CPA Conference in Turks & Caicos

45th Annual Conference of the Caribbean, Americas and the Atlantic Region of the CPA

Date: 21st – 28th July 2023

Location: Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Islands

 

The 45th Annual Conference of the Caribbean, Americas and the Atlantic Region of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) took place in Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Islands, on 21st – 28th July 2023, and was attended by the Rt. Hon. Sir Lyndsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons (UK) and the Hon. Katherine Ebanks-Wilks, MP, Speaker of the Parliament of the Cayman Islands.

Under the theme of “building a resilient region in the face of global challenges,” the week-long annual general meeting was attended by eight representatives from the Cayman Islands, including two Youth Parliamentarians who took part in a formal debate with other Youth Parliamentarians across the represented regions on the topic of “urging regional leaders to engage the voices of the youth to build resilience in the face of global challenges.”

Also in attendance were: Hon. Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, MP, Deputy Premier; Hon. Johany Ebanks, MP; Mr. Christopher Saunders, MP; Hon. Dr. W. McKeeva Bush, MP; and Ms. Nordra Walcott, Assistant Clerk. The Youth Parliamentarians were Mr. Amani Ebanks and Mr. Alex Harris.

The aim of the 45th regional conference was to promote knowledge and co-operation between parliamentary legislatures in the region, to encourage the study of good parliamentary practices, and to enhance awareness of the regional community. Within the conference there was also the 13th Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians Conference, a Youth Parliament debate, and a meeting of the Executive Committee of the region.

The annual Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians Conference (CWP) marked the launch of the 45th Annual General Meeting, with the Deputy Premier, Hon. Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, JP, MP, and the Speaker, Hon. Katherine Ebanks-Wilks, MP, representing the Cayman Islands. Sessions included discussions on the critical role of women in democratic governance, youth crime, the CWP constitution, and roundtable discussions on the experiences of current female parliamentarians.

“More women should be encouraged to enter into leadership roles in politics,” said Hon. Katherine Ebanks-Wilks, MP, Speaker.

“The Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians Conference sparked a number of innovative ideas for how I can empower women in my community for the next women’s month” said the Speaker. “More women should be encouraged to enter into leadership roles in politics, so I intend to give women an opportunity to learn how to debate by spending the day at Parliament with myself and other female politicians.”

Following the CWP sessions, delegates held sessions on biodiversity and food security preparedness, adapting to climate change, preparing for national disasters, promoting democracy, crime and security, banking standards, and health care. Mr. Christopher Saunders, MP, was a panelist for the session on banking standards, and provided delegates with best practices from Cayman’s financial management and legislation.

A strong contingent of nearly two-dozen youth parliamentarians gathered on 26th July for the 16th Regional Youth Parliament. The two Caymanian delegates were selected for the top two positions, with Mr. Amani Ebanks as the YP Premier, and Mr. Alex Harris as the YP Leader of the Opposition.

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