The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association’s 13th Regional Youth Parliament Sitting of the Caribbean, the Americas and the Atlantic Region took place on Friday 23rd, June 2017 at the Marriott Resort in St. Kitts.
This year the St. Kitts National Youth Parliament Association had the opportunity to spearhead the execution of the Regional Parliament Sitting. The topic of discussion surrounded the UN Convention on the Protection of Migrant Workers and Members of their Families. The Sitting saw participation from the following countries: St. Kitts, Nevis, Bermuda, Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, and the Cayman Islands.
A total of 23 debaters were divided into two sides: Government and Opposition. Twelve (12) persons sat on the Government Bench and Eleven (11) on the Opposition Bench.
The Government Bench was led by Mr. Dennis McCall Jr of St. Kitts, other members of Government Bench included Mr. Ade O’Neal (Barbados), Mr. Devonne Cornelius (Nevis), Ms. Vivian Wall (Trinidad and Tobago), Ms. Ikalya Casear (Antigua and Barbuda), Ms. Delcia Burke (Nevis), Mr. Yasser Baia (Bermuda), Mr. Richard Weber (Cayman Islands), Mr. Ackeem Alexander (St. Kitts), Ms. Shajunee Gumbs (St. Kitts), Ms. Danika Griffin (Barbados) and Ms. Lekiah Lescott (Nevis). Ade O’Neal (Barbados) was adjudged the Best Speaker on the Government Bench.
The Opposition Bench was led by Ms. Azuree Liburd of St. Kitts, other members of the Opposition Bench included Mr. Dia Parris (Barbados), Ms. Lauren Lawrence (Nevis), Mr. Noor-ud- din Mohammed (Trinidad and Tobago), Mr. Kamalie Mannix (Antigua and Barbuda), Ms. Brittney Simmonds (Nevis), Ms. Ajai Peets (Bermuda), Ms. Bianca Meghoo (Cayman Islands), Mr. Christian Nathaniel (St. Kitts), Mr. Tarique Hercules (St. Kitts), Ms. Celestial Hanley (Nevis). Kamalie Mannix (Antigua and Barbuda) was adjudged Best Speaker on the Opposition Bench.
Mr. Azard Gumbs, President of the St. Kitts National Youth Parliament Association and Coordinator of this year’s CPA Regional Parliamentary Sitting moderated the debate by playing the role of Speaker.
Ms. Rhea Matthew and Ms. Kara Daly of the St. Kitts National Youth Parliament Association assisted by playing the roles of Clerk and Deputy Clerk respectively. Mr. Mauriel Knight of the Basseterre High School played the role of Sergeant at arms.
According to Mr. Gumbs the youth parliament sitting was of a high standard. He stated that events like these give young people an opportunity to represent their countries, develop their public speaking ability and give them a foretaste of parliamentary procedure. He thanked the Hon. A. Michael Perkins, and the Hon. Akilah Byron- Nisbett, Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the St. Kitts and Nevis National Assembly for affording the St. Kitts National Youth Parliament Association the opportunity to spearhead the organization this year’s Regional Sitting He also thanked Mr. Jose Lloyd (Clerk) ,Sonia Boddie (Deputy Clerk and Conference 42 Coordinator), Ms. Marita Smith for their assistance, Mr. Eustace Warner of Warner’s One Stop for the donation of the prizes, and the judges Mrs. Ingrid Moses-Scatliffe, Mr. Dwyer Astaphan and Ms. Azilla Clarke for accepting the offer to judge this year’s debaters.