Parliaments are pillars of democratic governance, playing a critical role in spurring and supporting national action towards sustainable human development. They can be powerful agents of change, particularly during, and after, times of crisis. The UNDP approach to Parliamentary development benefits the poor and other disadvantaged groups by increasing both their political representation and government accountability to the public.
For ten years now, UNDP's Global Programme for Parliamentary Strengthening has worked with parliamentary organizations to set up benchmarks for democratic legislatures. We’ve worked with parliamentarians to develop regional standards on political party legislation, crisis prevention, climate change and women’s political empowerment. We also facilitate south-south exchanges to strengthen inclusive and participative political institutions around the world.
At the country level, UNDP and the EU work together on a number of projects in parliamentary development. Successful examples of collaboration include Tunisia, where our partnership is delivering substantial support to the Constituent Assembly in the wake of the Arab Spring. Other examples include joint programmes in Moldova, Kyrgyzstan and Laos.
We also work together on a global programme to strengthen the capacity of parliaments in Africa, the Arab States and in South Asia to draft policy frameworks in support of renewable energy and climate change mitigation.
The European Commission is an official partner of the AGORA network (see right menu), based at UNDP Brussels. Finally, the Global Programme for Parliamentary Strengthening maintains an ongoing partnership with the European Parliament and the Office for the Promotion of Parliamentary Development (OPPD) through contributions to study tours, internships, provision of technical expertise and organization of joint parliamentary development round tables.
The EU is also a key UNDP partner in the regular donor consultations on parliamentary development.