Sometimes it is hard to remember that what happens in the Cayman Islands influences the rest of the world.
Especially the region we live in.
That’s why it is refreshing to know that once again we have guests in our country this week taking part in the 32nd Conference of The Caribbean, the Americas and The Atlantic Region of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.
The CPA was founded in 1911 as the Empire Parliamentary Association when a group of parliamentarians from the United Kingdom and the five then self-governing dominions of Australia, Canada, Newfoundland, New Zealand and South Africa agreed to form an association.
Uppermost on their minds was to promote the advancement of parliamentary democracy by enhancing knowledge and understanding of democratic governance. The association’s membership was opened up in the 1920s to colonies and others with representative governments.
The Cayman Islands has been a member of CPA for 43 years.
Each year members of the conference meet to discuss topics that relate to the original mission.
That’s what is taking place this week on Grand Cayman.
All of the topics being discussed this week are important.
One of the sessions takes a look at whether young males in the region rise to their fullest potential, and if not, why.
Studies have shown that young men in Latin America and the Caribbean tend to engage in high-risk behaviours that can have long-term consequences for themselves and others.
In the Cayman Islands we can take a look at the number of deaths of our young men through bad driving to show an example of high-risk behaviour.
If we find that the young men in our region aren’t rising to their fullest potential, we need to find ways to ensure that they do. Our futures demand it.
Another serious topic is the role democracy plays in the lives of the people who choose to live in a parliamentary democracy.
We elect members to our parliamentarian form of government to represent us. The concept is that our countries will be governed according to our wishes.
Citizens must take an active role in government. If they don’t the whole governing system can become inefficient and endangered.
Apathy, disenchantment with the government system or inaction on the part of any government’s citizenry is a threat to all democracies.
It is hoped that through sessions like those going on this week in the regional CPA meeting that weaknesses in our region can be identified and viable solutions found.