Guyana Chronicle news item, Friday 15 May 2009
Ninth Parliament will establish all constitutional Rights Commisssions
By Priya Nauth
HEAD of the Presidential Secretariat (HPS), Dr. Roger Luncheon said yesterday that Cabinet has noted the delay in the establishment of the Constitutional Rights Commission.
But the weekly meeting noted the functioning of the Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) and felt it was quite commendable, he reported at the post-Cabinet media briefing at Office of the President, Shiv Chanderpaul Drive, Georgetown.
“The delay in constituting the other four commissions was not seen as being commendable,” Luncheon said.
He said the Ninth Parliament, however, apparently has seen the light of day and the Rights of the Child Commission (NROC) has been constituted and its members recently sworn.
Thirteen persons took the oath, recently in the Credentials Room at OP, as new members of the National Rights of the Child Commission, with the assurance from President Bharrat Jagdeo of Government’s support.
The commissioners are Mrs. Pamela Nauth, Mrs. Yvonne Fox, Mrs. Pauline Anthony, Mrs. Aleema Nasir, Ms. Michelle Kalamadeen, Mrs. Suelle Findlay- Williams, Mrs. Sandra Hooper, Mrs. Rosemary Benjamin-Noble, Mr. Vidyaratha Kissoon, Mrs. Bhanmattie Ram, Mr. Kwame McCoy, Mrs. Shirley Ferguson and Mrs. Sorajanie Rambaran.
In accordance with the mandate of the Constitutional Reform Commission CRC), the NROC is one of the four bodies to be set up with the aim of establishing a Human Rights Commission (HRC).
The HRC, when established, will comprise a chairperson and the four chairpersons of the NROC, the Women’s Rights Commission, Indigenous People’s Rights Commission and the ERC.
Luncheon said, at the next scheduled sitting of the National Assembly, on Thursday, May 21, there is room for optimism of the constituting of the agreement of the House to constitute another Rights Commission - the Women and Gender Equality Commission.”
“I am even advised that there is a similar such expectation that the Indigenous Peoples Commission would be constituted soon,” he said.
“With the constitution of the three rights commissions, the fourth, the HRC, would be automatically available for the President and the Leader of the Opposition to conclude its constitution – their inputs being the application of the ‘Carter Centre formula’ for the identification and appointment of the Chairman of the HRC,” Luncheon explained.
He said: “Expectations then are, before the end of this session of the Ninth Parliament of the Republic of Guyana, all of the constitutional rights commissions would be in place and operating.”