Youth parliamentarians prepping for debates

─ benefit from interactive session

 DPI, Guyana, Saturday, August 10, 2019

 As the day quickly approaches for the offical debates to begin in the Fifth Annual Youth Parliament, the young parliamentarians were assisted in their preparations through interactive sessions hosted by the Minister of Public Health, Hon. Volda Lawrence and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Dr. Karen Cummings.

The Secondary School and University of Guyana students were guided on parliamentary etiquette and decorum as well as an introduction to the laying of motions in parliament and subsequent discussions/debates.

Minister Lawrence commended the students for participating noting it is a privilege for them to learn the inner workings of Parliament.

Minister of Public Health, Hon. Volda Lawrence.

“I know that you came here with your own concept of what Parliament is like and how we behave or what is said in Parliament however over the next few days you will learn that Parliament is so much more than that… it is really you being able to buckle down if you wish to make a substantive contribution not just in this House but to the nation, at large,” she noted.

According to the Public Health Minister, the responsibilities of parliamentarians should not be taken lightly since the act of “putting pen to paper” will to secure a better life for all Guyanese.

“Today’s presentation will no doubt stimulate your interest even more in becoming a part of this House and more so contributing to the legislation of Guyana,” she said.

Speaking on parliamentary etiquette and decorum, Minister Cummings told the students that it is expected that Members of Parliament (MPs) will conduct themselves in an orderly, polite and respectful manner to preserve order in the National Assembly.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Dr. Karen Cummings.

“To maintain the highest tradition of the parliamentary system, and proper functioning of parliamentary democracy, it is essential that all MPs observe certain standards of conduct, when in the House as well as outside it. Their behaviour must be such that enhances and preserves the dignity of parliament and its members,” she explained.

She added that without rules or order, Parliament would be in disarray as there will be no uniformity in the proceedings, disorderly conduct and no safeguard against tyrannical behaviour.

This year’s Youth Parliament will see the secondary school students debating topics such as the ban on the use of plastic, copyright laws, discipline in school, and curbing substance abuse.

The tertiary students will discuss the use of the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), Guyana’s migration policy and youth participation in governance and the amendment of Article 155 1(a) of Guyana’s Constitution.

Since its re-establishment in 2015, the Youth Parliament initiative is a tool to motivate team spirit among the youth by involving them in a parliamentary democracy, building self-confidence and leadership capability and promote public speaking.

It also educates students on principles of a democratic constitution and helps them understand the mindset, dignity and skill required of those in such fora.

Speaking to the Department of Public Information (DPI), on the sidelines of the session, Minister Cummings disclosed that following discussions with some of the tertiary students, plans will be put in place for the creation of internships at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This will be facilitated through a partnership between the minister and the University of Guyana.

Youth Parliamentarians listen to Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Dr. Karen Cummings during the interactive session.

 

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