Jersey’s branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) – the international organisation which brings together parliamentarians from across the Commonwealth – is marking Commonwealth Day by unveiling its new objectives and strategy.
The Jersey branch promotes parliamentary best practice and the values of the Commonwealth in the States Assembly (Jersey’s parliament). It also seeks to build relationships between Jersey and other Commonwealth jurisdictions, to raise awareness and understanding of Jersey across the Commonwealth. It achieves these aims by participating in CPA conferences, seminars and training programmes; by involving Members and staff of the States Assembly in parliamentary benchmarking and outreach work; and by hosting CPA events in Jersey.
Jersey CPA now has three high-level objectives:
- to strengthen the States Assembly and the capacity and skills of its Members, improving their performance for those they represent and to whom they are accountable;
- to contribute to the success of the international CPA; and
- to support the work of other CPA Branches, especially where democracy is less established or is under threat
In addition, in undertaking CPA work (such as attending conferences and seminars overseas) States Members will prioritise women’s rights, including gender equality, ending violence against women and promoting the role of women in politics, engaging young people in politics; promoting LGBT+ rights; and promoting Jersey’s island identity.
Deputy of Grouville, Carolyn Labey, who chairs the Jersey CPA said: “The Commonwealth has a vital role to play in promoting democratic values across the world. It stands to become still more important after Brexit with the UK seeking to develop closer relationships with countries outside Europe. Jersey can play a full part in the CPA on equal terms with large countries such as India, the UK, Australia and Canada. It’s about working together with
other nations, big and small to improve, to develop, to protect and support… each other to achieve success.
“This year is especially important for us and the CWPA (Commonwealth Women’s Parliamentary Association) as we celebrate 100 years since women got the vote in Jersey. We are hosting the Commonwealth Women’s conference for the British Islands and Mediterranean region later this year to celebrate this landmark in our parliamentary history where the theme is about looking to the next 100 years.
“The Commonwealth is an organisation of the future: with 60% of the Commonwealth’s population being aged under 30, it is vitally important for us and our young people to make our mark on the world stage, reinforcing the Island’s international reputation. The new strategy we have developed for the Jersey branch will ensure that the Island gets the most out of the opportunities the CPA creates.”
States Members will take part in the commemoration of Commonwealth Day on Monday 11 March at the Cenotaph. In addition, Jersey CPA has selected Amy McMonagle and Ryan Wharram, both of whom are currently studying for a law degree in the UK, to represent the Island at the Commonwealth Day celebrations in London, which include a reception attended by HM The Queen.
States Assembly Press Release.