British Virgin Islands

Sunday, Feb 28, 2021

Dr Arliene T. Penn in! as Coordinator of new VIYP Secretariat

Dr Arliene T. Penn in! as Coordinator of new VIYP Secretariat

Virgin Islands Director of Communications, Dr Arliene T. Penn has been appointed Coordinator of a new five-member Secretariat of the Virgin Islands Youth Parliament (VIYP), with a mission to provide support to its management committee of elected members.

The other members of the Secretariat are House of Assembly (HoA) Clerk Ms Phyllis Evans, Education Officer Mrs Heida Joyles-Selwood, Educator Mrs Janice George-Harris and Director of Youth Affairs & Sports Mrs Brenda Lettsome-Tye according to a release from the Government Information Service (GIS).

Committed to duties in VIYP Secretariat - Dr Penn


Dr Penn said as Coordinator, she is committed to her role of ensuring that Youth Parliamentarians, regardless of their future professional aspirations, are given an opportunity to develop their skills as accountable and responsible citizens, grounded in civic consciousness, national identity, democracy and the rule of law and respect for diversity.

So far, Dr Penn revealed that the members of the committee are currently engaged in virtual meetings assisting with the preparation for the VIYP first debate, which is scheduled for Thursday, March 11, 2021, under the topic, ‘Should the BVI Move to Self-Determination?"

Dr Penn said the main focus as the secretariat is to ensure VI’s youth advocate meaningfully on different platforms and themes that impact young people and the Territory, and for the VIYP to be given an opportunity to understand in theory and practice, the important principles of governance, good governance, democracy, the rule of law, human rights and how the local House of Assembly functions.

“We will do so by tapping into the resources and experts available to us,” she said.


Meanwhile, Committee Chair and Speaker of the House of Assembly (HoA) Honourable Julian Willock said he welcomed the secretariat to help strengthen the important works of the Youth Parliament.

House Speaker welcomes role of Secretariat


Meanwhile, Committee Chair and Speaker of the HoA, Honourable Julian Willock said he welcomed the Secretariat to help strengthen the important works of the Youth Parliament.

“For the next two years, we will have a group of young people, not only supported by the management committee of elected members, but a strong and knowledgeable secretariat, so by the end of the current Youth Parliament cycle, they will help to ensure we have young parliamentarians well versed in the rules of the House of Assembly, how parliamentary democracy functions, public speaking, debating and the ability to contribute meaningfully to the values of our democracy,” Hon Willock remarked.

The Secretariat will ensure the smooth functioning of the Management Committee while coordinating the exchange of information and decisions between the committee and the VIYP.

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