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Barbados Opposition Leader wants regional consultant pool

Published:Saturday | June 6, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Motley: We need to be able to move to a situation of greater functional cooperation regionally.

Barbados' Mia Motley has put forward a suggestion for a regional technical support centre to assist parliamentary surveillance bodies.

"The major problem that the region faces is that we are in a period of serious difficulties, country by country by country, and, therefore ... when it comes down to the issue of will and commitment, you are likely to find government hiding behind the inability to find the fiscal resources in order to enhance capacity," said Motley, the leader of opposition in Barbados.

Motley, who was among scores of persons from Latin America and the Caribbean attending a World Bank, United Nations Development Programme, ParlAmericas, Inter-American Development Bank-sponsored conference on 'Strengthening Legislative Oversight', said the creation of a regional pool could go a far way in helping to preserve and promote democracy.


Greater cooperation needed


"We need to be able to move to a situation of greater functional cooperation regionally," Motley said, while pointing to the Caribbean Court of Justice as a key way in which the people of the region could be served by a single institution.

"Rather than us duplicating the resources country by country, in the circumstances where the funds are not available, we are capable of carrying out judicial or regulatory functions through that type of model," she argued.

Motley said that most of the region's countries are facing fiscal difficulties and that they may not be able to pay for consultants to provide the necessary support to parliament. She said that the cost of government was becoming prohibitive and that there was scarcity of resources to meet demand.

"We can agree to a pool of persons from which we draw, which does not in any way compromise the integrity of individual parliament," she said, arguing that such a model would see individual countries spending less on consultancy.