Seychelles is hosting the Conference of the Speakers and Presiding Officers of the Commonwealth (CSPOC) on the main island of Mahe on January 9-12, 2018, bringing together 74 representatives from the 52 national parliaments of the independent states of the organisation
Seychelles is hosting the Conference of the Speakers and Presiding Officers of the Commonwealth (CSPOC) on the main island of Mahe on January 9-12, 2018, bringing together 74 representatives from the 52 national parliaments of the independent states of the organisation.
The CSPOC was established in 1969 by the then Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada, Lucien Lamoureux, as an initiative to promote the impartiality and fairness of Speakers and Presiding Officers of parliaments, develop understanding and knowledge of parliamentary democracy in various forms, and encourage the development of parliamentary institutions.
A conference is held bi-annually and is overseen by a standing committee chaired by the speaker of the country hosting the next conference, with Canada providing a secretariat to support the organisation’s activities.
Seychelles’ President Danny Faure said in his opening address at the conference that the Small Island State was proud to host the CSPOC for the first time and stressed that the oversight role of Parliament and National Assembly remained critical to a vibrant democracy.
He commended the diversity of attendees as highlighting the fundamental unity of the Commonwealth and the commitment of all participating states to the values inscribed in the Commonwealth Charter, including the development of free and democratic societies.
Speaker of the National Assembly, Seychelles’ legislative body, Patrick Pillay said that the conference would bring many benefits to Seychelles and its parliament, not least a lot of visibility for the small country.
He added that it would offer the opportunity for more partnerships with other independent state parliaments and bilateral discussions regarding Seychelles’ parliamentary development.
President Faure said: “It is essential that the business of the Legislature is conducted to safeguard the security, prosperity, welfare, and dignity of our citizens.
“When we focus on the interests of our people, that is when a society succeeds.
“As you are aware, we now have a cohabitation in Seychelles, where the Opposition is in the majority in the Seychelles National Assembly.
“The cohabitation is working for the greater good of our country and wellbeing of our people.”
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