Speaker of the National Assembly, Honourable A. Michael Perkins, invited the quartet to Tuesday’s (July 30, 2019) sitting of the parliament in Basseterre to be recognized for the important role they played at the regional debate attended by approximately 41 youth parliamentarians from across the sub-region.
Speaker Perkins noted that he felt compelled to invite the youth parliamentarians: Mauriel Knight, Azuree Liburd, Kara Daley and Vikell Edwards-Douglas, to today’s sitting “to help mould them in their development.” He stated that three current Members of Parliament (MP) – Member for #3, Honourable Konris Maynard; Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly and Senator, Honourable Akilah Byron-Nisbett; and Clerk of the National Assembly, Sonia Boddie-Thompson – have passed through the youth parliamentary system.
“It is my hope that the young people of our Federation would look at these factors and be encouraged that there are opportunities ahead once you continue along that part,” Honourable Perkins said.
In response to the Speaker’s words and applause from the MPs and persons in the gallery, Mauriel Knight expressed gratitude on behalf of the group and said that: “It truly was a great honour to show other youth in the Federation what it means to ‘ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country’” a quote made famous by United States President John F. Kennedy.
The young man added that the topic debated at the 15th Regional Youth Parliament surrounded border security and migration issues which were timely given the challenges facing many countries around the world. One example of such can be found in the current crisis in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela that has forced more than 4 million people to leave the country according to a recent report from the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
Mr. Knight said that the St. Kitts and Nevis parliament, as well as citizens, may need to have discussions on related issues shortly.
The youth parliament was held as part of the 44th Annual Conference of the Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic Region of The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. The conference ran from July 12 – 19, 2019.