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Posted: Wednesday, May 25, 2022. 10:08 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Speaker of the House of Representatives, Valerie Woods, is back from the 26th extraordinary meeting of the Forum of Speakers and Presidents of the Parliaments of Central America, the Caribbean Basin and Mexico, known as FOPREL, held in Rabat, Morocco last week.

Meanwhile, area representatives for Cayo Central, Luis Balona, and Senator Isabel Bennett are representing Belize at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Academy Advanced Parliamentary Residency Development Program in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, coincidentally as Australia recently held a general election.

The FOPREL meeting discussed cooperation between South-South countries, the Moroccan Experience in migration; and the Moroccan experience in renewable energy.

An official declaration was signed for a common interparliamentary agenda between FOPREL and Morocco and resolutions on FOPREL’s accession to AFROLAC, the Parliamentary Forum of African Latin American and Caribbean Countries, and Climate Change, Migration, and the Rights of Migrant Women.

Meanwhile, the CPA residence hosted by the Parliament of New South Wales covers five days of training in examining how Members can be better performing legislators, representatives and scrutineers. Based on a mentoring and coaching approach, participants will be able to identify practical solutions to the challenges they face and hone their skills at a higher level through simulations, role-play, one-to-one discussions, group activities and exercises.

Topics discussed include characteristics of a good parliamentarian; the legislative process; speech and presentation; outreach, education and advocacy; media and social media; scrutiny and oversight in the chamber and others.

Senator Bennett and Area Representative Balona return to Belize on May 28.

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