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1 September 2011
The UK Houses of Parliament, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) UK and CPA Secretariat are proud to host the 4th Commonwealth Youth Parliament (CYP) from 6-10 September 2011 at Westminster. The newly-elected Lord Speaker, Rt Hon. Baroness D’Souza CMG, will preside over the headline debate of the week on Friday 9 September, which will take place in the House of Lords chamber.
This will be only the fifth time that the Lords chamber will be used for non-parliamentary business, and in an historic first, Members of the House of Commons are invited to join Peers on the red benches to participate in the debate, which will be on the subject of climate change. An additional group, consisting of an equal number of participants, will be drawn from Commonwealth diaspora communities in the UK, recruited through the UK Houses of Parliament’s Parliamentary Outreach activities.
Rt Hon. Baroness D'Souza, the Lord Speaker said 'I am delighted to welcome so many young people from across the Commonwealth and the UK, coming together today in the Chamber, to discuss the crucial issue of climate change, in the fifth such youth outreach event for the House of Lords. As Lord Speaker, I look forward to chairing a lively and stimulating debate.'
Approximately 90 young people will take part in the programme, which will also include model select committee sessions, oral questions, caucusing, and opposition debates. Participants will attend from across the Commonwealth, with each CPA member parliament invited to send two delegates aged 18-29. An equal gender balance is also a key objective for the event.
One of the British Islands and Mediterranean Region’s representatives, Rae Cahill, who is currently studying for an MA in Politics at Glasgow University and is Vice Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament, said 'I'm really looking forward to debating with young people from all over the Commonwealth, and hope to use what I've learned from the event to benefit the young people of Scotland.'
The 4th CYP takes place in the centennial year of the CPA, as part of the organisation’s commitment to involving the younger generation in parliament, democracy and the Commonwealth. According to Rt Hon. Sir Alan Haselhurst MP, Chairperson of the CPA International and CPA UK Executive Committees, 'CPA is very keen to engage the enthusiasm and aspirations of young people throughout the Commonwealth. The upcoming Youth Parliament is a signal of the importance we attach to hearing their ideas and opinions.'