Former Queen Elizabeth II High School student Julyan Davey has said that it has been ‘an honour’ to have been selected by the Isle of Man branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) as the Island’s representative at the CPA 6th Commonwealth Youth Parliament (CYP) in Mmabatho, South Africa.
He was selected by the Isle of Man CPA branch executive committee, which funded his travel expenses.
Mr Davey, 20, (pictured) who comes from Ballaugh and is an undergraduate at Durham University studying philosophy, politics and economics, joined Isle of Man CPA branch chairman Hon Juan Watterson MHK and some 90 young people from across the Commonwealth to experience and take an active part in democratic parliamentary processes during the six-day event which was hosted by South Africa’s North West Provincial Legislature and themed ‘Deepening the Commonwealth’s Commitment to Democracy and Youth Development’.
The programme included debates, votes on Bills and government motions and also involved young Members of Parliament from Commonwealth regions who served as mentors.
Mr Davey said: ‘When I applied to be the Isle of Man's [CYP] representative I didn't really know much about the event or what the week would hold for me. I just thought it would be a fantastic opportunity to meet interesting and intelligent people from throughout the world. It proved to be that and much more.’
He said that the mix of Commonwealth nations represented ‘a fantastic group of people from throughout the world with different and varied stories to tell. I learnt not just about South Africa and North West Province but about the cultures and politics of many Commonwealth countries…It was particularly stark to learn about the lack of opportunity for young people in many countries of the world.’
Acting as Chief Whip in a mock parliament session he found the role demanded ‘a certain bullishness’, a behavioural trait in sharp contrast to what he described as his usual ‘friendly demeanour’.
Debating whether the United Nations’ Millennium goals were being met in the Commonwealth proved his highlight of the week. Mr Davey said: ‘You could really see how much all of the delegates cared about the future of education. I was really proud of the speech I gave in which I argued that whilst a huge amount had been achieved, there was no cause for complacency and there was still far more to be done to improve education globally.’
Thanking the Isle of Man branch of the CPA he said: ‘The conference has really broadened my understanding of different cultures and countries. We learnt so much from each other and I hope I've enlightened others about the Isle of Man and its many facets.
‘It was an honour to represent the Isle of Man and I've got so much from the event, particularly in terms of meeting inspirational people and becoming more confident in my ideas and how to communicate them. But overall I'll just really cherish the memories of the event for the rest of my life.’
Mr Watterson, who was the Isle of Man delegate at the Millennium Youth Parliament when at university, was selected to attend to mentor a group of the youth parliamentarians. In that role he led a session on Oral Parliamentary Questions described by Mr Davey as ‘instructive and entertaining’. Mr Watterson said: ‘I am pleased Julyan found the experience so rewarding. The Commonwealth Youth Parliament offers bright young people with an interest in both the Commonwealth and politics an invaluable experience of parliamentary democracy and also provides more seasoned parliamentarians an insight into what the shape of next-generation politics might be. Julyan proved to be an outstanding ambassador for the Isle of Man and I wish him every success in his future career.’
For further information:
Deputy Clerk of Tynwald
Legislative Buildings, Douglas, IM1 3PW
Tel: (01624) 685500