PRESS RELEASE (November 01, 2021) — Ms. Duanna Bradley and Mr. Darin Connor, members of the St. Kitts National Youth Parliament Association (SKNYPA), say their participation in the Virtual Commonwealth Youth Parliament Sitting was a learning experience and that it exceeded their expectations.
Ms. Bradley, who serves as the General Secretary of SKNYPA, said “the overall sitting definitely exceeded my expectations. It was my first time taking part in the Commonwealth Youth Parliament…and I can confidently say that it was a learning experience, an exciting one at that.”.
“I was able to gain more knowledge on the inner workings of parliament by attending the committee meetings and through amending bills,” Ms. Bradley added.
Mr. Connor, a general member of SKNYPA, shared similar sentiments. He said “the event surpassed all expectations. The experience was both anxiety-inducing and exciting. Meeting and having discussions with similar well read and eager young people is quite thrilling since it allows for equal exchange of educated thoughts and guesses.”.
Both Bradley and Connor expressed their appreciation to SKNYPA and the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) for affording them the opportunity to participate in the sitting.
Youth delegates acted as Members of Parliament for the fictional jurisdiction of ‘Abarat’. They were initially split into two political parties plus a small number of independents, who joined together to form a third party.
The central issue under debate was a mock Bill proposing that the jurisdiction adopt vaccine passports to allow for travel both into and out of the jurisdiction. Sessions were designed to replicate real parliamentary processes and included intra-party meetings, committee hearings, and a debate on the Bill.
Organised by the CPA, the Virtual Commonwealth Youth Parliament took place from October 18 to 22, 2021 and was held completely virtually for the second time. In total, 63 Commonwealth citizens younger than 30, representing 40 different Commonwealth Legislatures, took part in the programme.