COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY ASSOCIATION
NORTHERN IRELAND ASSEMBLY BRANCH – EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
2 nd Meeting of the Executive Committee,
Tuesday 22 January 2008 at 5pm in the
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
The President, Mr William Hay MLA
Rev Robert Coulter MLA
Mr Simon Hamilton MLA
Mr David McClarty MLA
Mr Stephen Moutray MLA
Mr Sean Neeson MLA
Mr Nelson McCausland MLA
Mrs Carol Devon, Interim Clerk/Director General
Mr Peter Gregg, Head of External Liaison Unit
Mr Simon Kelly, External Liaison Unit
Also In attendance:
Ms Frances Leneghan, PS/Speaker
Mr Owen McNulty, External Liaison Unit
Ms Dawn Purvis MLA
The President welcomed members to the 2nd CPA Executive Committee meeting and agreed that apologies received would be reflected in the minutes of the meeting.
2. MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING
The minutes of the previous Executive Committee meeting, held on 7 November 2007, were agreed.
3. MATTERS ARISING
Photograph of the 53 rd CPA Conference in New Delhi
The President drew Members attention to the framed photograph of the 53 rd CPA Conference in New Delhi, which Rev. Coulter wished to present to the Branch at its meeting on 29 January 2008.
4. NI BRANCH CPA BUDGET REPORT
The President referred Members to a brief report on the CPA NI Branch budget 2007/2008.
Mr Gregg provided a brief verbal update to Members on the current CPA NI Branch Budget position.
5. DRAFT PROTOCOL ON THE SELECTION OF MEMBERS FOR CONFERENCES, SEMINARS AND VISITS
The President referred Members to the draft protocol on the Selection of Members for Conferences, Seminars and visits.
Mr Gregg provided a verbal summary of the contents of the protocol to Members. Members considered the proposals and agreed to adopt the protocol.
Agreed: Members agreed that the protocol should be adopted by the Executive Committee. It was further agreed that this matter should be put to a vote of the full Membership of the CPA NI Branch, at the Branch meeting on 29 January 2008.
6. REPORTS ON PREVIOUS CPA CONFERENCES/SEMINARS
Annual CPA Conference held in New Delhi, India, 25-28 September 2007
The President referred Members to a report on the 53 rd Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in New Delhi attended by Rev Robert Coulter MLA and Mr Stephen Moutray MLA.
The President referred Members to a report on the visit to the “Asha Project” in New Delhi by Rev Robert Coulter MLA, Mr Stephen Moutray MLA and the Deputy Clerk to the Assembly.
Canadian Parliamentary Seminar, Ottowa, 21-27 October 2007
The President referred Members to a report by Mr David McClarty MLA, who represented the NI Branch CPA at this seminar.
International Parliamentary Conference on “Climate Change – Tackling Causes; Managing Impacts”, Westminster, 26-30 November 2007
The President referred Members to a report by Mr David McClarty MLA, who represented the NI Branch CPA at this conference.
19th Commonwealth Parliamentary Seminar, Edinburgh, 28 October-3 November 2007
At the request of The President, Mr Nelson McCausland MLA, who attended this seminar, gave a brief verbal report to the meeting.
Mr McCausland also provided a written report on the seminar.
7. INFORMATION ON THE REGULAR CPA CONFERENCES AND SEMINARS
The President referred Members to a list of regular CPA conferences and seminars.He invited Mr Gregg to speak to the paper on regular conferences and seminars.
Mr Gregg asked Members to note that there are two regular annual CPA conferences:
a. Annual Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference
The 54th Conference is being held this year in Malaysia. Details are awaited.
b. British Islands and Mediterranean Regional Conference
The 39 th Conference takes place this year, in Gibraltar, from 11 to 15 May 2008. The deadline for receipt of nominations for this conference is 31 January 2008.
Agreed: It was agreed that the new protocol, on the selection of Members to attend CPA conferences and seminars will be used to choose nominees for this conference.
The President highlighted that this event coincides with the Commission’s forthcoming trip to Canada
Mr Gregg explained that during the course of the year, the Branch is invited to send Members to other CPA parliamentary seminars and conferences.
Mr Gregg referred to the forthcoming International Parliamentary Conference “Tackling Drugs, Changing Communities – Challenges for Parliamentarians”, to beheld in Westminster from 3-8 February 2008
Mr Gregg explained that CPA UK Branch has invited the NI Branch to send two delegates to this event. The Conference will highlight the vital topics of drug trafficking, reducing supply, treatment, rehabilitation, intervention and education. A minute seeking nominations was sent to Members on 6 December 2007. To date, one nomination has been received, but the Member has now withdrawn due to other commitments.
The President sought nominations from Members. As no nominations were received, a nomination would be invited from the Branch at its meeting on 29 January 2008.
8. PROPOSALS FOR COMMONWEALTH DAY 2008
The President reported that he had agreed to host a Commonwealth Day Commemoration Event in Parliament Buildings on 10 March 2008. The External Liaison Unit (ELU) has been instructed to commence planning for this event.
The President referred Members to a draft proposal and programme for the event. Members considered and agreed the proposals.
The President suggested that a sub-committee should be established to oversee the arrangements and sought nominations from Members. Mr David McClarty MLA, Mr Simon Hamilton MLA and Rev Robert Coulter MLA volunteered to be Members of the sub-committee.
Agreed: Members agreed that Mr David McClarty MLA, Mr Simon Hamilton MLA and Rev Robert Coulter MLA would be Members of the sub-committee.
Agreed: Members agreed that the draft proposal should be referred to the Branch meeting on 29 January 2008, for further consideration.
9. CPA NI BRANCH MEETING 29 JANUARY 2008 - AGENDA
The President referred Members to the draft agenda for the CPA NI Branch meeting on 29 January 2008.
Agreed: Members agreed the draft agenda.
10. ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Delegation of Sri Lankan MPs – Visit to the Northern Ireland Assembly on 28 February 2008
The President reported that the CPA UK Branch are hosting a delegation of up to six Sri Lankan MPs and as part of this their itinerary requested to visit a devolved legislature. The delegation and an accompanying CPA Secretary will be visiting the NI Assembly on Thursday 28 February 2008.
The President explained that visiting parliamentarians would gain immense value from meeting MLAs and representatives from the parties in the Northern Ireland Assembly and discussing what lessons from the Northern Ireland Peace Process, and the Belfast Agreement and how devolution might be applicable to the situation they face in Sri Lanka.
During the visit to Northern Ireland the delegation hopes to visit a factory and a local authority.
11. DATE & TIME OF NEXT MEETING
The President reminded Members that CPA NI Branch meeting will be held on Tuesday 29 January 2008, at 5pm in Room 29.