By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Speaker of Guyana’s National Assembly and President of the Guyana Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Raphael Trotman is urging for greater collaboration and cooperation among commonwealth Parliaments.
Trotman was at the time addressing the opening of the 16th Biennial Regional Conference of Presiding Officers of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association at the International Conference Center, having first been held in 1969.
The Guyanese House Speaker also called for the development of a distinctive brand/flavour of parliamentary systems within the Commonwealth.
“What distinctive brand have we added to our parliamentary systems since we began practicing the Westminster model of parliamentary democracy many decades ago?” Trotman questioned, adding that “I respectfully submit that it is in dire need of definition. What can we export to the Commonwealth and wider world rather than always seeking to be the importers? Importation is good, but without exports, there is going to be a critical and irreparable balance of trade deficit.”
He believes the time is well-nigh for Commonwealth Parliaments to draw closer to each other and fashion its own stream of parliamentarism. He said he was very impressed however, with the works of the body in the past.
Trotman in his remarks also urged for a more structured discussion that ensures continuity, certainty and definition to the meetings is undertaken.
“I believe that unless we are careful we will be doing the parliaments we preside over and the people we represent a disservice… If we simply meet to talk through interesting topic and issues without more, then we are playing parliament and playing conferencing,” he said.
Meanwhile Guyana’s Opposition Leader David Granger says among the challenges of countries in the commonwealth is that it is made up of small states which is poor and dependent on narrow economic basins.
This he explained have made them the victims of various old treats including invasion, insurrection, and intervention, international and domestic terrorism, mutiny maritime disputes and territorial claims.
He added that new transnational treats have emerged in terms of gun running, money laundering narcotics trafficking and illegal migration among others.
“We must strive constant to protect people liberties and strengthen institution of democratic governance and national security” Granger said.
He expressed the hope that hope that the deliberations will help to devise practical responses to the body’s unique challenges.