Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Wednesday, February 19, 2020 07:57:24 PM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Talk To Action

How Parliaments Make A Difference

 How Parliaments Make A Difference
photo by

Parliamentarians in Bangladesh reached out to communities with the highest rates of child marriage to advocate an end to this harmful practice. And Norway\'s parliament enacted a bold Climate Change Act to promote the implementation of the country\'s clim

By
15th-Feb-2020       
Share
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Save
  • E-mail
  • Print
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Achim Steiner, Martin Chungong :
Parliaments make a concrete difference in people's everyday lives. That includes everything from establishing the conditions to create jobs to safeguarding freedom of speech to increasing budget allocations for health workers in rural areas. They are at the heart of inclusive decision-making ­- without their effective involvement policies risk being less representative of the needs and interests of the whole of society, and thereby less efficient. And they have the power to transform words into action by representing their constituents, enacting legislation, adopting national budgets, and holding governments to account.
Parliaments are also a unique and privileged place for speaking out, dissenting, discussing, and ultimately building consensus. In fact, the word parliament derives from the French word parler, meaning "to talk."
But the problem often lies in translating the dialogue held in parliaments' hallowed chambers into sustainable and meaningful solutions to acute issues like health, jobs, and housing, while also addressing systemic issues - including peace and security. The challenge of delivery is brought sharply into focus today with many countries suffering limited powers vis-à-vis the executive as well as shrinking civic spaces. Moreover, parliaments often suffer from a shortage of capacity and skills - particularly a lack of technological resources or institutional knowledge of the often-complex workings of a modern parliament.
As we enter the crucial "decade of action" for the SDGs, parliaments need further assistance to deliver on a range of challenging issues.
So, when it comes to national parliaments, should we leave that crucial dialogue to flourish or flounder, or should we nurture that process so that it bears more fruit?
In response to such gaps, organizations like the Inter-Parliamentary Union, or IPU, and the United Nations Development Programme, or UNDP, play a leading role in providing much-needed support to parliaments. In their work together they are centered on advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
The SDGs recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand in hand with strategies in a range of areas, such as improving health and education, while spurring economic growth and protecting the environment. Given the increasingly interconnected nature of the world, we need all national parliaments to incorporate the The Inter-Parliamentary Union, established in 1889, was the first-ever permanent forum for multilateral political negotiations, based on a vision of a peaceful world driven by dialogue rather than conflict. Today, this global organization of parliaments facilitates dialogue among parliamentarians and offers practical support to its 179 member parliaments. All of IPU's work is aimed at strengthening the basic tenets of democracy: human rights, the rule of law, and equality. It is keen to make democracy work for the people.
UNDP is the U.N.'s global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience, and resources to help people build a better life. UNDP is on the ground in 170 countries and territories, supporting their own solutions to development challenges and developing national and local capacities that will help them achieve human development and the SDGs. It is also the world's largest implementer of support to parliaments, providing assistance to over 60 partner countries.
A survey conducted by IPU in 2019 found that that over half of the 89 parliaments analyzed have established mechanisms within parliaments dedicated to SDG implementation. The survey also shows that many parliaments regularly discuss the SDGs. Others have set aside specific budgets for implementing the SDGs in general or specific goals such as education or health.
However, oversight of government action and budgetary allocations for delivering on the SDGs are less systematic, although several parliaments have called government to account on SDG implementation- for instance in Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, the Netherlands, or in Sierra Leone.
Translating political dialogue into tangible benefits
This increased focus on the SDGs by parliaments is producing results worldwide. For instance, the Parliament of Uganda increased budget allocations for health workers in rural areas. Or in Rwanda, when the parliament adopted a reproductive health law, MPs communicated with communities including universities and schools to make sure the benefits of the law are felt by all.
Parliamentarians in Bangladesh reached out to communities with the highest rates of child marriage to advocate an end to this harmful practice. And Norway's parliament enacted a bold Climate Change Act to promote the implementation of the country's climate targets - it also required the government to give an account of the expected effect of the proposed budget on greenhouse gas emissions.
This is concrete. This is change. This was possible because there was a will and a way found to translate political dialogue into tangible benefits for citizens.
A look at UNDP's private sector strategy (Pro)
UNDP is adapting its approach to engaging and working with the private sector. The agency has a new strategy and an administrator who believes engagement with businesses of all sizes has to be part of its future.
Supporting these processes, IPU and UNDP produced a self-assessment toolkit that helps members of parliament to identify best practice when it comes to mainstreaming the SDGs into legislative processes. The conclusions of the self-assessment allow parliaments to set priorities for reform in order to strengthen their response to the SDGs and to date, 15 parliaments have conducted the assessment.
Knowledge-sharing between parliaments is also crucial. For instance, UNDP manages the AGORA knowledge hub, which connects those active in the field of parliamentary development by offering e-learning courses and allowing members of parliament to share global best practice.
The digital transformation underway in politics
Parliaments must also address the reality that too many people feel marginalized or excluded because of lack of access to information and the benefits of technological advances. And parliamentarians need tangible support to take advantage of changes associated with the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution.
In response, IPU has established a Centre for Innovation in Parliament, which provides support to parliaments to make better use of digital tools in their work to achieve enhanced outreach, transparency, accountability, and efficiency. One project in Brazil aims to create a portal to pull together open data from multiple parliaments to create new ways for researchers and parliaments to analyze and improve the law. And UNDP is undergoing a major digital transformation to become future-focused - capable of making its digital expertise available to benefit countries and their parliaments.
As we enter the crucial "decade of action" for the SDGs, parliaments need further assistance to deliver on a range of challenging issues, including ending poverty, ensuring gender equality, delivering better health coverage, and taking decisive climate action. Indeed, addressing the underlying and root causes of fragility - by supporting state institutions like national parliaments - is critical to prevent conflict and ensure countries are more resilient if a crisis does occur.
This continued international support is ever more crucial as we accelerate the drive toward a brighter and more sustainable future for all.

(Achim Steiner, United Nations Development Program administrator Martin Chungong, the first non-European to be elected as secretary general in the Inter-Parliamentary Union's 126-year history).

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

Food Safety Authority should be more active to root out prime causes of making foods toxic


BANGLADESH Food Safety Authority has found heavy metal presence in 63 samples of pesticide out of 67 tested recently. Some of the pesticides contained one milligram of heavy metal or even more per kilogram or per litre.  Some samples contained all of the three heavy metals: cadmium, chromium and lead. ...

Business & Economy »

Ziaul Hasan Siddique, Chairman of Sonali Bank Limited, presiding over its opening ceremony of a foundation course for newly appinted Senior Officer/Officer at the bank's Staff College in the city recently. Begum Masuma Akter, Principal of the college while DGM, AGM and other senior officials of the bank were also present.


City »

Eminent writer Emdadul Haque Milon giving autograph to children at the Ekushey Book Fair in the city's Suhrawardy Udyan on Tuesday.


City »

Army Chief General Aziz Ahmed speaking at the Regimental Colour awarding ceremony held at the 19 Infantry Division in Ghatail Cantonment on Tuesday.


Entertainment »

Guilty trailer: Sneak peek of Kiara Advani's Netflix film is bleh


The trailer of Netflix film Guilty is out, and by the looks of it, the movie lacks the punch of a thriller. The characters also lack the intrigue which is needed for a movie like this.Kiara Advani is Nanki - a rebellious, silver-haired songwriter who is part of a popular ...

Entertainment »

Tapas Pal passes away


The veteran actor in West Bengal Tapas Paul has passed away of cardiac arrest early Tuesday. He was 61.Recently, he had gone to Mumbai to visit his daughter. During his return to Kolkata, he complained of chest pain at the Mumbai airport and was rushed to a hospital in Juhu ...

International »

Iran sentences alleged US spies to 10 years in prison


AP, Tehran :Iran sentenced eight environmental activists, including an Iranian who reportedly also has British and American citizenship, to prison sentences ranging from four to 10 years on charges of spying for the United States and acting against Iran's national security, the judiciary said Tuesday.According to the judiciary spokesman, Gholamhossein ...

International »

UK Govt adviser quits over race comments


An adviser in British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's office resigned on Monday after online comments resurfaced where he linked intellect to race and seemed to advocate a eugenics policy.Andrew Sabisky once suggested that black Americans had a lower average intelligence than white Americans.He also said in a 2014 web post ...

Sports »

Virat Kohli becomes first Indian with 50 million Instagram followers


LANS :Virat Kohli has become the first person from India to have 50 million followers on Instagram.The captain of the Indian men's cricket team is regarded as one of the best batsmen in the current generation. He has so far 930 posts on the picture-sharing website and is following 480 ...

Football »

Gary Neville expects Manchester City to win appeal against 'hopeless' UEFA


Gary Neville has backed Manchester City to win an appeal against a two-season ban from European competition imposed by a "hopeless" UEFA.European football's governing body announced on Friday that City has been banned from continental competition for two seasons for what UEFA said were "serious" financial fair-play breaches between 2012 ...

Entertainment »

Ankhi’s new song Tomar-e Karoney


Entertainment Report :On the occasion of Valentine’s Day, popular singer Ankhi Alamgir’s new song titled Tomar-e Karoney was released on a YouTube channel recently. Anurup Aich wrote lyrics of the song while tune was composed by Fabir Tonmoy. Shahriar Rafat has arranged music of the song. Ankhi informed that there ...

Editorial »

Massive awareness programmes needed to prevent Coronavirus


TO prevent spread of the coronavirus, Bangladesh Police Headquarters recently  issued a letter instructing all police units in the country to ensure the availability of hand-washing or sanitising facilities on their premises. According to a media report, the letter signed last week by Assistant Inspector General (Health and Education) also ...

Football »

Nicolas Pepe (centre) celebrates Arsenal's second goal in a 4-0 win over Newcastle on Sunday.


Football »

Tarafder Ruhul Amin not to compete in BFF election


In a surprise decision, renowned sports organizer Tarafder M Ruhul Amin has backed down from competing for the hot seat of the President of Bangladesh Football Federation ( BFF) just two months before the election.Tarafder, who announced his intention to run for the post two years back, made the surprise ...

International »

Trump asks Russia to stop backing Syrian ‘atrocities’


PTI, Washington :President Donald Trump has called for Russia to end its support for the Syrian regime's "atrocities" as he expressed US concern over violence in the Idlib region, the White House said.In a call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Trump "expressed concern over the violence in Idlib, Syria ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news