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Connecting People and Ideas for Integrated Development

Arab regional workshop focuses on emerging trends, challenges in technology

ICT Seminar

The newly established Arab Institute for Parliamentary Training and Legislative Studies, supported by SUNY/CID’s USAID-funded Project to Support the Lebanese Parliament through Development of a Legislative Resource Center, hosted the Arab regional workshop: Emerging Trends and Challenges for ICT in Parliament on Jan. 16 and 17 in Beirut, Lebanon. In his opening remarks, Noureddine Bouchkouj, the Secretary General of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union, said “This represents one of the most important events ever held in the region.”  He later added that it was also one of the most successful seminars the AIPU has participated in.

This two-day seminar, the first and largest of its kind in the Arab world, addressed issues related to the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in parliamentary operations. Topics ranged from broadly institutional, such as development of a comprehensive ICT strategic plan and the role of the library as a central informational resource, to the discussion of basic technological challenges in parliaments, such as methods of recording parliamentary proceedings, documentation management, delivery of information to parliamentarians, and standards for parliamentary websites.Arab Institute

During a discussion session, a delegate from the UAE suggested the creation of an e-portal for Arab Parliaments, and Noureddine Boushkouj responded immediately that the creation of such a portal would be addressed at the Jan. 19-20 regional workshop for Arab Parliamentary Libraries being held at the Institute. The session is co-sponsored with SUNY/CID PSLP.  What is particularly significant here is both the spontaneous recognition by the participants of the value of greater inter-Arab collaboration and the spontaneous synergies created by these two events. 

The seminar was attended by six secretaries-general, three deputy secretaries-general, along with directors of IT and other ICT services representing 15 houses of parliament from 13 different countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, and United Arab Emirates.  Also present was the Palestinian National Council and the Secretary-General of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union. The international community was represented by USAID, the EU, the UN and UNDP.

The event was hosted by the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union and the Lebanese Parliament. It was organized for the Arab Institute for Parliamentary Training and Legislative Studies, by the State University of New York's Center for International Development (SUNY/CID) and funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) with additional support from the United Nation’s Global Center for ICT in Parliament.

Posted: Feb. 2, 2012