Inter-regional parliamentary conference

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PRESS RELEASE

Inter-regional parliamentary conference

Parliamentary Groups key to effective representation of citizens’ interests in a diverse society


 

Tunis, 17, 18 September 2015 – More than 80 parliamentarians from the Arab region, Europe and North America debated the importance of emerging political groups inside the Parliament as an essential component of diversity and political pluralism— a prerequisite for parliamentary effectiveness in representing the interests and aspirations of a diverse society.

Their deliberations came as part of an inter-regional conference on the “Institutionalization of political pluralism in a representative democracy: Role, structure and management of parliamentary groups,” which was held on 17 and 18 September 2015 in the Tunisian capital.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) organized the conference jointly with the Tunisian Assembly of the Representatives of the People and the European Parliament, with the financial support of the European Union. Participants came from the Arab region, including delegations from the parliaments of Algeria, Iraq, Jordan Tunisia alongside counterparts from around the world including from the Quebec National Assembly; the French National Assembly and Senate; several Belgian parliamentary assemblies at regional and federal levels; and German Bundestag officials; as well as international experts in parliamentary development from the International Parliamentary Union (IPU); the National Democratic Institute (NDI); the Parliamentary Assembly of the  Francophonie (APF) and the Association of Parliamentary Secretaries-General of the Francophonie (ASGPF).

H.E. Mohamed Ennaceur, President of the Tunisian Assembly of the Representatives of the People, expressed his delight to host such a distinguished group of political and intellectual leaders and friends of Tunisia. He emphasized that:” Parliamentary groups played a particularly important role in the work Consensus Committee, which brought together various political factions in “marathon-like” sessions, finally resulting in issuing a consensual constitution for Tunisia, guaranteeing respect of Universal Human Rights, and laying the foundations for a modern democratic State.”

"Parliamentary groups are, indeed, expected to play a key role in the institutionalization of political diversity. They help anchor a structured and organized political debate in the Assembly,” stressed UNDP Resident Representative in Tunisia, Mounir Tabet. “The role of parliamentary groups is particularly important in the context of the nature of the current Tunisian parliamentary term. The main challenge lies in the implementation of the new Constitution in terms of strengthening public and individual rights and freedoms spelled out in the Constitution," he added.

Conference sessions discussed over two days the roles of political groups within the structure and organization of the Parliament, including means, tools and methods of supporting and resourcing them. Conference panels also discussed the institutionalization and functioning of political pluralism, as well as challenges that may threaten different efforts to strengthen it.

Conclusions emanating this innovative conference —a first of its kind— will constitute a point of departure for UNDP in Tunisia to formulate new ways of support to parliamentary groups, which it will pursue under its continuing capacity building programmes designed to support parliamentarians and Assembly officials to ensure that the Assembly effectively accomplishes its tasks and meets its intended goals. This experience may be expanded beyond Tunisia to other countries in the Arab region.


For more Information, please contact:

Nadia KHAMMARI: Communication Analyst, UNDP Tunisia  |  Tél: (+216) 31 379 110 Poste: 108  | e-mail : nadia.khammari@undp.org