Members of the Mid-Year Meeting of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Executive Committee Held At Hilton Resort and Spar Hotel, Flic En Flac, Mauritius
|Story by Anethe Mtambanengwe
The Mid-Year Meeting of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Executive Committee was held at Hilton Resort and Spa Hotel, Flic en Flac, Mauritius from 20-24 March 2018. Hon. Bernard Sibalatani, MP in his capacity as Regional Representative of Southern African Region attended the meeting.
The Executive Committee exists and works in tandem with the entire CPA in order to develop, promote and support Commonwealth Parliamentarians and parliamentary staff to identify benchmarks of good governance and to implement the enduring values of the Commonwealth. This year’s Mid-Year CPA Executive Meeting met to consider and review a number of issues which include, among others, consider the CPA annual report and performance review.
At the Official opening, the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Mr Akbar Khan warmly welcomed all delegates and regional secretaries in his capacity as Secretary General of CPA. He further expressed deep appreciation on behalf of everyone to the Speaker and President of the CPA Mauritius Branch Rt Honorable Santi Bai Hanoomanjee, G.C.S.K.
The Secretary General further informed the meeting of the presence of the Chairperson of the CPA International Executive Committee, Hon. Emilia Lifaka MP, and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Cameroon. In her opening remarks, the CPA International Executive Committee, Hon. Emilia Lifaka MP, acknowledged that it was a great pleasure for her to preside over the 2018 Mid-Year CPA Executive Committee Meeting in her capacity as the newly elected Chairperson of the CPA International Executive Committee since her election to that office in Bangladesh last year in November.
She re-echoed the CPA Secretary General’s remarks in appreciating the Government, staff of Parliament and people of Mauritius for hosting this year’s Mid-Year CPA Executive Committee Meeting. Further, the Chairperson recalled that just a week ago, on the 12th March, there was a commemoration of the Commonwealth Day and that coincided with the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Independence of Mauritius. Both events offered opportunities to reflect on what the values of the Commonwealth meant to them and to reaffirm their commitment to the core values of the Commonwealth Charter, namely; democracy and development. She informed the meeting that on the sideline of these events, there was a road shop being undertaken in Mauritius which formed part of the CPA Youth Programme working with the branches.
She shared the excellent time she spent with the students at the University of Mauritius discussing the values and meaning of the Commonwealth in the 21st century. She likewise noted that it was inspiring to see the level of engagement by the students in CPA related issues.
The Speaker and President of the CPA Mauritius Branch Rt Honorable Santi Bai Hanoomanjee, G.C.S.K, in her keynote address expressed her profound pride of being one of the few sub-Saharan African countries that has since independence been constantly inspired by the fundamental values of the Commonwealth and have on all occasions seized the opportunity to consolidate these values namely democracy, the democratic processes, the rule of law, the independence of the Judiciary, fundamental rights and gender parity. She noted that Mauritius is placed 16th out of the 167 countries in the Economist Intelligence Units Democracy Index 2017 on the basis of electoral pluralism, government functioning, political participation, political culture as well as civil liberties.