27 June 2007

Synopsis: Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Northern Ireland Assembly Branch meeting on Wednesday 27 June 2007 at 3.00pm Commonwealth Room, Parliament Buildings

Present :

The Speaker, Mr William Hay MLA
Rev Robert Coulter MLA
Mr Simon Hamilton MLA
Mr John McCallister MLA
Mr David McClarty MLA
Mr Nelson McCausland MLA
Mr Stephen Moutray MLA
Mr Sean Neeson MLA
Mr George Robinson MLA
Mr Mervyn Storey MLA

Apologies:

Mr Billy Armstrong MLA
Mr Roy Beggs MLA
Mr Allan Bresland MLA
Mr Jonathon Craig MLA
Mr Nigel Dodds MP MLA
Rt. Hon Jeffrey Donaldson MP MLA
Mr Tom Elliott MLA
Sir Reg Empey MLA
Mr Danny Kennedy MLA
Ms Naomi Long MLA
Mr Alban Maginness MLA
Ms Dawn Purvis MLA

Also In attendance :

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

1. Welcome & Introductions

The Speaker welcomed members to the meeting and agreed that apologies received would be reflected in the minutes of the meeting.

2. Membership

The Speaker reminded members that the Northern Ireland Assembly Branch Membership of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) would not be re-instated until after a motion would be passed by the General Assembly at the forthcoming Annual Conference to be held in New Delhi from 21-30 September 2007.

The Speaker also reminded members of the need to complete and return Branch Application for Membership forms as soon as possible to staff in the External Liaison Unit, Room 54, Parliament Buildings.

3. Northern Ireland Assembly Branch Rules

The Speaker explained to members that these rules had been in place and were adopted by the Assembly in 2001/2002. Members discussed and agreed that the previous Northern Ireland Assembly Branch Rules be adopted by the branch.

Agreed: Members agreed that the previous Northern Ireland Assembly Branch Rules dated March 2001 be adopted.

The Speaker drew to members’ attention to the provision within the Northern Ireland Assembly Branch Rules that the First Minister and deputy First Minister be Vice-Presidents of the Branch.

Agreed: Members agreed that the Secretary should write to the First Minister and deputy First Minister inviting them to become Vice Presidents of the Branch.
4. Annual General Meeting

The Speaker informed members that the Branch Rules require members to be given 21 days notice of an Annual General Meeting.

Agreed: Members agreed that an Annual General Meeting would be convened after summer recess in early September 2007.

Rev Coulter asked if an Annual General Meeting could be called before the Branch is officially accepted into the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.

Action: Secretariat to contact Secretary-General’s Office for advice.
5. 53 rd Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference, New Delhi, India 21-30 September 2007

The Speaker explained that CPA Secretariat has already been advised that two members and one official would attend the conference. The Speaker advised members that for registration and organising purposes a decision should be taken at this meeting on the representatives of the NI Branch to attend the Conference. The Speaker invited nominations. Members discussed nominations and agreed that Mr Moutray and Rev Coulter should represent the branch at the Conference.

Agreed: Members agreed that Mr Moutray and Rev Coulter should represent the Branch at this Conference.
Action: Secretariat to draft letter from Speaker to Secretary-General CPA confirming names of observers attending the Conference.
6. British Isles and Mediterranean Regions Conference 13-17 May 2007

At the request of The Speaker, Rev Coulter, who had attended this conference as an observer, gave a brief report to the meeting.

7. Any other Business

Rev Coulter asked if the Secretariat could prepare speech material in support of the Assembly’s application for membership of CPA.

Action: Secretariat to liaise with Rev Coulter.

The Speaker informed members that the next British Isles and Mediterranean Regions Conference will be held in Guernsey in 2008; as yet no date has been confirmed.

8. Date and time of next meeting

The Annual General Meeting will be held on Wednesday 12 September 2007 at 12.30pm in the Commonwealth Room (Room 29).

WILLIAM HAY MLA
The Speaker

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