Re-tooling for New Challenges - Parliaments as Peace-builders

Establishing effective public institutions should be a key commitment in helping failed and failing states establish lasting peace, including lending support for the re-establishment of functioning legislatures. Although not a panacea solution in and of itself, an effectively functioning legislature is particularly important in post-conflict settings. People must have confidence in the democratic system and must believe that democracy will create the conditions which will open the door to improvements in their lives. They require an effective voice in the decision-making process to render outcomes legitimate and accountable. They also need to be engaged in meaningful discourse with their political representatives who are their connection to a wider political process. Otherwise citizens will look elsewhere for solutions, possibly intensifying ethnic, religious or other societal divisions that can lead to conflict.

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