Paramaribo, August 7th, 2019
Parliamentarians from 16 countries in the Americas and the Caribbean will convene in Paramaribo, Suriname, for the 4th Gathering of the Parliamentary Network on Climate Change. Parliamentarians will exchange good practices and discuss effective legislative solutions to meet the urgency of climate change and contribute to the implementation of the Paris Agreement in line with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
With a common goal of raising climate ambition in the hemisphere and advancing climate action through legislation and parliamentary oversight, parliamentarians, expert practitioners and civil society representatives, will engage in a series of working sessions from August 8 to 9 exploring integral and innovative solutions that respond to the vary needs of our societies.
“We are committed to fostering inclusive decision-making processes where women, youth, indigenous peoples and traditionally marginalised groups will have their voices heard” stated the Honourable Bob Nault, Member of Parliament (Canada) and President of ParlAmericas. “This Gathering in a unique opportunity for parliamentarians to have an open and frank discussion in order to learn about effective climate governance structures that can be implemented in our respective countries.”
“As representatives of our communities, we have the responsibility to take action and play a key role in the upcoming renewal of our countries Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), contributing to set up ambitious targets to reduce carbon emission and prevent further environmental degradation,” explained the host of the Gathering, the Honourable Jennifer Simons, Speaker of the National Assembly of Suriname and Vice-President for South America of the ParlAmericas Parliamentary Network on Climate Change.
Parliamentarians are expected to adopt an official declaration, calling for governments, fellow parliamentarians, multilateral institutions, private sector, academia and civil society stakeholders to join forces to surpass the current Nationally Determined Contributions and meet the goals agreed to in the Paris Agreement. This declaration will be shared at the next COP25 and the upcoming UN Climate Summit.
For further information and updates on this meeting, visit www.parlamericas.org and follow @ParlAmericas on social media with the hashtags #ParlAmericasCC
Mexico City, Mexico, June 17, 2019
ParlAmericas, in collaboration with the Senate of the Republic of Mexico, will hold the 11th Gathering of the Parliamentary Network for Gender Equality, titled Achieving Balance in the World of Work, from June 18 to 20 in Mexico City, Mexico. This gathering will bring together legislators from more than 20 countries of the hemisphere to explore strategies to advance women’s labour rights and empowerment, thereby contributing to national economic growth, development, and the realization of human rights.
During the gathering, delegates from across the Americas and the Caribbean will exchange good legislative practices through a series of panel sessions and workshops on that will analyze the cultural and legal barriers to women’s entry and full contribution to the workforce. Civil society and multilateral stakeholders, including actors part of the Inter-American Task Force for Women’s Leadership and Empowerment, will join parliamentarian delegates in conversations on collective actions to forge more inclusive economies that promote autonomy and dignity in the working lives of all members of society in the region.
“I am honoured to welcome our colleagues from across the region to Mexico on this noteworthy occasion: ParlAmericas' 11th annual gathering dedicated to gender equality. I look forward to taking part in the conversations over the next three days on how we can work together to achieve true equality of opportunity in the labour force, a requirement for women's full economic empowerment in the Americas and Caribbean,” stated Senator Antares Vázquez Alatorre (Mexico), host of the gathering and member of the ParlAmericas Board of Directors.
The Honourable Member of Parliament Robert Nault (Canada), President of ParlAmericas, further emphasized that, “As our countries continue to undertake new partnerships and innovative resourcing mechanisms to achieve women’s economic and labour rights, it is crucial that we share our learning to accelerate progress. ParlAmericas is committed to creating spaces for this sharing of experiences, and this gathering is a wonderful opportunity to dedicate our attention to the shared priority of guaranteeing the labour rights of all women and men.”
The gathering will be preceded by a workshop on frameworks to prevent and address workplace sexual harassment, facilitated by colleagues from the Latin American Team for Gender Justice and the Equal Opportunities Commission of Trinidad and Tobago.
For the most recent updates on the gathering, consult the agenda and follow @ParlAmericas on social media using the hashtag #ParlAmericasGEN.
On Monday, May 13 and Tuesday, May 14 of this year, a delegation of parliamentary staff from the national legislatures making up ParlAmericas’ Open Parliament Network exchanged experiences and ideas on how to strengthen transparency and access to public information in collaboration with access to information commissions that are members of the RTA. The objective was to begin to define a Toolkit on this topic. The initiative received support from the EuroSocial+ program, with meetings held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in connection with the XVII Meeting of the RTA.
On Monday, May 13, presentations were given on the progress made on transparency by participating parliaments, which included the experiences of Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Paraguay, and Spain. Representatives of the Institute for Access to Public Information (IAIP) from Honduras and the National Institute for Transparency, Access to Information and the Protection of Personal Data from Mexico also shared their perspectives on the topic and actions put in place to guarantee that parliamentary information is available. This meeting was also attended by Members of Congress Gerardo Martínez and Eli Santos from Honduras and representatives of the National Directorate on Community Relations and Citizen Participation from the Ministry of the Interior, Public Works and Housing of Argentina; the Council for Transparency from Chile; the Institute for Access to Public Information of El Salvador; the Council on Transparency and Good Governance from Spain; the Department of Governmental Transparency of the Ministry of the Presidency of the Dominican Republic; and the Agency for Electronic Government and Information and Knowledge Society (AGESIC) from Uruguay; as well as the Open Government Partnership and the EuroSocial+ program.
On Tuesday, May 14, a workshop was conducted with only the participating parliamentary representatives, in which challenges, areas of work, and tools that could be included in the toolkit were identified in order to facilitate the toolkit’s effective implementation in the parliaments of the region. There was also a panel held as part of the XVII Meeting of the RTA where the achievements made in the RTA-ParlAmericas project were presented and a discussion about the challenges relating to the consolidation of access to information and parliamentary transparency took place.
“Guaranteeing transparency is the first step that needs to be built up in order to move on to the other pillars of open parliament, and, as such, enable national legislatures to succeed in strengthening their role in representation, legislation, and oversight for the benefit of citizens,” highlighted María Liz Sosa, Director General of Legislative Strengthening of the Chamber of Senators of Paraguay. The results of these meetings will be shared in the future with the other parliaments in the region to allow them to contribute to the development and validation process of the parliamentary transparency toolkit.
May 28, 2019
On Wednesday, May 29 and Thursday, May 30, ParlAmericas in collaboration with the Open Parliament e-Network (OPeN) will celebrate Open Parliament Day and the Parliamentary Track of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Global Summit in Ottawa, Canada.
Hosted by the ParlAmericas Canadian Section, Open Parliament Day will be held on May 29, and will bring together parliamentary delegates and civil society representatives from more than 30 countries to exchange on their experiences regarding collaboration with civil society to develop and implement open parliament action plans or initiatives. They will explore how this collaboration can be leveraged to strengthen parliament’s representation and oversight roles to build stronger and more inclusive democracies that deliver better services and public policies, in line with Sustainable Development Goal 16 of the 2030 Agenda.
On May 30, parliamentary delegations will participate in OGP Global Summit sessions where they will exchange with peers, government officials, academia, civil society, and other open government stakeholders. They will debate strategies to enable citizens, civil society and business to participate in government decision-making; empower under-represented people to engage actively with governments; and help citizens understand how open government affects their day-to-day lives. They will discuss important issues, such as disinformation, beneficial ownership registries, gender equality, participatory and inclusive policy making, public sector innovation, anti-corruption, artificial intelligence and access to justice, among others.
The Honourable Robert Nault, President of ParlAmericas and Chair of the ParlAmericas Canadian Section stated that “open, participatory, and inclusive governments are fundamental to building citizens’ trust, improving results, and strengthening our countries. Canada is honoured to host such an important meeting for parliamentarians who have an essential role to play to support greater transparency and accountability in governance, especially as the world faces challenges like disinformation and a rising sense of disenfranchisement.”
"Open government means including all voices, empowering people, and making public policies that improves the lives of citizens while restoring their trust in public institutions,” added Member of Parliament Randy Boissonnault, Vice-president of the ParlAmericas Open Parliament Network and Vice-Chair of the ParlAmericas Canadian Section. “Parliaments play a fundamental role by providing the legislative frameworks needed to successfully implement these initiatives. Parliamentary oversight ensures that open government policies lead to results that strengthen our democracies.”
"The ParlAmericas Open Parliament Network offers spaces for parliamentary peer exchanges and collaboration with civil society to advance transparency, accountability, citizen participation and ethics in parliaments and all public institutions. This global summit is an opportunity to bring together perspectives and experiences from around the globe to develop innovative policy solutions and achieve more ambitious reforms that result in better societies for all our people,” said Senator Blanca Ovelar (Paraguay), President of the Network.
For more information, as well as updates on Open Parliament Day and the Parliamentary Track of the Open Government Partnership Global Summit, we invite you to consult the linked agendas and follow us on social media with the hashtag #ParlAmericasOPN and #OGPCanada.
For Media Inquiries Please Contact:
ParlAmericas International Secretariat at +1-613-594-5222
May 13, 2019
From May 6 to 8, 2019, ParlAmericas participated in a series of meetings in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on the occasion of the XXXVIII Assembly of Delegates of the Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM, in Spanish). This Assembly, on the theme of “Equality and Autonomy in the Exercise of Women's Political Rights,” was attended by Ministers of Women from across the hemisphere, authorities from the OAS, and international experts on gender equality and human rights.
Ahead of the CIM Assembly, the Inter-American Task Force on Women’s Empowerment and Leadership held an internal work-planning meeting which was informed by a series of consultations, as well as by preliminary assessments of the state of women’s leadership and current programming interventions in the region. A critical outcome of this meeting was the identification of three priority areas for collective action through the Task Force: 1) an analysis of availability and quality of data on women’s leadership; 2) a regional communications campaign for advocacy across different sectors; and 3) an expansion of mentorship initiatives.
With the support of the Government of Canada, on the last day of the Assembly, the Task Force held a breakfast meeting with the Ministers of Women – or their designated representative. Participating institutions presented to the Ministers the three priority areas for action the Task Force will be pursuing. In this dialogue, ParlAmericas emphasized the enhanced institutional coordination and impact that has already been achieved by the Task Force since its launch at the VIII Summit of the Americas. This mechanism has better positioned member institutions to evaluate the most strategic ways to scale up effective interventions, whether individually or jointly, and to meet shared goals of ensuring that no one is disadvantaged by their gender or left behind in national development efforts. In the case of ParlAmericas, these efforts will be focused on legislative actions to reduce the barriers to women’s leadership in coordination with its member parliaments.
May 9, 2019
This past March 14th, the Parliamentary Protocol for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation was presented during the 4th Gathering of the ParlAmericas Open Parliament Network. The protocol seeks to guide parliamentary work to meet national disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation needs. This publication is the product of collaboration between ParlAmericas and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction – UNDRR – Regional Office for the Americas.
Member of the National Assembly of Ecuador Ana Belén Marín, Vice-President for South America of the ParlAmericas Parliamentary Network on Climate Change and promoter of her country’s Law on Risk Management, highlighted that the “purpose of this publication is to provide parliaments of the hemisphere with a tool aligned with the principles of the Sendai Framework that contributes to legislative dialogue and the exchange of good practices on the creation and modification of legislation related to disaster risk reduction, mitigation, and management.”
This protocol is structured under two chapters. The first presents a series of suggested parliamentary actions for managing disaster risk, linked with the parliamentary functions of legislation, political oversight, and debate and approval of the national budget. The second chapter provides a detailed explanation of each of the priorities for action in the Sendai Framework and its usefulness for parliamentarians.
For Raúl Salazar, Head of the Regional Office of UNDRR – Americas, “important progress has been seen in a great number of countries that have developed regulatory frameworks with a comprehensive approach to managing disaster risk, as the Sendai Framework recommends. It is important for countries in our region to continue with efforts to integrate disaster risk reduction in their national and local regulatory and legislative frameworks, as these help the public and private sectors to advance risk governance, strengthening their institutions and mechanisms to adequately guide, coordinate, and provide oversight for disaster risk reduction and public policies related to this topic.”
“Disasters push millions of people into poverty each year, threatening progress, peace and security, and costing billions of dollars -- and we have the science that tells us that Climate Change is going to increase the frequency and intensity of these disaster events of natural origin,” stated the Honourable Robert Nault, Member of Parliament of Canada and President of ParlAmericas. “This is why tools like this Protocol are so valuable for parliamentarians. It gives us the information we need to more effectively design and approve laws - and hold our governments accountable to implementing those laws - to ensure we are taking measures for comprehensive disaster risk reduction. Now is the time to take action. Our citizens expect this of us and we need to deliver. ”
May 1, 2019
ParlAmericas is now hiring a Program Officer. Applications will be accepted until May 13, 2019. For more information, please read the job description.
April 18, 2019
ParlAmericas is now hiring a Program Officer - Finance and Logistics. Applications will be accepted until April 30, 2019. For more information, please read the job description.
April 3, 2019
ParlAmericas and United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding to reaffirm collaboration efforts to advance the climate agenda in Latin America and the Caribbean.
ParlAmericas was recognized as an official observer organization to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process by the Conference of the Parties (COP), at its twenty-fourth session held in December 2018. This status and the recently signed Memorandum will allow ParlAmericas to formally participate and incorporate parliamentary perspectives in international climate change conferences and deliberations, and to strengthen its collaboration with the UNFCCC and other partners in the Americas and the Caribbean.
“This is an important recognition of prominent parliamentary efforts to combat climate change across the hemisphere. As President of ParlAmericas and Chair of its Canadian Section, we remain committed to advance legislative work related to climate change mitigation and adaptation through inter-parliamentary cooperation in the hemisphere, as well as to facilitate the development of innovative policies to combat climate change,” stated the Hon. Bob Nault, Member of Parliament from Canada.
ParlAmericas and its Parliamentary Network on Climate Change promote parliamentary climate action through dynamic programming and resources that are tailored to the work of parliamentarians and the specific ways in which their countries and constituents are being impacted by climate change.
“This Memorandum opens new opportunities to collaborate and present the critical work of parliamentarians in raising political ambition and accelerating measures to combat climate change through law making, oversight, budgeting and awareness raising,” stated Javier Ortega, Member of the National Assembly of Panama and President of the ParlAmericas Parliamentary Network on Climate Change. “ParlAmericas welcomes this opportunity to continue providing valuable inputs to the most pressing climate debates from a parliamentary perspective.”
For further information on ParlAmericas work in Climate Change click here. Follow the Parliamentary Network on Climate Change (PNCC) on Twitter using the hashtag #ParlAmericasCC.
March 29, 2019
On March 27-29, ParlAmericas participated in the 2nd Bi-Annual Regional Forum on the Sustainable Development Goals, titled Agenda 2030: Prioritizing Investment in Health and Gender Mainstreaming – Advancing Health and Gender Balance in the OECS. The forum was organized by the Ministry of Health and Gender Affairs and the Ministry of Culture, Youth, Sports, Community Development and Telecommunications and Information of the Nevis Island Administration, respectively led by the Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams and the Hon. Eric Evelyn, and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
The forum brought together representatives from OECS countries to coordinate actions on issues related to gender equality and health to support collective achievement of the corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Each day centred on key actors that play a role in this work, including the executive and legislative branches of government, technical staff, and civil society, and on the need for partnership among these groups.
Parliamentarians’ role in advancing the 2030 agenda was a topic of focus on the first day of the forum. A parliamentary panel highlighted efforts currently underway in OECS countries to address priority concerns like gender-based violence, national healthcare, and poverty alleviation, among others. Throughout the presentations, emphasis was placed on the ways in which inter-island cooperation with other OECS members has served as a strategy to build on individual strengths and ensure the continued success and sustainability of development efforts. Panellists also discussed parliamentarians’ specific roles in furthering progress to achieve the SDGs more broadly through their representative, legislative, and oversight functions.
The forum concluded with the launch of a new online portal by the Ministry of Social Development that seeks to raise citizen awareness on the SDGs and allow for monitoring of government action and progress to achieve this agenda. The website can be accessed at this link: http://www.niasdu.com.
March 26, 2019
On March 13, a ParlAmericas delegation participated in a Regional Workshop on Biodiversity and Traditional Ecological Knowledge in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. The workshop was co-organized by Environment and Climate Change Canada and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Honduras and convened Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) Holders, including Indigenous Peoples, civil society, parliamentarians and government stakeholders from across Central America to exchange good practices and lessons learned for collaboration on biodiversity conservation.
Member of Congress and former Minister of Women and Vulnerable Populations Ana María Choquehuanca (Peru), represented ParlAmericas as a panellist in two sessions on the lessons learned by working with TEK holders to conserve forest biodiversity and on how parliamentarians can help TEK holders to better participate in decision-making. Ms. Choquehuanca shared Peru’s experience on community based co-management of protected areas, and reflected on how parliamentarians can work with TEK holders to create inclusive and holistic legislation. “Indigenous peoples possess knowledge that can positively contribute to the management of forests, thereby making it necessary to empower indigenous peoples and give greater value to their skills and ancestral knowledge during the development of forest management policies and legislation,” stated Ms. Choquehuanca.
ParlAmericas was also represented by Member of Congress Teresa Cálix (Honduras) who contributed as a moderator during the workshop’s break out session on opportunities and challenges for achieving collaborative working relationships between governments, professional experts and TEK holders to conserve and protect biodiversity.
Follow the Parliamentary Network on Climate Change (PNCC) on Twitter using the hashtag #ParlAmericasCC.
March 13, 2019
On March 13, ParlAmericas participated in a series of meetings organized by the Inter-American Task Force on Women’s Empowerment and Leadership, with the support of the Governments of Canada, Peru, and the Dominican Republic. The meetings took place at the 63rd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), the principal global intergovernmental body dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. CSW is held each year at UN Headquarters in New York City.
The Task Force convened a high-level ministerial dialogue under the title of “Women’s Leadership in the National Agendas of the Americas and the Caribbean.” Ministers responsible for gender equality from across the Americas and the Caribbean gave remarks on the priorities of their countries for closing the gaps on women’s leadership. The dialogue session additionally featured remarks from representatives of Task Force member institutions including UN Women, UNDP, CIM, IACHR, and ECLAC.
The Task Force also held a technical session attended by government and parliamentary representatives who exchanged experiences in relation to key themes aimed at advancing women’s leadership and achieving Sustainable Development Goal 5 on gender equality. ParlAmericas supported discussions at a working table on the theme of Political Participation.
The outcomes and knowledge shared at the ministerial and technical sessions will be used to shape future initiatives and actions of the Task Force.
March 8, 2019
On March 12-14, ParlAmericas will host the 4th Gathering of the ParlAmericas Open Parliament Network, titled Beyond the Walls of Parliament: Strengthening Parliamentary Oversight, in Quito in collaboration with the National Assembly of Ecuador.
During this meeting, which will be held in the National Assembly, legislators from more than 27 countries of the Americas and the Caribbean will discuss the importance of developing and implementing innovative measures that strengthen the parliament’s oversight role in order to promote openness and counter corruption. In addition, they will exchange openness strategies and practices that support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Honourable Elizabeth Cabezas, President of the National Assembly of Ecuador and Vice-President of ParlAmericas, affirmed that, “this gathering provides parliamentarians of the hemisphere with a unique opportunity to share with their peers and representatives from local civil society organizations good legislative practices that have shown to be effective in strengthening political oversight and combating corruption. On behalf of the National Assembly, it is a pleasure to welcome the participating parliamentary delegations and to promote dialogue on a topic of such high importance in our region.”
“The ParlAmericas Open Parliament Network continues to promote hemispheric discussions on legislative openness and the importance of strengthening – through the exercise of the parliamentary oversight function – the transparency and accountability of the different governmental institutions, as well as the effective implementation of adopted legislation and relevant public policies,” declared Senator Blanca Ovelar (Paraguay), President of the Network.
The Honourable Member of Parliament Robert Nault (Canada), President of ParlAmericas, stated that “this meeting will allow participating legislators to advance in the consolidation of an ambitious regional agenda to confront corruption with a systemic approach, and, through this, support our countries’ advances towards fulfilling the Lima Commitment, strengthening collaboration with civil society and other branches of government, and consolidating democratic governance, rule of law and the fight against corruption.”
For more information or updates on the gathering, we invite you to consult the agenda and follow us on our social media outlets with the hashtag #ParlAmericasOPN.
February 4, 2019
On January 24-25, a ParlAmericas delegation participated in meetings and a panel session hosted by the Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica in San José, to share good practices from parliaments in the hemisphere that are implementing an open parliament agenda and promote reflection on next steps to consolidate this agenda in Costa Rica.
On January 24, the delegation met with the leaders and deputy leaders of political parties, directors of the administrative departments of the Legislative Assembly, and representatives of civil society organizations. These meetings created an opportunity for an exchange of experiences from Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay and Costa Rica on the development and implementation of Open Parliament Action Plans as well as legislation and practices that contribute to legislative openness. These meetings culminated with a panel discussion on the progress of open parliament in Latin America attended by various stakeholders.
These exchanges laid the foundation for a national workshop held on January 25, where Costa Rican parliamentarians, parliamentary clerks and civil society representatives established proposed next steps to continue strengthening and advancing the open parliament agenda in their country.
The president of the National Assembly of Ecuador, Elizabeth Cabezas emphasized that “Following the principles of an open parliament guarantees that the information on the work that we do is not misrepresented. More transparency will improve the relationship we have with citizens.” Similarly, the vice president of the Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica, María Inés Solís, signaled that “the President of the Board of Directors of the Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica is committed to promoting open parliament initiatives so that the parliament and its members can strengthen this agenda.”
The ParlAmericas delegation was led by Elizabeth Cabezas President of the National Assembly of Ecuador and Vice-President of ParlAmericas and included Rodrigo Lara, Senator of Colombia; Eduardo Cáceres, Member of the Chamber of Deputies of Argentina; Patricio Vallespín, former parliamentarian of Chile; María Liz Sosa, Director General of the Legislative Strengthening Office of the Senate of Paraguay; Rocío Noriega, Advisor to the Bicameral Group on Transparency of the Congress of Chile; María Baron, Global Executive Director of the Foundation Directorio Legislativo; Anabella Zavagno, Deputy Director of ParlAmericas; and Emilie Lemieux, Program Manager – Open Parliament of ParlAmericas.
For more information about ParlAmericas’ open parliament work, click here. Follow ParlAmericas’ Open Parliament Network on Twitter by using the hashtag #ParlAmericasOPN
January 16, 2019
ParlAmericas is seeking to expand our network of professional translators interested in working for the organization on a regular basis, in one or more combinations of English, Spanish, French and Portuguese. For more information, please read the job description.
January 9, 2019
The Caribbean Institute for Women in Leadership (CIWiL) is hiring a coordinator for a project being carried out in partnership with ParlAmericas, "Promoting Women's Political Leadership in the Caribbean." Applications will be accepted until February 3, 2019. For more information, please read the job description.
January 9, 2019
The National Forum of Women in Political Parties of Panama (FONAMUPP) is hiring a coordinator for a project being carried out in partnership with ParlAmericas, "Promoting Women's Political Leadership in Panama." Applications will be accepted until January 22, 2019. For more information, please read the job description (in Spanish).