Nairobi, Kenya – As part of the Second High-Level Meeting (HLM2) of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC), AWEPA organised a side event on “The role of parliamentarians and citizens in strengthening accountability in development cooperation” in cooperation with the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA).
This event, which took place on 30 November 2016, provided an open, practical platform for parliamentarians and civil society to come together to discuss innovative ways to engage parliamentarians and citizens in strengthening domestic and mutual accountability in development cooperation.
Building on the outcomes of the Parliamentary Forum, held in Nairobi on 29 November 2016 by AWEPA and the IPU, discussions revolved around two central questions:
- What can parliaments do to strengthen their engagement and enhance their capacity?
- How to develop international partnerships between parliaments in developed and developing countries?
Key interventions were given by Hon. Mwalimu Simfukwe, Member of the Zambian Parliament, Hon. Maureen O’Sullivan, Member of the Irish Parliament and Head of AWEPA’s Irish Section, and Mr. Juan Camilo Molina, representative of the CSO Observatory of Development Cooperation.
During his speech, Hon. Simfukwe drew from his experience from Zambia, citing some recent developments regarding mechanisms by which parliaments can engage in the partnership to enhance capacity in development cooperation. He spoke strongly of the need for systematic change, provisions for transparency and targeted legislation aligned with the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
Hon. O’Sullivan also highlighted the importance of parliaments in the attainment of the SDGs, focusing particularly on the example of the Economic Partnership Agreements. She called for more transparency and debate in such agreements, and stressed the need to work in and environment of mutual respect and accountability where information is shared and work is monitored.
Calling for greater links between the work of parliament and CSOs, Mr. Camilo highlighted the need for new agenda where the state and civil society are partners in building the future that we want.