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Connecting People and Ideas for Integrated Development
USAID and PSLP staff

Arab Institute for Parliamentary Training and Legislative Studies opens

Crowd at Institute opening July 13, 2011The long-planned opening of the Arab Institute for Parliamentary Training and Legislative Studies recently took place at the newly-renovated Lebanese Parliament in Beirut.

The Institute will provide training and information services for the parliamentary staff and Members of Parliament from across the Arab world.

During the Arab Parliamentary Union’s 12th conference held in Amman, Jordan, in February 2006, the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union (AIPU) in collaboration with the Lebanese Parliament agreed to establish a regional parliamentary training center based in Beirut. The decision to support the creation of the center was further confirmed by the AIPU’s executive committee at its meeting in Muscat, Oman, in January 2010.

The Institute, located in the Lebanese Parliament building, was jointly proposed and provided by the Lebanese Parliament and the AIPU. Supported by USAID through the Program to Strengthen the Lebanese Parliament Through Development of a Legislative Resource Center implemented by SUNY/CID, the Institute will “fill a void of knowledge in the fields of legal and parliamentary studies,” according to AIPU Secretary General Noureddine Bouchkouj.

The inauguration event on July 13, hosted by the Lebanese Parliament, was attended by Ministers, Members of Parliament and parliamentary staff as well as the secretaries general of other Arab parliaments, members of the diplomatic corps in Lebanon and representatives of USAID. The inaugural address was delivered on behalf of the Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament by MP Michel Mussa. Mr. Bouchkou and Mr. Martin Chungong, representing the Secretary General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) also spoke during the opening.

Following the inaugural session, a panel of experts spoke about the experience of other parliamentary training centers. Ms. Catherine Cornish from the Australian House of Representatives, and Dr. Kate Rose from SUNY/CID’s USAID-funded Afghanistan Project, spoke about development and training opportunities for MPs and parliamentary staff from the Australian and Afghanistan perspectives. Ms. Cornish’s and Dr. Rose’s participation in the event was organized by SUNY/CID and supported by USAID. Mr. George Kunnath of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy also contributed to this session. The event’s closing session took the form of an open floor exchange with secretaries general from seven Arab parliaments and other guests discussing the future of the Institute and the role it should play.

With continued support from USAID and SUNY/CID’s PSLP Project, the Institute will begin to offer trainings on a number of legislative and parliamentary subjects this year. PSLP has also been involved in assisting the Institute through provision of equipment, reference materials and studies, books, and other documentation that was distributed to participants at the opening event.

Posted: July 18, 2011