By Alexis R. Milan Staff Reporter
Belize hosted a Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) workshop for the Caribbean, Atlantic and Americas region to discuss ways to improve the effectiveness of parliament in each respective member country.
According to Speaker of the House of Representatives Michael Peyrefitte, the purpose of the week-long workshop was to bring together members from different parliaments to discuss ways to improve parliamentary procedure within the region.
Peyrefitte said the goal was to get parliamentarians to share experiences from their respective countries and find innovative ways to make progress in their areas of concern.
The workshop included clerks, senior officials and parliamentary assistants from the Cayman Islands, Guyana, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Nevis, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Some of the topics addressed during the seminar include practice and procedure in the House, the impartiality of Clerks, and relationships with parliamentarians, committee administration and procedure, administration and funding or parliament, parliament’s role with civil society and the media, parliament and the budget process, and parliament and gender.
According to the CPA, a well-resourced parliament should have sufficient expert staff, able to provide impartial support to members in a vast array of areas of parliamentary business.
The CPA said they are committed to equipping parliaments in an effort to bring about a more effective democracy.