ParlAmericas held the fifth meeting of its Parliamentary Staff Network on Open Parliament
On March 24, 2023, the fifth meeting of the Parliamentary Staff Network on Open Parliament was held virtually, bringing together parliamentary staff from the national parliaments of 11 Latin American countries, as well as representatives of international organizations and academia, to share experiences and achievements related to the importance of using inclusive and accessible language in legislative work to promote informed and empowered citizen participation in parliamentary processes.
The event was inaugurated by Luis Rojas Gallardo (Chile), Secretary General of Constitutional Process and General Coordinator of the ParlAmericas Parliamentary Staff Network on Open Parliament, who noted that “listening to reflections and analysis on the importance of the use of inclusive and accessible language in legislative work will allow us to identify improved ways to generate legislative information with a new perspective, taking into account the relationship of our parliaments with citizens and promoting greater transparency in the parliamentary process.”
Afterward, Rocio Noriega (Chile), Advisor to the Bicameral Group on Transparency, presented on behalf of Senator Paulina Núñez (Chile) the work being performed on legislative openness standards, which can be applied to parliamentary committees. These standards will be presented at the 7th Gathering of the ParlAmericas Open Parliament Network to be held April 20-22, 2023 in Chile.
The first panel of this session entitled “Inclusive and accessible language in legislative work for the public,” was moderated by Sulma Campos Mata (Mexico), head of the Technical Unit for Gender Equality of the Senate and General Coordinator of the ParlAmericas Parliamentary Staff Network on Gender Equality. Specialists and representatives from academia also participated, including Cristiane Brum Bernardes, representative of the International Parliament Engagement Network (IPEN) and professor and researcher for the master’s program on legislative affairs at the Chamber of Deputies of Brazil; Betsy Perafán Liévano, Academic Director of Law at Universidad de los Andes (Colombia); and Andrea González Somellera, Advisor to the General Secretariat of the Chamber of Deputies of Mexico.
In the second panel of the meeting, parliamentary staff shared various good practices they have developed and exchanged experiences on the use of inclusive and accessible language in legislative work. This space was moderated by Henrique Porath, Coordinator of the Innovation Support Center (Nainova) of the Federal Senate of Brazil and included presentations from Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Paraguay.
To conclude the meeting, Nelly González (Panama), Legal Advisor to the presidency of the National Assembly and Regional Coordinator for Central America of the ParlAmericas Parliamentary Staff Network on Open Parliament, emphasized that “addressing different theoretical and technical aspects on the use of clear, accessible, and inclusive language has allowed us to understand the vital importance and impact it can have on reshaping the relationship between parliaments and citizens.”