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Women’s voices shouldn’t only be heard because they are the victims of the war- Mary Robinson

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Parliamentary Forum: Strengthening the role of parliaments in global development

29 November 2016

A mother and child in Mwea Village, Kenya.

Nairobi, Kenya – AWEPA, in cooperation with the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the Kenyan Parliament, organised a Parliamentary Forum in preparation for the Second High Level Meeting (HLM2) of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC).

The Forum directly preceded the HLM2, a two-day meeting for Ministers and high-level officials from around the world, which took place in Nairobi, Kenya, from 30 November to 1 December 2016.

Held on 29 November 2016, the Forum responded to the urgent need to strengthen the input of parliaments in development cooperation processes that are taking place at the global level.

Participants were given the opportunity for open and honest dialogue regarding the role of parliament within these processes, and considered how engagement can be strengthened.

Specifically, the Parliamentary Forum aimed to:

  • Review the efforts of the GPEDC in meeting its commitments on effective development cooperation, particularly those concerning parliaments;
  • Send out a strong message regarding the need to strengthen parliaments so that they can contribute to development effectiveness processes as key partners at the country level;
  • Articulate a parliamentary perspective on the key themes of the HLM2;
  • Encourage follow-up by parliaments and their inclusion in aid structures at country level.

The event kicked off with welcoming remarks from its organisers. AWEPA’s President, Minister of State Ms. Miet Smet, will join the Speaker of the Kenyan Senate, Hon. Ekwee D. Ethuro, and the General Secretary of the IPU, Mr. Martin Chungong, in welcoming participants and outlining the importance of strengthening the role of parliament in development cooperation.

In her opening speech, Ms. Smet stressed the critical importance effective parliaments in achieving the sustainable development goals and truly “leaving no-one behind” by 2030. She called on participants to work together to ensure that the GPEDC is an active, inclusive, relevant and transparent process that takes the role of parliaments into consideration on the road to sustainable development.

This topic was further explored during a briefing by the GPEDC Steering Committee on the work of this multi-stakeholder partnership. This included a reflection on the specific role of parliaments in supporting the country-level work of the partnership.

Throughout the day, a number of strategies were developed including how to strengthen Official Development Assistance through parliamentary oversight, mobilise domestic resources and leverage public and private partnerships.

The Forum closed with the adoption of a Parliamentary Statement to the HLM2 of the GPEDC.

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