Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 18, 2019- The National Assembly of St. Kitts and Nevis is currently being represented at the 44th Annual Conference of the Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic Region of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association by two delegates: Speaker A. Michael Perkins and Clerk of the National Assembly, Mrs. Sonia Boddie-Thompson.
The Conference, which runs from July 12 -19, is being held at the Parliament of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in Port of Spain.
The theme of the Conference is “Globalization and Nationalism: Quo Vadis-Impacts on Commonwealth Parliaments”. Several plenary sessions were held to discuss a number of important topics, including: “Migrants and Refugees: Is there a need for collective regional response?”; “Human Rights: Are our Parliaments fully accessible to persons with disabilities?”; “Forging a Caribbean Identity: How relevant are the Westminster traditions in a modern Parliament?”; “The Committee System and the part-time Parliamentarian”; and, “Digital Disinformation: The Challenges to Parliaments and Democracy”.
A major highlight of the Conference was the staging of the 15th Regional Youth Parliament, and according to Speaker Perkins, the National Assembly of St Kitts- Nevis is being represented – for the first time in a number of years. The topic of the Motion debated by the youths was: “Securing our Borders to Mitigate the Effects of Crime whilst striving to meet our Humanitarian Obligations.” The youth parliamentarians are: 16-year old Mr. Mauriel Knight – of the Basseterre High School, and Ms. Azuree Liburd – who both spoke from the Government benches; and, Ms. Kara Daley, and Mr. Vikell Edwards-Douglas – Members of the Opposition.
According to Speaker Perkins, “The National Assembly was determined to have these youths participate in this year’s conference, given a long absence. He noted that over 40 youths represented their territories and he was very impressed with the performance of each of our own. Speaker Perkins said that St Kitts-Nevis has been focusing on youth empowerment, and as one who supports this, he saw this as not only an excellent opportunity for our youth to showcase their oratory and debating skills, but a great avenue to revitalize the interest of young people in the St. Kitts Youth Parliament Association, which is currently making efforts to reorganise and become functional again.
Next year’s 45th Regional CPA Conference will be held in the Turks and Caicos Islands.