As part of its continued support to Iraq’s parliament, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today signed with the Council of Representatives in Baghdad a project of US$1,797,999 funded by the Government of the Kingdom of Sweden. This initiative aims to strengthen the legislative and oversight role of the parliament, which now begins its third term following the April 2014 elections.
“We look forward to expanding the cooperation with UNDP and the Swedish Government, which has been very effective during the last three years, notably through the support to the Council’s Human Rights Committee,” said HE Saleem Aljbouri, Speaker of the Council of Representatives. “The Council has conducted a survey among 12,000 people to assess the citizens’ perception of the parliament’s work over 8 years; the results will inform the reform agenda of the Council,” the Speaker explained.
“In this historic moment for Iraq, the parliament has a pivotal role in ensuring a swift legal, judicial and security sector reform, which will lead to making Iraq a stronger democracy,” Adam Abdelmoula, UNDP Country Director, said. “This is the first project UNDP signs since the new Council and the new Government have been sworn in, and just the beginning of a strategic collaboration; the Council will be a key partner in our work towards decentralization, poverty alleviation and inclusive growth; and in addressing the plight and rights of the displaced.”
“Sweden supports this timely initiative with great satisfaction”, HE Jörgen Lindström (pictured), Ambassador of Sweden, said. “This is a continuation of earlier joint efforts: democratic governance is a priority area for Swedish development cooperation with Iraq, as we support the principles of accountability, openness, capacity building and consultations with civil society, including active participation of women.”
The project will promote the critical role of parliamentarians, particularly women, in policy-making. It will focus on enhancing the Council’s legislative capacity by providing law drafting and review expertise, and training for new MPs.
To encourage Iraqi citizens and the civil society to engage in the legislative process, the NGOs Directorate will also facilitate the implementation of mechanisms for policy consultations with communities through local NGOs.