12 September 2007

Synopsis: Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Northern Ireland Assembly Branch meeting on Wednesday 12 September 2007 at 12.30pm Commonwealth Room, Parliament Buildings

Present:

The Speaker, Mr William Hay MLA

Rev Robert Coulter MLA

Mr Roy Beggs MLA

Lord Browne MLA

Mr Simon Hamilton MLA

Mr William Irwin MLA

Mr Nelson McCausland MLA

Mr David McClarty MLA

Mr Alan McFarland MLA

Mr Stephen Moutray MLA

Mr Sean Neeson MLA

Mrs Dawn Purvis MLA

Mr George Robinson MLA

Mr Peter Gregg, External Liaison Unit

Apologies:

Mr Jeffrey Donaldson MP MLA

Sir Reg Empey MLA

Mr Robin Newton MLA

Mr David Simpson MP MLA

Mr Mervyn Storey MLA

Mr Arthur Moir, Clerk to the Assembly

Mr Joe Reynolds, Deputy Clerk to the Assembly

Also In attendance :

Ms Frances Leneghan, PS/Speaker
Mrs Judith Murdoch, External Liaison Unit

1. Welcome

The Speaker welcomed members to the Annual General Meeting of the Branch and referred members to the Agenda for the meeting.

2. Apologies

The Speaker advised that those apologies received would be reflected in the minutes of the meeting.

3. Draft Minutes of the Previous Meeting

The Speaker referred members to the draft Minutes of the previous meeting held on 26 June 2007 and sought member’s agreement.

Agreed: Members agreed the draft minutes without amendment.
4. Matters Arising

Northern Ireland Assembly Branch Rules

The Speaker explained to Members that a Copy of the Branch Rules adopted by Members at the meeting on 26 June 2007 was copied to Members in their meeting packs.

Vice-Presidents of Northern Ireland Assembly Branch

The Speaker explained that the Mr Moir (Acting as Secretary) wrote to the First Minister and deputy First Minister on 6 July 2007 inviting them to become Vice-Presidents (ex officio) and that a response was received on 11 September 2007 which would be dealt with under item 5 on the agenda.

Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in New Delhi

The Speaker reminded Members that as agreed at the meeting on 26 June 2007 that Rev R Coulter MLA and Mr S Moutray MLA accompanied by the Deputy Clerk to the Assembly will travel to New Delhi, India on Saturday 22 September 2007 to attend the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference at which the Northern Ireland Assembly’s Resolution to rejoin the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association will be considered by the General Assembly.

During their visit the delegation will visit the Asha Projects in Kalkaji and Tigri. These projects have links with Methodist College, Belfast and Ballymena Academy School.

5. Election of Office Bearers

The following Members were elected to office:

President - Mr William Hay (ex officio)
Vice-President - First Minister (ex officio)

    Proposed Seconded
Treasurer
Mr David McClarty Rev Coulter S Neeson
Secretary Mr Arthur Moir Rev Coulter G Robinson
6. Election of Executive Committee

The following Members were nominated for election to the Executive Committee:

  Proposed Seconded
Rev R Coulter D McClarty S Neeson
Mr S Moutray N McCausland G Robinson
Mr S Neeson D McClarty Rev Coulter
Ms D Purvis Rev Coulter S Neeson
Mr N McCausland Lord Browne S Moutray
Mr S Hamilton S Moutray S Neeson

The following Members were returned to serve on the Executive Committee:

Rev R Coulter, Mr S Moutray, Mr S Neeson, Ms D Purvis, Mr N McCausland and Mr S Hamilton.

7. Meeting with Scottish Branch CPA

The President reported that the Secretary to the Scottish Branch CPA had contacted the External Liaison Unit requesting that the Scottish Branch Executive Committee meet with the Northern Ireland Branch Executive Committee.

Agreed: Members agreed that the External Liaison Unit should liaise with the Secretary of the Scottish Branch CPA to arrange a meeting.
8. CPA UK Branch International Parliamentary Conference “Climate Change – Tackling Causes; Managing Impacts”

The President referred to an invitation received from the UK Branch inviting the Northern Ireland Branch CPA to send a delegate to the International Parliamentary Conference to be held in Westminster from 26-30 November 2007.

Agreed: Members agreed that Mr S Hamilton and Mr D McClarty attend this conference.
9. Any other Business

Meeting with Senior Officials UK Branch CPA

Rev R Coulter proposed that the Branch should invite senior officials from the UK Branch to a meeting to discuss the work of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.

Agreed: Members agreed that the External Liaison Unit should contact the UK Branch and make the necessary arrangements.

 

Northern Ireland Branch CPA Work Plan

The President emphasised the need for the Branch to consider a Forward Work Plan.

Publicising the work of the Northern Ireland Branch CPA

Agreed: Members agreed that information on the work of the NI Branch should be made available to other MLA’s via a Branch link on the Northern Ireland Assembly Website. Such information to include Minutes of Meetings,Reports on Conferences/Visits etc.

 

Northern Ireland Branch Budget

Agreed: Members agreed that the Treasurer should present details of the budget to Members at a future meeting.
10. Date and time of 1 st Executive Committee meeting

The President advised that the External Liaison Unit would liaise with Members of the Executive Committee to organise a suitable date for the first meeting of the Executive Committee.

WILLIAM HAY MLA
The Speaker

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