Councillor Derek Thomas returned from Sabah Malaysia on 9 May 2014, having attended the mid-year Executive Committee Meeting of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) which was hosted by the Sabah Branch.
The Executive Committee Meeting commenced on Tuesday, 28 April with introductions, confirmation of minutes and matters arising from the previous meeting. This was followed by the official opening ceremony which was led by the Chief Minister of Sabah and included a display of attendee’s national flags and colourful traditional dance.
Councillor Thomas was elected to serve on the Finance sub-committee group, which was chaired by the Hon Request Muntanga, Treasurer of the CPA.
Councillor Thomas explained:
“As an act of independence the CPA had appointed an Independent Chairperson to audit the accounts, who then presented the accounts and reported that he was pleased with the outcome that 60% of agreed activities had been completed. The remaining 40% would be progressed and monitored by the audit sub- committee.”
The Executive Committee covered topics including CPA’s reserves, funding to member branches, and relocation of the CPA’s premises in London. Reports for discussion included the Chairman’s Report, Membership Report and the membership of the Executive Committee.
The format and topics for the CPA Small Branches Conference due to be held in Islamabad from 2-3 October 2015 were also discussed. St Helena recommended some of the topics and will be expected to lead on at least one at the next Conference.
Councillor Thomas also attended a one-to-one meeting with the Acting Secretary General on how St Helena can best benefit from being part of the CPA and the difficulties currently faced in terms of its isolation and budgetary constraints.
Councillor Thomas said:
“I found the session to be of real benefit. It has given me a much clearer and comprehensive understanding of the CPA and it is an honour to be a part of the Executive Committee.”
The next meeting will be held during the annual Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in Islamabad, Pakistan in October 2015. As a member of the CPA Executive Committee, Councillor Thomas will be expected to attend.
26 May 2015