA, Speaker of the Turks and Caicos House of Assembly
  • Rt Hon. Nigel Evans, MP, Deputy Speaker of the UK House of Commons
  • Hon. Barbara Webster-Bourne, Speaker of the Anguilla House of Assembly
  • Hon. Dennis P. Lister, JP, MP, Speaker of the Bermuda House of Assembly
  • Hon. Corine N. George-Massicote, Speaker of the British Virgin Islands House of Assembly
  • Hon. Sir Alden McLaughlin, KCMG, MBE, KC, JP, MP, Speaker of the Cayman Islands Parliament
  • Hon. Keith Biles, JP, Speaker of the Falkland Islands Legislative Assembly
  • Hon. Charliena White, Speaker of the Montserrat Legislative Assembly
  • Hon. Cyril Gunnell, Speaker of the St Helena Legislative Council

The Secretariat for the COTSC Conference is provided by the UK House of Commons Speaker’s Office and the CPA Headquarters and CPA UK Branch are official partners.

The full communique from the 3rd Commons and Overseas Territories Speakers’ Conference (COTSC) 2024 is available in the link here.

All of the Legislatures attending are Branches of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association across two of the CPA’s Regions - the CPA British Islands and Mediterranean Region and the CPA Caribbean, Americas and the Atlantic Region.

 

-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.

Related Resources

Front cover of the Parliamentary Handbook on Disinformation, AI and Synthetic Media
Parliamentary Handbook on Disinformation, AI and Synthetic Media

This handbook provides a comprehensive overview of disinformation, including its different forms and the various techniques used to spread it. It also covers the basics of AI and synthetic media, including their potential applications and implications for democracy, within and beyond the electoral cycle. You can also view the handbook on our ISSUU platform click here >

CPA Recommended Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures (2018)

Building on the Commonwealth Latimer House Principles on the separation of powers, the CPA Recommended Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures provide a framework for excellence in Commonwealth parliamentary and legislative practice.

Model Law for Independent Parliaments

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) has developed a Model Law for Independent Parliaments to help empower Parliaments to take control away from the Executive to ensure it has the administrative, operational and financial resources it needs to function effectively.

CPA Standards for Codes of Conduct for MPs and the Parliamentary Workplace

As a result of extensive research and consultation with Parliaments across the world, the CPA ‘Standards for Codes of Conduct for Members of Parliament and the Parliamentary Workplace’ provides guidance for Parliaments and Legislatures. With the need for continuous improvement and tackling the additional challenges of harassment, bullying and abuse in the workplace as well as the challenges of new technology and online harms, the CPA Secretariat worked with Deakin University to develop an updated set of Standards for Codes of Conduct.

Parliamentary Financial Oversight: Adapting PAC Best Practices to Legislatures in Small Jurisdictions

This Handbook provides recommendations on how to adapt best practices for financial oversight to the resource and size limitations of smaller legislatures.

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