Cayman to host major Commonwealth meeting

| 14/03/2013

Queen-Opens-CHOGM-2011 (238x300).jpgCNS): Dignitaries and leaders from around the Commonwealth will meet in Cayman next week to discuss a new Commonwealth Charter during an Executive Committee of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), meeting. The pan-Commonwealth parliamentary debate on the Charter of Commonwealth values, which was signed by the British monarch who is head of the commonwealth, will consider ways to strengthen parliamentary democracy.  The CPA meeting is set from 18 to 21 March and will be hosted by the Cayman Islands Legislative Assembly.

Mary Lawrence, the Legislative Assembly’s speaker said membership  of the CPA had brought numerous benefits to Cayman including training opportunities for legislators at both the regional and global level, “exposure to new thoughts and ideas, and participation in formulating policy and change which emphasises the further development of democratic principles and good governance” she said. 

Juliana O’Connor Connolly, the current premier stated that as the Caribbean and Americas representative of the CPA Executive Committee (ExCo) she was delighted to have the mid-year meet in the Cayman Islands. “I look forward to productive meetings,” she said. “As premier, I welcome all of the delegation and I also take this opportunity to showcase our beautiful islands.”

Chairperson of the CPA Executive Committee, Sir Alan Haselhurst, MP from the United Kingdom said the meeting will provide an important opportunity for Commonwealth Parliamentarians to contribute directly to the “implementation of the new Commonwealth Charter and to ensure that their governments adhere to the values that now officially bind them together.”

The Charter commits all Commonwealth governments to uphold the principles of democracy, good governance and respect for human rights and the rule of law, among others.

The meeting in the Cayman Islands will also set the agenda for the 59th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference, to be hosted by the Parliament of South Africa in late August in Johannesburg. The Committee will consider whether to hold a pan-Commonwealth debate on the Charter at the Conference, which is to be held a few months before the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

CPA Secretary-General Dr William F. Shija said the Committee, composed of MPs representing close to 185 Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures, will also consider new proposals for other CPA services for MPs. A seminar with theInternational Monetary Fund on parliamentary oversight of financial and economic policy is to be considered, as is a possible workshop on women’s leadership in enterprise linked to the Commonwealth Women’s Affairs Ministers Meeting in June in Bangladesh. Also on the agenda is a proposed briefing session for MPs on cyber security issues to be held in Cameroon with the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

These events would be added to the Association’s extensive agenda of meetings and electronic and paper publications to share good governance practices among the assemblies of the 54-nation Commonwealth as part of the international organization’s democratic commitment.

The CPA leaders applauded the Cayman Islands for enabling the 35-Member Committee to meet in its capital, George Town, as guests of its Legislative Assembly and government.

Cayman joined the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association which composed of the Parliaments and Legislatures in 52 of the 54 Commonwealth nations and their overseas territories in 1964. It has a membership of close to 17,000 Members of national, state, provincial and territorial Assemblies. The only Commonwealth country not currently in the CPA is Brunei, which does not have an elected Parliament and The CPA Branch in Fiji Islands is in abeyance as the South Pacific country is currently ruled by a military government.


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  1. Anonymous says:

    She's interim until the UK drops the hammer on her also..

    She's on a short leash, and has to bark all she want – but is toothless at this stage of our sad history!

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh please….RCIPs arrested him but MLA's voted him out, Caymans own MLA's elected by Caymanians..unless you are suggesting they are all in the pay of the UK in which case you need to stop smoking the funny stuff..

  2. Anonymous says:

    Sad for JuJu! No need to travel for this one so no paid for shopping trip!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I'm a little confused — since when is Ms. O’Connor Connolly the "interim" Premier? I realize her term will be short — or, at least her first term will be short. But surely, majority or minority government, she's simply the Premier?

  4. Anonymous says:

    What an irony, an unelected head of state who has her position by virtue of the fact that she was the first born in the "special family" has signed a charter to "strengthen democracy".  One obvious way to strengthen democracy throughout the Commonwealth would be to do away with the royal family and have a democratically elected head of state, chosen by the people of the Commonwealth.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have a feeling that that would still be the Queen.

    • Anonymous says:

      Unelected, yes. Not respected? No. And for all her unelectedness she has proven to be far more worthy of her role than any of the idiots Caymanians managed to elect. Cayman needs to fix its own problems first before throwing stones at others, especially those who do not deserve it. And the Commonwealth actually does have an elected head, the Queen is the figurehead only.