The 50th Anniversary CPA British Islands and Mediterranean Region Conference gets underway in Belfast

After months of planning, and with delegates beginning to arrive in Belfast, the first day of the 50th Anniversary Commonwealth Parliamentary Association British Islands and Mediterranean Region Conference is finally underway.  

This year’s event is particularly special, not only does it mark the 50th Anniversary of the BIMR conference, it is also one of the first large scale in-person conferences to take place here since the onset of Covid-19. It is also a tremendous honour for the CPA Northern Ireland Assembly Branch to have the opportunity to host the conference in Northern Ireland in this, its special Centenary year.

The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Post Pandemic Parliaments’ and we have a full and exciting programme of workshops, discussion forums and visits planned for the week ahead. As with previous years, there will be lots of opportunities for delegates to discuss and share knowledge, recent innovations and experiences.   

Following our opening plenary session and panel discussion on ‘Parliaments and the Pandemic,’ we’ll move on to workshops looking directly at how different parliaments and legislatures have dealt with and responded to the pandemic. This will include sessions on Emergency Legislation & Scrutiny, the Future of Hybrid Parliaments and how legislatures worked throughout the pandemic to actively engage with and represent constituents. 

On Day Two, we’ll focus on issues around Post-Pandemic Planning: Vaccine Response, the Impact of COVID-19 on Tourism, Travel & Hospitality and Life & Learning in Lockdown: The impact of COVID-19 restrictions on young people’s learning and mental health.

And then it’s off to the famous Balmoral Show, Northern Ireland’s largest Agri-food event, to learn more about the local agricultural landscape and industries and to take a tour of the show. Our second day will end with a special farewell reception in Hillsborough Castle, the official home of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and a royal residence.

Of course, no visit here would be complete without an opportunity to visit some of our famous landmarks, and on the final day we will take delegates on a whistle stop tour of Northern Ireland, to include the spectacular and rugged North Coast and the iconic Giant’s Causeway.

We hope delegates will enjoy the 50th Anniversary Conference of the BIMR and their trip to Northern Ireland. Our continued collaboration is the hallmark of how the exchange of knowledge, experience and innovative ideas serve to shape stronger public representation.

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