A delegation of Tynwald Members has returned from Cyprus after attending the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association’s (CPA) 45th British Isles and Mediterranean Regional (BIMR) conference.
The four-strong delegation was led by Mr Chris Thomas MHK who explained that attending the conference and to be able to benefit from opportunities for talks with politicians and officials were ‘part of Tynwald’s and the Isle of Man Government’s policy of engagement within the British Isles and the wider European Commonwealth.’
Together with Mr Thomas the Isle of Man was represented by CPA Isle of Man branch chairman Hon Juan Watterson MHK, Hon Tim Crookall MHK and Mr Alfred Cannan MHK. Supporting the delegation was the Clerk of Tynwald Roger Phillips.
Held in Limassol, the three-day conference, hosted by the Cyprus CPA branch, took for its general title ‘Parliaments in the Face of Contemporary Challenges’ and identified two main themes: ‘Parliaments and Unemployment’ and ‘Parliaments and Accountability’, areas which, in his opening address, the President of the House of Representatives, Mr Yiannakis L. Omirou, referred to as ‘some of the most pressing and challenging issues faced by parliaments today.’ The latter theme saw Mr Thomas act as rapporteur for a workshop examining parliamentarians’ professional ethics responsibilities and Mr Cannan as rapporteur for a workshop that considered the pros and cons of broadcasting parliamentary business.
Reflecting on the conference Mr Thomas said: ‘The discussions in the formal conference sessions were open and interesting. Outside of those I learned a lot from others' experience in areas like the risks of procurement for social care, the engagement of medical professionals in the health social care integration process, and active ageing public policy. My colleagues also had wide-ranging discussions with contacts with whom they are dealing in both a government and parliamentary capacity.
‘It was very useful to hear first-hand what opinion is in sister British Isles and European Commonwealth parliaments about parliament and accountability, and to forge links with people who have similar interests to us. Through this sort of contact and discussion Tynwald Members can share experience and better understand others to make sure that common interests are identified and used to secure what is best for our community and Island.’
For further information:
Roger Phillips, Clerk of Tynwald
Legislative Buildings, Douglas, IM1 3PW
Tel: (01624) 685500