Toily Kurbanov: Remarks at the Opening Ceremony of the Parliament Committee Induction Programme

Jun 6, 2016

Honorable Speakers and Deputy Speakers, Committee Chairs, Committee Secretaries; Members and managers of Pyidaungsu, Amyotha, Pyithu, Region and State Hluttaws

Alon Mingalaba!

It has been 125 days since 2nd Myanmar Hluttaw and the Region and State Hluttaws were constituted. Since then you took up your responsibilities by debating laws, overseeing government projects, and representing your constituencies. As I am standing in front of you today, I am privileged to be able to share few words as a humble observer.

For 125 days you have been working on many different issues that affect the society. Through the focus on the impact on local communities you are helping improve their self-reliance, justice and participatory decision-making. This is the first step towards people centered policies, which will ensure that everyone benefits from social and economic development in Myanmar.   

17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)seek to address exactly same issues. All 193 Member States of the UN agreed on SDGs at the UN General Assembly last year. These goals will guide global development agenda until 2030. I would like to show you some examples that we have been encouraged to see being addressed by Members of the Myanmar Hluttaw and Region and State Hluttaws and which correspond well with the SDGs:

1. The Union government was requested to expand the Department of Public Health to be able to provide efficient public health services to the public
• SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being

2. The government was asked about the status of a dam which provides water to the constituency of Mai Rae and measures taken by the government to maintain the dam
• SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

3. Mon State Hluttaw will re-evaluate proposed coal-fired plant and is considering the impact on local communities and livelihoods
• SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

4. The government was asked whether the wooden electric polesin villages near the Loikaw Power Plant would be replaced with concrete electric poles
• SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

5. Phyithu Hluttaw debated high-rise buildings in Yangon. Local residents were concerned that their neighborhood would be negatively affected and raised issues around the safety.
• SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

6. The Union Government was urged to take measures against deforestation and environmental degradation of the North part of the Magwe Region
• SDG 13: Climate Action

7. River pollution due to industrial waste from factories was discussed in the Ayeyarwady Region Hluttaw
• SDG 14: Life Below Water

As distinguished Members of Parliament you did not stop at debating the issues of concern for the society. Your respective Hluttaws have organizedthemselves into committeesresponsible for specific policy areas. By making these committees work the Hluttaws will reinforce a people centered parliament approach and ensure people centered policies.

I thank the Myanmar Hluttaw for inviting UNDP to organize this induction workshop for parliament committees. As you know, in this task UNDP has joined hands with the Inter-Parliamentary Union, National Democratic Institute and Westminster Foundation together with the Parliaments of Australia, Denmark, Finland, India, Pakistan and the United Kingdomin organizing this induction programme for parliament committees.

By learning from international experience and from each other, we hope that you will gain more knowledge on how to develop rules and work practices allowing the committees:
1. To gather information in open, public sessions; and
2. To use it in Hluttaw reports on legislative and budget proposals, and reports on the operation of government ministries

To see the people of Myanmar line up to cast their votes last year was an inspiring moment. The people gave you the power to make changes that they aspire to. We hope that this week will enrich your thinking which will help you take decisions for how your committees should best work to address the aspiration of the people.

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