UNDP steps up support to Myanmar’s state and regional parliaments

Feb 10, 2014

Members of Parliament participating in preliminary discussions to kick-start support to the local legislatures.

Yangon - UNDP Myanmar has expanded its support to the parliament to include the country’s state and regional parliaments. Preliminary discussions to kick-start support to the local legislatures were held with the Mon State Parliament on 20-21 January and with the Chin State Parliament on 27-28 January 2014. Participants debated issues related to representation and law-making and agreed on further support activities for elected members and parliament staff.

“State and region parliaments are given the constitutional mandate to represent and legislate at the sub-national level and thereby serve an important role in fostering democratic development of political processes in Myanmar”, commented Edin Elgsaether, UNDP’s Programme Analyst (Parliament). So far, the state and region parliaments have only existed for three years and as new institutions are facing various challenges. “UNDP is committed to support these institutions in fulfilling their roles to become more effective legislative branches of the local governments”, he said.

Specialists from UNDP Myanmar also visited the Region Parliaments of Yangon, Sagaing and Mandalay, where they discussed potential assistance for these assemblies, including the need for developing parliamentary standing orders, support services and networking. The support to the state and region parliaments is part of UNDP’s Democratic Governance Programme which supports strengthening governance and democratic structures and processes in Myanmar.

Since 2011, some of the sub-national parliaments have spearheaded initiatives to engage in parliamentary oversight of local governance. UNDP is providing capacity development opportunities for elected members and parliament staff. Training interventions are complemented with technical assistance for the organization of parliamentary work and support services, as well as supporting exchanges among parliaments to share innovations and practices. All parliamentarians and parliament staff were enthusiastic and welcomed the UNDP support. The programme, which is part of the UNDP Country Programme, will last until the end of 2015.

For more information contact:

Edin Elgsaether, edin.elgsaether@undp.org

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