Author: Office of the Legislature/MNI Media | Date: 07 November 2018
The Office of the Legislature on Montserrat have announced that The Parliament of Bermuda and the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association recently invited the Honourable Shirley M. Osborne, Speaker of the House of Assembly of Montserrat, to be part of a team that, in 2019, will provide Parliamentary Strengthening training for the Members of the Bermuda Legislative Assembly.
"There is a keen and growing sense among Caribbean parliaments of the importance of sharing expertise and supporting one another's development," said Speaker Osborne, "and this is the second time I have been asked to do Parliamentary Strengthening in a Caribbean territory."
"I am honoured and proud that my work in the Montserrat Legislative Assembly and in the wider Commonwealth is considered to be so good that people think they have something to learn from me. The way I see it, they are learning from Montserrat. That's the best part of these kinds of honours."
"Given the role which parliaments play in nurturing state capability, accountability and responsiveness and in ensuring the delivery of governance that is effective, it is important that parliamentarians be made familiar with such basics as parliamentary best practices, legislation, scrutiny, and representation, benchmarks of good governance and codes of conduct for parliamentarians both within the parliament precincts and in the conduct of their personal lives," says Speaker Osborne.
"Progressive parliaments make a point of strengthening their ability to foster capable, accountable and responsive governance," she adds, "precisely because effective parliaments are an essential component of democratic governance. We in Caribbean parliaments, and in the OTs, more particularly, are very much aware of the urgency and benefit of parliamentary strengthening and I am pleased that Montserrat is able to support other parliaments in this quest."
Among the topics on which Speaker Osborne will present are Parliament, Democracy and Civil Society, what it means to be an elected representative, representing constituents, the relationship between Parliament and the people, the power of gender-equal parliaments, and bringing young people into the parliamentary process.
In 2017, Speaker Osborne had conducted parliamentary strengthening training at the Turks and Caicos Islands Parliament as part of a team that included Mr. Akbar Khan, Director General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Ms Jacqui Sampson-Miguel, Clark of the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago and the Hon. Dave Levac Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, Canada.
The Evolution of Parliamentary Democracy was a big topic in the TCI training, Speaker Osborne also said. We discussed Principles of the Westminster Model of Parliamentary Democracy; other democratic models of governance and the legal basis of Parliament in Turks and Caicos.
Speaker Osborne will travel to Bermuda in early 2019.