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Connecting People and Ideas for Integrated Development

Bosnia celebrates International Day of DemocracyBiH CSO fair

For the first time since the United Nations instituted the International Day of Democracy in 2007, BiH parliamentarians observed the Sept. 15 holiday, which is celebrated throughout the world by Parliaments and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). In keeping with this year’s theme, "Dialogue and Inclusiveness – Central to Democracy," the USAID Parliamentary Support Project in Bosnia-Herzegovina (PS Project) co-sponsored nine events that strengthened the links among parliamentary institutions, individual parliamentarians, and citizens.

On Monday, Sept. 17, the PS Project convened two half-day conferences at which 35 CSOs from all over the country met to discuss specific ways CSOs can collaborate more effectively with parliaments on policy and legislative formulation and oversight. Several MPs and the majority of parliamentary commissions’ secretaries participated in these events, which were also attended by senior officials from the State and Federation Ministries of Justice. The BIHPA PR Department also provided a guided tour of the parliament and invited participant to come and visit the state parliament in the future.

On Tuesday, Sept. 18, the State Parliament and its IPU Delegation formally marked the International Day of Democracy by hosting an Open Parliament Day and its first-ever CSO Fair. The PS Project co-sponsored this event, at which 25 CSOs interacted with State Parliament staff and MPs and had an opportunity to lobby for their initiatives. This event opened doors for similar events in the future and demonstrated Parliament’s commitment to dialogue with civil society.

The PS Project facilitated six visits to schools for five MPs. The visits helped the students gain greater awareness of the role of parliament in democratic societies and provided yet another avenue to strengthen MPs’ ties with their constituencies.

See more of SUNY/CID's work in Bosnia

Posted Oct. 10, 2012