Over 70 Parliamentarians drawn from member states of the Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic Region of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) are expected in Barbados this weekend as delegates to the 39th annual conference of that body.

Under the theme Forging Ahead in a Hostile Global Environment, deliberations will take place at Hilton Barbados Resort from Monday, July 28 to Wednesday, July 30. The opening ceremony, scheduled for Monday, July 28 at 9:00 a.m., will be addressed by Minister of Tourism, Richard Sealy, who will be acting as Prime Minister.

The conference is being held as part of the celebrations to mark the 375th anniversary of the Parliament of Barbados. According to Speaker of the House of Assembly, and Chairman of the local organising committee, His Honour, Michael Carrington, the theme is relevant, given the challenging economic circumstances being currently faced by member states.

???[It will] allow Parliamentarians to get together to share perspectives which may well be different given their unique circumstances. ???..I believe we can learn from each other and explore ways of tackling problems in different ways,??? Mr. Carrington stated.

Among the topics on the conference agenda are: The Role of Parliament in Combatting Non-Communicable Diseases; A New Development Model: How Can We Effectively Emerge from the Global Financial and Economic Crisis?; Challenges to Subsidised Health Care in Small Developing States; Enhancing Parliamentary Democracy: A Roadmap for Co-operation between Government and Opposition; Securing our Borders; and the Role of Youth in Ensuring the Survival of Parliamentary Democracy.

Meanwhile, the main conference will be preceded by a two-day meeting of the regional sub-group of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP), also at Hilton Barbados Resort, on Saturday, July 26 and Sunday, July 27.

The female parliamentarians??? main topics for discussion will be Understanding and Countering the Assumptions related to the Historical and Cultural Basis for the Defined Status of Women and Creating Effective Partnerships with Civil Society, Government and other State Agencies in the Implementation of Strategies for the Advancement of Women???s Issues.

Delegations to the regional CPA will include participants who are scheduled to attend a session of the Caribbean Youth Parliament, which will take place on Friday, August 1, at the House of Assembly, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.


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