24th Conference of Speakers and Presiding Officers of the Commonwealth (CSPOC)

The 24th Conference of Speakers and Presiding Officers of the Commonwealth (CSPOC) was officially opened by His Excellency Mr Danny Faure, President of the Republic of the Seychelles on Tuesday, 9th January, 2018 at the Savoy Hotel in Seychelles. He stated that, "this gathering provides an important forum for the sharing of experiences, collaboration and partnership across national parliaments of all independent sovereign states of the Commonwealth. The objectives are critical for the continued development of our countries, including: 'the maintenance, fostering and encouraging of impartiality on the part of Speaking and Presiding Officers of Parliaments; the promotion  of knowledge and understanding of parliamentary  democracy and the development of parliamentary institutions."  The conference has brought  together the Speakers and Presiding Officers of 22 bicameral parliaments and 30 unicameral parliaments - a total of 74 members from 52 nations. Earlier in the opening ceremony of the conference, Hon Patrick Pillay, Speaker of the Seychelles Parliament welcomed his fellow Speakers and Presiding Officers to the conference and reiterated the need for inclusiveness and unity in the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, particularly the CSPOC beyond, race, creed or colour.

Topics being discussed are as follows:
1. The Role of the Speaker in strengthening parliamentary diplomacy in both regional and international cooperation;
2. Use of technology to support Members and House Business;
3. Strengthening Parliamentary Research for the Effective functioning of Legislatures; and
4. Emerging security issues for Parliaments.

The Rt. Hon Justice Dr. Patrick Matibini, SC, MP, Speaker of the National Assembly of Zambia will chair the third workshop on, "Strengthening Parliamentary Research for Effective functioning of Legislatures."
The Conference ends on 13th January, 2018.