Photo: UNDP/Yamon Phu Thit
Photo: UNDP/Yamon Phu Thit

4 March 2019, Yangon — The governance of Myanmar’s Regions and States has become increasingly important as more resources are allocated locally, and as building a democratic federal union is highlighted as a Government priority in the Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan. Yet the functioning and development of the 14 Region and State Hluttaws (parliaments) has to date not been comprehensively documented.

Taking into consideration all these implications, UNDP’s Support to Effective & Responsive Institutions Project (SERIP), supported by Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), in close collaboration with the participating Hluttaws developed the first situational analysis of Region and State Hluttaws in Myanmar, which was launched today in the presence of Deputy Speakers and MPs of Mandalay, Mon, Shan and Tanintharyi Region and State Hluttaws, and development partners.

Photo: UNDP/Yamon Phu Thit
Photo: UNDP/Yamon Phu Thit

In his opening remarks, the UNDP Resident Representative Peter Batchelor emphasized: “Region and State Hluttaws and Governments will have an elevated role in the future of Myanmar’s governance, with more responsibilities and a mandate to represent Myanmar’s political and ethnic diversity. Therefore, the success of the Hluttaws’ development will also be an important factor for Myanmar’s democratic transition. This will increase the requirements on the Hluttaws to do more and perform better. The Situation Analysis will be useful to the Hluttaws, because it provides them with the evidence they need to plan their development, in order to perform well in a more decentralized Myanmar.” 

Other speakers at the event included: Dr. Aung Naing Oo, Deputy Speaker of Mon State Hluttaw, Carl Defaria, Former Minister and MP, Ontario Province, Canada, Mael Raynaud, Head of Research Urbanize, Policy Institute for Urban and Regional Planning. Pe Aung Lin, Director Myanmar Centre for the Empowerment of Region and State Hluttaws. The event was attended by Civil society organizations engaged with the Hluttaws from the Mandalay, Mon, Shan and Tanintharyi Region and State Hluttaws and the policy community of Yangon-development partners, NGOs, and media representatives.

The publication sheds light on how the parliaments at the sub-national level function, how they interact with sub-national governments and the role their Members of Parliament play in the governance of the townships they are elected from. It identifies good practices and democratic innovations implemented by individual Hluttaws, and proposes recommendations for Hluttaw reform, which derive from a comparison of Hluttaw practices against international standards and benchmarks of parliamentary governance.

It is expected that the report will serve as a valuable reference guide for the future development of all Region and State Hluttaws, and many originate in identified good practices, so that a positive development in one Hluttaw may be considered by its peer Hluttaws for adoption.

For additional information, please email UNDP Myanmar communications team:

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