Trinidad and Tobago hosts Presiding Officers from around the Commonwealth

From January 7-12, 2012, Trinidad and Tobago will host Speakers and Presiding Officers from around the Commonwealth.The 21st Commonwealth Speakers and Presiding Officers Conference (CSPOC) will take place at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad, 1 Wrightson Road, Port of Spain, Trinidad.

In January 2011, Trinidad and Tobago was selected by the Conference’s Standing Committee to host this event, which will comprise 150 Parliamentary dignitaries from 52 Commonwealth countries around the world, including: Australia, Barbados, Cameroon, Canada, India, Isle of Man,  Namibia, Nigeria, Samoa, Seychelles, Swaziland, and the United Kingdom. Trinidad and Tobago last hosted this conference in January of 1998.

The biennial conference, which will conclude on Thursday, January 12, 2012, provides an opportunity for Speakers and Presiding Officers of Commonwealth nations to meet and engage in wide-ranging discussions and to share varying perspectives on the roles and responsibilities of Presiding Officers.

Some areas of discussion for the Presiding Officers are: the Role of Parliamentary Diplomacy in the era of Globalization; Executive Accountability: Oversight Role of Parliament; Emerging new challenges for Speakers: Multiparty Chambers and minority or coalition government; and Parliamentary Service and its Management: Strengthening the independence of Parliament.

Delegates will attend dinners hosted by the President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House. They will also have the opportunity to tour either Trinidad or Tobago during their visit.