International Delegates at NCSL's Legislative Summit

The National Conference of State Legislatures was pleased to welcome more than 200 international delegates from 21 countries to this year’s Legislative Summit in San Antonio, Texas. The four-day conference provided a wonderful opportunity for international legislators and staff to share solutions on pressing policy issues and meet their counterparts from the United States. 

Group Photo

International legislators and staff who travelled to the Texas State Capitol.

   

The international program began at 8:30 am on Monday, August 8 with a Welcome Session hosted by Senator Pam Althoff of Illinois and Representative Terie Norelli of New Hampshire. All the international delegations to the Summit were introduced and recognized. NCSL’s President, Massachusetts Senator Richard Moore, Immediate Past President, Georgia Senator Don Balfour, and Staff Chair Tim Rice of Illinois also welcomed the attendees and wished them a productive week.

Immediately following the welcome, NCSL held an innovative session, “International Comparison: Sharing Solutions through Roundtable Discussions” allowing the attendees to mingle with their counterparts from other countries. Each roundtable discussion was moderated by a U.S. state legislator or staff. Discussion topics included meeting challenges, building coalitions, and the role of staff in the legislative institution.

Following the roundtable discussion was an International Trade Panel moderated by Senator David Ulibarri of New Mexico. The trade session served as a practical discussion of how to increase international trade and build business ties between our communities. The international trade panelists included the Hon. Ken Allred, MP of Alberta, Canada, the Hon. Reinhold Bocklet, First Vice President of the Bavarian Legislature, Germany; the Hon. Senator Mukharbek Didigov of the Republic of Russia; the Hon. Luciano Nunes Santos Filho, Deputy, Treasurer, UNALE of Brazil; and his Excellency Mr. Al Busyra Basnur, Indonesian Consul General to Houston, Texas.

Texas Representative Senfronia Thompson spoke to the international attendees during a luncheon. NCSL thanks ADM for its gracious hospitality in sponsoring this luncheon.

Later in the week, international delegates were given a tour of the Texas State Capitol building in Austin, where they learned about the state’s proud history. Texas Senator Kirk Watson spoke with the group about his own experience in the Texas Senate.

NCSL hosted a session entitled, “Global Perspectives on the Legislative Institution.” The purpose of the session was to compare how legislatures and parliaments around the world handle Member and staff turnover. This session was moderated by Robert Marchant, Director of Senate Legislative Operations in the Wisconsin Legislature. Panelists included Mr. Peter Alcock, Clerk, House of Assembly, Parliament of Tasmania, Australia; Mr. Ilgar Farzaliyev, Director, HR Department, Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijan Republic; and Ms. Nerusha Naidoo, Secretary, KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Legislature of South Africa.

During the Women’s Legislative Network Luncheon, female legislators and staff from around the world shared their ideas with international attendees. International legislators and staff were attended the Summit’s General and other sessions throughout the conference, during which they heard from such speakers as author Jim Collins, Texas Governor and Presidential Candidate Rick Perry, and pollsters Peter Hart and Neil Newhouse. For a complete agenda of the Summit, please visit: http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?TabId=23366.

Join us in 2012 for NCSL’s Legislative Summit in Chicago, August 6-9!