50th Anniversary Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Conference gets underway in Northern Ireland
21 September 2021
Pictured with the Assembly Speaker and President of the Northern Ireland Assembly CPA Branch, Alex Maskey MLA, are (left-right) Ian Liddell-Grainger MP and Acting Chair of the CPA, William Humphrey MBE MLA, Chairperson of the Northern Ireland Assembly Branch of the CPA, Leona Roberts MLA Falkland Islands Government and Julie Elliott MP, UK Parliament.
The 50th anniversary Commonwealth Parliamentary Association British Islands and Mediterranean Region (CPA BIMR) Conference opened today at the Europa Hotel, Belfast. Hosted by the Northern Ireland Assembly Branch of the CPA, this is the first time the conference has been held in Northern Ireland since 2007.
This year’s conference, which will focus on ‘Post-Pandemic Parliaments’, was officially opened by the Assembly Speaker and President of the Northern Ireland Assembly CPA Branch, Alex Maskey MLA. The Speaker will also host a dinner to officially welcome the delegation to Parliament Buildings on Tuesday evening.
The Speaker, Alex Maskey MLA said: “It is an extremely positive development to have the CPA BIMR conference in Belfast. The opportunity for MLAs to engage with parliamentarians from some ten other jurisdictions is extremely important. The Assembly has at times looked inwards because of our own issues. However, we have all seen over recent years that we are in an inter-connected world and that we all benefit from engaging with each other, learning from each other, trading with each other and helping each other. It is only by strengthening existing relationships and building new ones that the Assembly can develop as an institution and respond to the challenges facing the people we represent, both now and in the future.”
The Chairman of the Northern Ireland Assembly Branch of the CPA, William Humphrey MBE MLA said, “I am absolutely delighted to welcome all of the delegates, both those who have been able to attend in-person and those joining us virtually.
“This conference is very special in many ways, it is of course the 50th anniversary year of the BIMR Conference and one of the biggest local events here since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. We are also pleased that we have been able to host it in Northern Ireland, in this, its Centenary year.”
Mr Humphrey continued:“One of the most beneficial aspects of the BIMR Conference is the opportunity it provides for legislators and parliamentarians to discuss and share knowledge and experience. This year’s focus on ‘Post-Pandemic Parliaments’, will include workshops and discussion forums on the innovations put in place that have allowed us to continue with our legislative and scrutiny responsibilities.
“We will also be discussing the future of hybrid parliaments, the impact of Covid-19 on the economy and public services, and how we’ve sought and implemented new ways to represent and engage with our constituents throughout the pandemic.”
Mr Humphrey concluded:“As part of the conference, we will also be visiting the Balmoral Show, as well as providing delegates with a tour of Northern Ireland, which will include the Giant’s Causeway and the spectacular North Coast. We are justifiably proud of our beautiful country and we look forward to showcasing the magnificent scenery and the hospitality of our local people over the coming days.”
Conference delegates will have sessions in Parliament Buildings, the Grand Central Hotel, the Europa Hotel and the Balmoral Show. The conference will culminate in a special reception at Hillsborough Castle on Wednesday 22 September.
Pictured is Alex Maskey MLA, Assembly Speaker and President of the Northern Ireland Assembly CPA.
William Humphrey MBE MLA, Chairperson of the Northern Ireland Assembly Branch of the CPA.
Notes to Editors:
- View further information about the CPA Northern Ireland Assembly Branch, its work and Membership
- View further information about the CPA British Islands and Mediterranean Region (BIMR)
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The Communications Office
Northern Ireland Assembly