Statement from Mitchel McLaughlin, Speaker of the NI Assembly

Session: 2014/2015

Date: 02 March 2015

Reference: SO 05/14/15

Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Mitchel McLaughlin, MLA, today announced that he will take up the position of President of the NI Assembly Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA). Invitations have also issued today for an event to be hosted by the Speaker next week to mark Commonwealth Day.

The CPA is a global association of parliamentarians that aims to promote the advancement of parliamentary democracy by enhancing knowledge and understanding of democratic governance and build an informed parliamentary community.

Mr McLaughlin said: "In upholding the independence and impartiality of the Speaker, my approach during my time in office is going to be one of respect. Involvement in the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association has naturally not been part of my political life in the past.

"However, I will represent all sides of the House as any Speaker should and I intend to respect and acknowledge the culture and traditions of all sides of the Assembly Chamber. Taking up this position is a first step in demonstrating that approach. I look forward to hosting next week's event to mark Commonwealth Day and its theme of encouraging youth participation in our democratic system."