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Home | Categories | Gen - Government Please tell us what you think of this article. Tell a friend Print Friendly

St Helena : Councillor Thomas returns from CPA Conference
Submitted by Saint Helena Herald (Public Relations Information Office) 09.09.2011 (Article Archived on 23.09.2011)

Having attended the 57th Annual Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Conference 2011 in London, Councillor Derek Thomas recently returned to the Island.

Councillor Thomas returns from CPA Conference


 


Having attended the 57th Annual Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Conference 2011 in London, Councillor Derek Thomas recently returned to the Island.


 


The Conference which lasted five days consisted of a number of workshops and seminars.


These sessions concentrated on topics like handling migration issues, piracy, drug trafficking and terrorism, women as agents of change in small societies, strengthening democracy in small states, youth leadership training, citizen involvement and parliamentary reform.


 


All of these topics were of particular interest to Councillor Thomas as Chairman of the Home and International Committee.


 


Councillor Thomas reported on the progress St Helena has made towards setting up a Youth Parliament, the launching of the Human Rights Booklet, and the current support being provided by Julie Ashdown, Human Rights Technical Support person, in developing a Human Rights Action Plan. He also reported on the progress towards realising air access.


 


Councillor Thomas also attended a workshop on parliamentary reforms and raising the benchmark; here presentations were given on improving executive contributions, giving more responsibility to Executive Councils and Parliaments and Councillors and Parliamentarians taking a greater level of responsibility in the budgeting processes. Here Councillor Thomas was able to report on the role of the Executive Council on St Helena and the fact that the Council has full responsibility for the budgetary process. He also attended a workshop on agriculture which looked at strengthening agriculture production.


 


At the conference there was also discussion on the importance of Commonwealth Countries sharing experiences. The importance of small countries developing and enjoying prosperity was also talked about along with the need to give them assistance when they are trying to strengthen democracy and human rights.


 


During the conference, Councillor Thomas also attended a number of receptions and formal dinners, where he was able to meet a number of dignitaries. This proved to be particularly useful since this gave Councillor Thomas the opportunity to talk about the Island and to establish contacts with people from elsewhere.


 


While in London Councillor Thomas also had opportunity to speak with the Secretary of State for International Development, Andrew Mitchell, regarding the airport and the progress being made with the MOU.


 


Regarding his attendance at the Conference Councillor Thomas reported:


 


“The Conference was a useful and worthwhile event and I sincerely trust that I will be able to progress some of the issues raised throughout the conference, which will be of benefit to St Helena.”


 


 


Public Relations/Information Office


The Secretariat


1 September 2011

 

This article is the Property and Copyright of Saint Helena Herald.

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