(SKNYPA-NYPAAB) The Working Visit of the National Youth Parliament of Antigua & Barbuda (NYPAAB) to the Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis has been a success.
Welcomed by the St. Kitts National Youth Parliament Association (SKNYPA) on Wednesday 24th November 2022 to the melodic sounds of steel pan and the historic cultural display of masquerade folklore, the NYPAAB Delegation settled in for their stay in sweet Sugar City. The Delegation led by NYPAAB President, Kamalie Mannix, comprised Mrs. Small, Tanaijah Matthias, Romario Hughes, Kaiesha Joseph, Jahmaal Frederick, Esquire Henry and Christal Percival.
Following a brief visit to the National Heroes Park, the delegates appeared jointly on Freedom FM’s Youth Beat before holding a brief meeting with the Executive of the SKNYPA.
Thursday 25th, saw the delegates joining the SKNYPA Executive for a round of courtesy calls beginning with a visit to the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB). Here, talks were held with Governor Timothy N.J Antoine and Deputy Governor Dr. Valda Henry along with a team of Senior Executives and Members of the ECCB 40th Anniversary Planning Committee. This visit preceded a meeting with Senator the Hon. Isalean Phillip, Junior Minister of Youth et al. and a short tour of Government House.
Later that evening, the NYPAAB Delegation engaged with the General Membership of SKNYPA during a Training Session at the National Assembly Chambers. The first session was facilitated by Albert Edwards, CEO of the Integrity in Public Life Commission, who offered the debaters an opportunity to gain insight on one of the topics for debate. Further, the second training was facilitated internally and offered a refresher on parliamentary procedures for all present. The evening concluded with meetings of the parliamentary benches to allow for additional practice and training.
Friday saw the highlight of the trip with the commencement of the Inaugural Joint Youth Assembly. Following the prayer, a Message by Governor General Sir S.W. Tapley Seaton GCMG CVO KC JP LLD and Announcements by the Speaker, Mr. Hasani McDonald, a Statement was made by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Darin Connor MYP. The Statement applauded the work of both Associations and noted the Sitting’s contribution to a more integrated region.
Commencing the debate was the Hon. Deputy Prime Minister Jamaal Frederick, who moved a Resolution to Commission a Health Investigatory Select Committee. Following the adoption and commissioning of the Committee, the Leader of Government Business the Hon. Dominique Williams MYP moved and adopted a Resolution to Improve Integrity and Efficiency in the Civil Service. Finally, Prime Minister the Hon. Mauriel Knight MYP introduced the Age of Majority (Amendment) Bill, 2022. The proposed Bill which sought to allow children at the age of 16 to seek and receive health services without the consent of their parents was debated and passed having been read three times with Standing Order 57 suspended.
Leading the Opposition was Member for St. John’s Rural East, Kamalie Mannix. The Government Bench comprised, Prime Minister Hon. Mauriel Knight MYP, Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Jamaal Frederick, Leader of Government Business Hon. Dominique Williams MYP, Hon. Esquire Henry, Hon. Christal Percival, Hon. Darin Connor and Hon. Trosonya Douglas.
Meanwhile, the Bench of His Majesty’s Loyal Opposition comprised, Hon. Kamalie Mannix, Hon. Jalen Monzac MYP, Hon. Jahzara Andrews MYP, Hon. Romario Hughes, Hon. Malyka Howell MYP and Hon. Desean Newman MYP.
Friday continued with a visit and tour to the island of Nevis and culminated with a Games Night attended by Senior and Floor Members of both Associations.
As the trip neared to a close, a small delegation appeared on WinnMedia SKN’s Inside the News on Saturday 26th prior to the departure of the NYPAAB Delegation.
This working visit and inaugural joint youth parliament sitting would not have been possible without collaborating with the Department of Youth Empowerment, the National AIDS Secretariat and without the support of the Speaker and Clerk of the National Assembly, Hon. Lanein Blanchette and Ms. Trevlyn Stapleton, respectively.