A delegation from Tynwald has attended the 58th Commonwealth Parliamentary conference in Sri Lanka.
Speaker of the House of Keys Steve Rodan SHK and Phil Braidwood MLC, together with clerk of Tynwald Roger Phillips, attended the week-long conference that brought together some 800 parliamentarians and parliamentary officers from 175 branches of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.
Hosted by the Parliament of Sri Lanka in Colombo the conference took as its theme ‘Ensuring a relevant Commonwealth for the future’ and provided an opportunity for delegates to debate issues of mutual concern and contribute to a programme of workshops, plenary sessions and discussions on topics that included:
• The role of parliamentarians in conflict resolution and peace-building;
• The role of parliamentarians in combating terrorism;
• Tackling youth unemployment;
• Whether the Commonwealth should establish a commissioner for democracy, the rule of law and human rights.
The main conference was supplemented by the 32nd Small Branches conference and meetings of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians, CPA regional branches and the CPA executive committee.
Mr Rodan said: ‘The conference has had some valuable discussions and the Isle of Man has played a full part. I have been especially pleased to meet with other fellow Speakers from Commonwealth countries large and small. It is important that the island continues to promote itself internationally at every opportunity.’
Mr Braidwood said: ‘As a member of the CPA for the last 17 years, I remain as convinced as ever of the value of the Association to all the countries of the Commonwealth. Once a year the host country both funds and caters for delegates from all Commonwealth centres across the globe, large and small, to convene in one venue. Discussions, debates, Q and A sessions and workshops all take place, allowing the sharing of multi-faceted experience and the explanation of common problems, issues and proposed strategies, which are extremely valuable to all those involved and this has certainly proved true these past few days.
‘The Isle of Man delegates have raised the profile of the island at every opportunity and I believe that we can do no less and must continue to do so at every juncture, particularly during these difficult times.’