December 4, 2018
ParlAmericas and the Congress of Chile organize a meeting for the co-creation of a guide to developing an open parliament action plan, contributing to advancing legislative openness in the hemisphere
From December 5-7, ParlAmericas and the National Congress of the Republic of Chile will welcome legislators, parliamentary clerks, and civil society representatives for two meetings aimed at fostering the exchange of best practices and implementing actions directed at promoting the development of Open Parliament Action Plans.
The Chamber of Deputies of Chile will host a collaborative meeting in which parliamentarians, parliamentary clerks, and civil society representatives will share experiences, challenges, and solutions in developing Open Parliament Action Plans. This gathering will provide a space for participants to collectively contribute to the preparation of a guide on developing said action plans in a transparent and inclusive manner. This guide will also outline the main processes, criteria, priorities, and commitments to follow in designing this important parliamentary tool.
“ParlAmericas is committed to improving the transparency and accountability of parliaments and in the advancement of legislative openness. This meeting will allow for frank dialogue among all actors involved in strengthening our democratic institutions, contributing to increased citizens’ confidence, and reinforcing our capacities to contribute to sustainable development,” affirmed the president of the Chamber of Deputies of Chile, Maya Fernández Allende.
In turn, the Senate of the Republic of Chile will be the setting for a meeting in which parliamentary clerks from the Americas and the Caribbean will build their knowledge through dialogue and exchanges about designing, monitoring, and evaluating innovative practices and processes for legislative openness.
“The Open Parliament Action Plans have proven to be a useful tool for making progress on legislative openness through an innovative process that involves significant collaboration with civil society. During this meeting, we will work on a practical guide that will become a valuable resource for parliaments in their quest to initiate or improve their strategic processes for identifying and prioritizing more transparent and accountable initiatives, offering opportunities for citizen participation and promoting high ethical standards,” added Senator Blanca Ovelar (Paraguay), President of ParlAmericas’ Open Parliament Network.
For more information and updates on this gathering, we invite you to follow us on social media using the hashtag #ParlAmericasOPN and to visit our website www.parlamericas.org
November 15, 2018
Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados to address delegates at inter-parliamentary meeting on gender equality co-organized by ParlAmericas
On November 19, 2018, the Honourable Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados, will open a two-day meeting on advancing gender-responsive leadership and governance that is being co-organized by ParlAmericas. This meeting, taking place in Bridgetown, Barbados, will convene representatives from parliaments, ministries, national gender machinery, multilaterals, civil society and political organizations from more than 10 Caribbean countries.
Titled Transformational Leadership for Gender Equality in the Caribbean: Regional Strategies and Partnerships, this activity has been organized with the support of UN Women – Multi-Country Office (MCO) – Caribbean, the Caribbean Institute for Women in Leadership (CIWiL) and the Commonwealth Secretariat.
Through a series of high-level exchanges and working sessions, the delegates will forge strengthened partnerships and coordinate on agendas to promote women’s political leadership and gender equality as a foundation for achieving development objectives. Delegates will contribute to these efforts at the regional level by providing input from a legislative perspective on priority themes of a forthcoming CARICOM Regional Gender Equality Strategy.
In addition to the address by the Honourable Prime Minister Mottley, the opening ceremony will feature remarks by His Honour Arthur E. Holder, Speaker of the House of Assembly of Barbados and member of the ParlAmericas Board of Directors; the Honourable Robert Nault, Member of Parliament of Canada and President of ParlAmericas; Lady Anande Trotman-Joseph, Chair of CIWiL; and Ms. Alison McLean, Representative – UN Women MCO Caribbean.
The Honourable Dame Billie Miller, Ambassador at Large and Plenipotentiary of Barbados, will also deliver remarks in one of the meeting’s working sessions.
For further information and updates on this meeting, visit www.parlamericas.org and follow @ParlAmericas on social media with the hashtags #ParlAmericasGEN and #RoadtoBeijing25.
November 7, 2018
ParlAmericas coordinates panel at the XVI Gathering of the Network on Transparency and Access to Information
On November 7, ParlAmericas coordinated a panel session on parliamentary openness at the XVI Gathering of the Network on Access to Information and Transparency held in Asunción, Paraguay. This network is composed of public entities that oversee the implementation of transparency and access to information measures in their respective countries.
The panel convened Senator Blanca Ovelar of Paraguay, President of the ParlAmericas Open Parliament Network, with Carolina Hidalgo, President of the Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica, María Dolores Martínez, Director of the Modernization Program of the Chamber of Deputies of Argentina, Rocío Noriega, Advisor to the Bicameral Group on Transparency of the Congress of Chile, and Rosario Pavese, Program Officer for Government Support and Exchange at the Open Government Partnership. It provided an overview of open parliament principles, and explored the use of action plans to advance the open parliament agenda, as well as linkages with the Open Government Partnership.
“Complying with citizens’ right to access public information is a fundamental aspect of an open parliament. Public information belongs to citizens who require it in order to be empowered and to fully participate in democratic processes, which in turns contributes to building confidence and legitimacy of our institutions. Exchanging good practices with transparency enforcement bodies is invaluable to ensuring the effectiveness of these efforts”, concluded Senator Blanca Ovelar. ParlAmericas’ participation in this activity initiated a dialogue with national transparency and access to information enforcement agencies on the application of transparency and access to information standards to parliaments and provided an opportunity to explore possibilities for future collaboration.
November 7, 2018
ParlAmericas contributed legislative perspectives to the Regional Workshop on Climate Change and Building Resilience
On November 6, ParlAmericas participated in a Regional Workshop on Climate Change and Building Resilience co-organized by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) and Canada’s Permanent Mission to the Organization of American States (OAS) with the support of the OAS Department for Sustainable Development, in Washington, D.C. The workshop considered how resilience to climate change and extreme weather events is being conceived and addressed by countries across the hemisphere, with a specific emphasis on coastal communities, and featured interventions by experts, practitioners, and decision-makers on pragmatic ways to access climate finance funds, build resilient infrastructure, and empower local communities.
The Honourable Alincia Williams-Grant, President of the Senate of Antigua and Barbuda, gave an expert presentation on the work of the ParlAmericas Climate Change Network and the role of parliamentarians as active stakeholders in resilience building and the climate change agenda. “Parliaments approve the national budget and can ensure that resource allocation and budget items reflect priorities established in international agreements [… while also] making sure that the voice and experience of citizens are being heard at the highest level.” In addressing assembled delegates, the Senator added that “involving parliamentarians can be an effective way to raise ambition in the negotiating positions of our countries; to set standards high and then provide oversight […] to ensure these standards are being met.”
October 15, 2018
ParlAmericas expresses its solidarity with the Governments and people of the United States, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Cuba for damages and losses of life caused by Category 4 Hurricane Michael. ParlAmericas also continues to stand with small-island and low-lying countries and territories of the Caribbean engaged in ongoing processes of reconstruction and recovery to hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria in 2017.
In recognition of the increased frequency of extreme weather events in the region, ParlAmericas reaffirms its commitment to inter-parliamentary action and cooperation with national governments, civil society organizations, academia and local communities to strengthen efforts to develop and implement mitigation and adaption measures that are an essential basis for disaster risk reduction.
“Just last week, parliamentarians from across the hemisphere convened in Panama [during the 3rd Gathering of the Parliamentary Network of Climate Change] to press for more ambitious efforts to limit global temperature increases to 1.5 C,” stated the President of ParlAmericas, the Hon. Robert Nault, Member of Parliament from Canada. “I have learned from my colleagues […] the extent to which hurricanes devastate entire communities; and just as they rebuild, the next hurricane season arrives. What remains abundantly clear to everyone is that climate change has no borders and that we must act now, because time is not our ally.”
October 2, 2018
On October 4-5, 2018, parliamentarians from the Americas and the Caribbean will meet in Panama City, Panama, for the 3rd Gathering of the Parliamentary Network on Climate Change to contribute to conversations started in the Talanoa Dialogue and promote parliaments’ role in advancing climate agendas comprised of effective and ambitious actions.
The gathering, organized by ParlAmericas and Parlatino, titled: “Fostering Climate Action in the Americas and the Caribbean: The Role of Parliaments within the Climate Agenda,” will address topics such as the socio-economic challenges of and possibilities for limiting global temperature increase to 1.5o Celsius, political-legislative perspectives on mechanisms to transform the risks of climate adaptation to national economies, and carbon pricing in the region.
The gathering will be an excellent opportunity for parliamentarians and climate experts from across the hemisphere to exchange and learn from each other,” stated the Honourable Robert Nault, President of ParlAmericas, and Member of Parliament for Canada. “We have all been witnessing the detrimental impact of climate change throughout the world and this meeting will provide us with more insight on how to develop effective actions in order to be able to respond to our common challenges and unique circumstances of our neighbours in the region.”
“Our role as the Parliamentary Network on Climate Change is to create tools, resources, and spaces such as this gathering, in which we promote dialogue that allows for the evaluation of the state of international climate change negotiations and progress made towards the achievement of commitments in our countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions,” stated Member of the National Assembly Javier Ortega (Panama), President of the Parliamentary Network on Climate Change.
Member of the National Assembly Elías Castillo (Panama), President of Parlatino, added that “the importance of this space organized by ParlAmericas and Parlatino is to support our work as parliamentarians in promoting effective climate governance, which, in turn, aligns with the international climate agenda.”
The gathering’s agenda includes a session for parliamentarians to share their perspectives on the Talanoa Dialogue’s evaluation questions, which will be discussed at a global level during the political phase of the Dialogue at COP24 in Poland next December.
For further information and updates on the 3rd Gathering of the Parliamentary Network for Climate Change, visit www.parlamericas.org and www.parlatino.org and follow @ParlAmericas and @Parlatino_org on social media with the hashtag #ParlAmericasCC.
September 11, 2018
The ParlAmericas Board of Directors expresses its concern about increasing levels of violence and it calls for peace in the hemisphere.
Sustainable peace is a pre-condition for the exercise of fundamental rights, including democratic engagement. Recognizing the universal principle of sovereignty and unique situation of each country in the region, ParlAmericas respectfully calls on political actors to pursue measures to guarantee conditions for citizen security and meaningful participation in public life, with specific attention to gender and other intersectional identities. This includes measures to ensure the personal integrity and security of parliamentarians, electoral candidates and persons engaged in peaceful assembly to express political opinions.
ParlAmericas rejects all forms of violence and reiterates the importance of utilizing responsible political discourse and dialogue to foster inclusive and peaceful societies. ParlAmericas also reaffirms its support to the advancement of Sustainable Development Goal 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions), under which countries of the hemisphere have committed to reducing violence, ensuring equal access to justice for victims, and promoting responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making.
September 7, 2018
Canada hosts parliamentarians from the Americas and the Caribbean in Victoria, B.C. to promote inclusive societies
From September 9 to 12, 2018, parliamentarians from across the Americas and the Caribbean will attend ParlAmericas’ 15th Plenary Assembly in Victoria, British Columbia. The conference will focus on fostering inclusion as an integral component of economic and social growth, and of responsible political discourse in the hemispheres’ countries.
Hosted by the Parliament of Canada, the conference will explore how Parliaments can ensure that all people – including underrepresented and marginalized groups – can fully access the resources, opportunities and rights that will enable their equal contribution to the sustainable development of their communities. International organizations and representatives of civil society will participate with the Parliamentarians in the discussion about legislative and other responses to address changing patterns of population displacement and cross-border movements in the hemisphere.
“The importance of bringing this conference to Canada is to highlight Parliamentarians’commitment to inclusion, ensuring that women and men from all backgrounds have the same opportunities to hold leadership roles,” stated the Honourable Robert Nault, Vice-President of ParlAmericas and Chair of ParlAmericas’ Canadian Section. “This conference will also provide Parliamentarians with an opportunity to share what works well in their countries and to speak with civil society and experts, while also exploring common objectives and strategies to promote inclusive societies.”
“I’m looking forward to this gathering to discuss how suitable development can only be achieved through a political environment that recognizes and promotes diversity, pluralism, solidarity and equality of opportunity for all people. The participation and leadership of women in decision-making should be a priority in order to build more inclusive societies,” added Ms. Tarcila Rivera Zea, Indigenous Quechuan activist and keynote speaker.
The agenda for the Plenary Assembly includes a training session on parliamentary budget consultations, as well as working sessions on accessible and equitable labour markets, advancing the leadership of Indigenous women, and integrating migrants and forcibly displaced populations into society.
For more information and updates on the 15th ParlAmericas Plenary Assembly, please visit www.parlamericas.org and follow @ParlAmericas on social media with the hashtag #ParlAmericas2018.
Note: The conference will be web streamed at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCs7SOcK-pbS1MfDWECc8fOQ/live.
August 27, 2018
ParlAmericas delegation brought legislative perspectives to the 2018 Latin America and Caribbean Climate Week and the 12th Latin American and Caribbean Carbon Forum
On August 20 to 23, ParlAmericas participated in the 2018 Latin America and Caribbean Climate Week and 12th Latin America and Caribbean Carbon Forum (LACCF), in Montevideo, Uruguay. The LACCF is organized annually by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), World Bank, and other multilateral agencies to foster knowledge exchanges and opportunities for cooperation between private and public sector climate finance and emission market stakeholders. This year, the LACCF was held in conjunction to the Latin America and Caribbean Climate Week, a regional summit to drive forward climate action in the hemisphere.
Speaker of the National Assembly of Suriname and Vice President of the ParlAmericas Parliamentary Network on Climate Change, Jennifer Simons, participated in the summit’s high-level session about carbon pricing. In her presentation, Speaker Simons outlined the instrumental role of parliamentarians in the development of legal frameworks to implement carbon pricing mechanisms, while underlining the need for robust oversight systems that incorporate parliaments and for related technical, financial and training support to ensure that intended impacts of carbon pricing on emission reductions are achieved.
Member of the Chamber of Deputies of Argentina, Juan Carlos Villalonga, in turn, participated in a high-level panel that evaluated the interrelationship between the Sustainable Development Goals and Global Climate Agenda. Mr. Villalonga emphasized the importance of including parliamentarians and non-governmental organizations to promote synergies between these agendas.
ParlAmericas was also represented by Member of Congress of Peru, Ana María Choquehuanca in a session that examined strategies to integrate a gender lens into climate actions. In addressing this topic, Ms. Choquehuanca presented the case of Peru’s Framework Law on Climate Change as a benchmark for Latin America through its promotion of targeted mechanisms for participation of women and indigenous peoples in the formulation of climate policies, and of education on climate issues with an intercultural lens.
ParlAmericas thanks Global Affairs Canada for the support that made our engagement in these meetings possible. For further information on ParlAmericas’ work in Climate Change contact us at email@example.com. Follow the Parliamentary Network on Climate Change (PNCC) on Twitter using the hashtag #ParlAmericasCC.
August 9, 2018
ParlAmericas delegations participate in meetings on gender and inclusive development in Peru, Chile, and Canada
During recent weeks, ParlAmericas delegates have contributed to a number of important regional and global meetings hosted by partner organizations. Each served as a valuable opportunity for the exchange of experiences and good practices on issues of hemispheric relevance.
On July 23, the Women’s Caucus (Mesa de Mujeres) of the Congress of Peru hosted an international gathering on political violence against women in Lima, Peru. The gathering was divided in two parts: panel discussions dedicated to building understanding of the topic and the revision of a draft national law to address the issue in Peru. ParlAmericas delegates — Member of the National Assembly Karina Arteaga (Ecuador), Vice-President of the ParlAmericas Parliamentary Network for Gender Equality for South America; and Member of the Chamber of Deputies Lidia Patty Mullisaca (Bolivia) — participated in the meeting and offered insights informed by their countries’ experiences legislating against violence against women in politics.
On July 30-31, ParlAmericas was in Santiago, Chile, for the 57th Meeting of the Presiding Officers of the Regional Conference on Women of Latin America and the Caribbean organized by the gender affairs division of the Economic Commission of Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). During the meeting, which served as an organizing space for the next Regional Conference on Women, discussion centred on women’s autonomy in changing economic scenarios. Member of the Legislative Assembly Cristina Cornejo (El Salvador) and Member of the Chamber of Deputies Marcela Sabat (Chile), made interventions that highlighted, respectively, the importance of strengthening women’s political participation and addressing gender-based violence in order to advance women’s autonomy in region. Ms. Cornejo and Ms. Sabat, who both serve as Vice-Presidents of the Parliamentary Network for Gender Equality, each outlined the critical role of parliamentarians in advancing this work through legislative functions.
Finally, on August 5-7, ParlAmericas attended the Equal Rights Coalition (ERC) Global Conference in Vancouver, Canada. Jointly presided by Canada and Chile, the ERC is a global inter-governmental coalition dedicated to LGBTI human rights and inclusive development. Member of Congress Sandra Morán (Guatemala) spoke on a panel that explored how these themes intersect with indigeneity and offered reflections on ways in which ERC member countries can ensure that the perspectives of Indigenous LGBTI individuals are reflected in policymaking and human rights mechanisms. The ParlAmericas delegation also attended a session held on the margins of the Conference for parliamentarians to foster discussion on parliaments’ place within this agenda at the international level.
ParlAmericas thanks Global Affairs Canada for the support that made our engagement in these meetings possible.
July 19, 2018
On July 17-19, the Government of Georgia hosted the 5th OGP Global Summit in Tbilisi Georgia. A ParlAmericas delegation participated in this Summit, which provided an excellent opportunity for leaders from OGP’s 75 participating countries and beyond to exchange ideas on how they are making their governments more transparent, accountable and responsive to citizens.
A Parliamentary Meeting was hosted by the Parliament of Georgia on July 17, where parliamentary delegations gathered to discuss the OGP’s legislative engagement policy, exchange best practices to strengthen parliamentary transparency and accountability, and explore innovative technologies to modernize parliamentary work. Senator Blanca Ovelar (Paraguay), President of the ParlAmericas Open Parliament Network participated in High-Level Talks where she discussed the current status of parliamentary openness in the Americas. “We have to move forward by consolidating an open and inclusive culture that allows us to confront inequalities and build a world where there is social justice” declared Senator Ovelar.
The Summit continued on July 18-19 with sessions covering topics such as civic engagement, anti-corruption and public service delivery among others. In a session on Working with Parliaments to Strengthen Oversight of Service Delivery and National Action Plans, Member of Parliament Randy Boissonnault (Canada), Vice-President of the ParlAmericas Open Parliament Network for North America, presented the positive impacts that efforts undertaken through OGP are having on parliaments. “Through OGP, many countries in the Americas are working to improve transparency and access to public information. These efforts are contributing to narrowing the gap of information between governments and parliaments, which is crucial to strengthening parliaments’ oversight functions” stated Mr. Boissonnault.
ParlAmericas, along with its partners, is pleased to announce that the Open Parliament e-Network (OPeN) was launched within the framework of this Summit. Through this initiative, we join Directorio Legislativo, the Latin American Legislative Transparency Network, the National Democratic Institute, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, and the Westminster Foundation for Democracy to form OPeN and enhance collaboration to support the growing number of opportunities to strengthen the legislative openness movement.
For further information, visit https://openparliamentenetwork.squarespace.com/.
July 10, 2018
ParlAmericas participated in working session on experiences in legislative transparency and systematization of jurisprudence in matters of transparency and the right of access to information
On July 10-12, the working session “Experiences in Legislative Transparency and Systematization of Jurisprudence in Matters of Transparency and the Right of Access to Information” was held in Argentina. It was organized by EUROsociAL+, a cooperation programme between Latin America and the European Union, and the Secretariat for Political and Institutional Affairs of Argentina. Javier Macaya, Member of the Chamber of Deputies of Chile and Vice-President of the ParlAmericas Open Parliament Network for South America, participated as a panellist.
The working session focused on access to public information and sought to include legislatures’ experiences in transparency. Good practices were shared on this topic and on systems for measuring access to information, and a collaborative process was built for the systematization of jurisprudence in transparency and rights to access to information as part of EUROsociAL’s work to support the implementation of the Law on Access to Information in Argentina.
During his presentation in the session “Transparency and Open Parliament,” Member of the Chamber of Deptuies Macaya emphasized the importance of fostering more open parliaments, presented ParlAmericas’ Road Map towards Legislative Openness, and shared examples of the ways in which parliaments across the region are advocating for greater transparency, accountability, citizen participation, and ethics. “Working for open parliaments should be at the centre of our efforts as legislators, as this helps us to strengthen our democratic systems and advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” Member of the Chamber of Deputies Macaya stated.
For further information, visit EUROsociAL+ on social media.
June 26, 2018
ParlAmericas and the National Forum of Women in Political Parties (FONAMUPP) Signed a Memorandum of Understanding to Foster Women’s Leadership and Political Participation
On June 22, 2018, ParlAmericas and the National Forum of Women in Political Parties (FONAMUPP, by its Spanish acronym) signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen their collaboration in advancing women’s leadership and political participation in Panama and across Latin America. This MoU was signed in the presence of 300 representatives from different political parties, the diplomatic corps and international organizations.
The signing took place during FONAMUPP’s 25th anniversary celebration in Panama City. FONAMUPP is a Panamanian organization that works nationally to promote women’s political development. The organization provides analytical tools, information, and training to promote greater participation by women in political parties, electoral processes, and decision-making and greater representation of women in leadership positions at the national level.
Through the MoU, ParlAmericas and FONAMUPP committed to undertaking jointly-coordinated activities that bring together electoral candidates, members of political parties, activists and civil society representatives, and parliamentarians to exchange experiences and good practices learned from work on this agenda. Informed by these exchanges and in accordance with Sustainable Development Goal 5, the MoU also encourages the adoption of actions and commitments to build on progress achieved.
The organizations were represented by Mariela Vega, Member of the National Assembly of Panama and Member of the ParlAmericas Board of Directors, and by Juana Herrera, President of FONAMUPP. “It is truly an honour for ParlAmericas to expand our partnership with FONAMUPP. Together, our organizations have an important opportunity to work to improve citizen participation, good governance, and the extent to which our decision-making bodies reflect the composition and diverse perspectives of our societies,” Ms. Vega stated.
Dr. Herrera added that, “FONAMUPP is pleased to continue growing our partnership with ParlAmericas. The concrete actions that will result from the signature of this MOU will support today’s women candidates in Panama and will help to create a context in which future generations of women leaders can more easily see themselves reflected in our country’s political life.”
June 22, 2018
From June 20 to 22, ParlAmericas participated in the VI Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas, held in Cartagena, Colombia.
The event, hosted by the Government of Colombia in cooperation with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), was an opportunity for subject experts, stakeholders and policy makers to exchange experiences and good practices regarding the implementation of the Regional Action Plan, adopted in March 2017 in Montreal, Canada, as a guide for the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas.
Member of the National Assembly of Ecuador, Ana Belén Marín, Vice President of the ParlAmericas Parliamentary Network on Climate Change, contributed a legislative perspective to the panel Gender, Women’s Empowerment and Resilience. Through her presentation, Ms. Marín stressed that: “It is fundamental to call for reducing gender disparities in climate change and promoting equitable participation of women in decision making on disaster risk reduction.”
Likewise, member of the Chamber of Deputies of Argentina, Juan Carlos Villalonga, participated on ParlAmericas behalf in the session on the Sendai Framework, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Climate Change. During his intervention, Mr. Villalonga highlighted the key role of national parliaments to contribute to the implementation of the Framework by creating an integrating approach that assures disaster risk is considered in national budgets and government spending accounts across all sectors.
While in Cartagena, the ParlAmericas delegation held a bilateral meeting with Mami Matzutori, Assistant Secretary-General UN and Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction to reaffirm continued cooperation between ParlAmericas and the UNISDR, including through the ongoing development of the Parliamentary Protocol for Disaster Risk Reduction and Adaptation to Climate Change, to support parliaments across the Americas and the Caribbean to align national legislation with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
ParlAmericas thanks Global Affairs Canada for the support that made our engagement in these meetings possible. For further information on ParlAmericas’ work in Climate Change contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow the Parliamentary Network on Climate Change (PNCC) on Twitter using the hashtag #ParlAmericasCC.
June 21, 2018
ParlAmericas celebrates the passing of the Latin American heritage month bill by the parliament of Canada
ParlAmericas applauds the historic approval of Bill S-238 “An Act respecting Latin American Heritage Month” by the House of Commons (300 votes in favour – zero against) on June 20th, 2018. This Bill, sponsored by the late Senator Tobias C. Enverga Jr. recognizes that members of the Latin American community in Canada have made significant contributions to the social, economic and political fabric of the nation, and designates October as the Latin American Heritage Month as a meaningful way to remember, celebrate and educate the public about these contributions.
According to the 2011 National Household Survey, there are nearly 750,000 people of Latin American heritage in Canada, out of which almost 50% are under the age of 25, being one of the fastest growing population groups in the country. During the bill’s debate in the Senate and the House of Commons, parliamentarians from all political parties recognized the important contributions made by Latin-Americans to the culture, history and economy of Canada. This bill represents a significant moment for the Latin-American community in Canada and embodies the country’s multiculturalism.
Senator Tobias C. Enverga Jr. passed away in 2017 while on parliamentary business as a member of the Canadian delegation to ParlAmericas’ Annual Plenary Assembly. The passing of this legislation is a testament of his legacy and commitment to the Latin American community.
June 21, 2018
ParlAmericas would like to extend its congratulations to the people of Grenada on the opening of the country’s new Parliament building.
Following the passage of Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and damage to the Parliament building, the Parliament of Grenada has been holding its Sittings in a rented facility. With the financial assistance from other countries, Grenada has been able to construct a new Parliament building. The opening ceremony took place on June 21, 2018.
“The recent return of the Parliament building is not only a testament to the enduring will of the Grenadian people,” stated Senator Marcela Guerra, President of ParlAmericas, “but also to the importance and strength of their Parliament, embodied by the very building it now calls home.”
The Parliament of Grenada is an active and valuable member of ParlAmericas: the Honourable President of the Senate, Chester Humphrey, serves as the Vice-President of the ParlAmericas Parliamentary Network for Gender Equality, and the Grenada Women’s Parliamentary Caucus is featured in our recent publication on Multi-Party Caucuses for Gender Equality alongside other good practice case studies from the region.
June 5, 2018
Government of Canada Announces Support to ParlAmericas Project to Promote Women’s Political Leadership in Latin America and the Caribbean
ParlAmericas is pleased to share that today the Government of Canada announced it will contribute $4.99 million for a project to advance women’s political leadership in Latin America and the Caribbean.
This three-year project led by ParlAmericas will provide targeted support to multi-partisan women’s organizations working through local chapters and affiliates, and in collaboration with national parliaments. The project will build enabling environments for women of diverse backgrounds and ages to participate in elections and other political processes in their countries.
“This initiative is a unique opportunity to strengthen the capacity and sustainability of women’s organizations that bring together emerging and experienced leaders across political lines. These organizations are dedicated to tackling the barriers to women’s political participation in our region,” said Senator Marcela Guerra of Mexico, President of ParlAmericas.
This announcement reflects commitments outlined in Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP), which recognizes that reducing poverty and inequalities requires a transformation of social norms and power relations that disadvantage women and girls. This aligns with the guiding principles and activities of ParlAmericas to promote women’s political participation and partnerships for inclusive governance.
“We are thrilled by the support that Global Affairs Canada is providing. The Government of Canada has been a steadfast partner in ParlAmericas’ efforts to advance gender equality through joint actions by parliamentarians and civil society,” stated the Hon. Bob Nault, Member of Parliament of Canada, Vice-President of ParlAmericas, and Chair of its Canadian Section. “It’s clear that investing in women’s rights and gender equality is both the smart thing to do – as it will accelerate all development priorities – and the right thing to do, from a human rights perspective.”
For over 15 years, ParlAmericas has facilitated inter-parliamentary activities and collective efforts to advance women’s political leadership and gender mainstreaming in legislative work in the Americas and the Caribbean. These efforts are supported by a permanent working group of parliamentarians, the ParlAmericas Parliamentary Network for Gender Equality.
June 5, 2018
The member parliamentarians of ParlAmericas express our sincere condolences and solidarity to the people of Guatemala, who have suffered irreparable human losses and material damages as a result of the eruption of the Volcano of Fire.
We recognize the efforts by the State and the communities that are organizing to address the consequences of this natural disaster, and call upon our governments to provide the necessary support to the respective national authorities.
These unfortunate events highlight the urgent need to continue to implement legislative actions to respond to natural hazards and extreme climate events and develop initiatives for risk management that consider the differential needs of the population, including those most vulnerable.
ParlAmericas reaffirms its commitment to inter-parliamentary action to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.
May 21, 2018
Parliamentarians discuss gender and climate change during the 10th gathering of the Parliamentary Network for Gender Equality
From Tuesday, May 22 to Thursday, May 24, ParlAmericas will host the 10th gathering of the ParlAmericas Parliamentary Network for Gender Equality: Gender-Responsive Climate Action, in collaboration with the Parliament of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in the city of Port of Spain.
During the gathering, which will be held in the parliament, parliamentarians from more than 20 countries in the Americas and the Caribbean will engage in dialogue on the critical nexus between gender and climate change, as well as the decisive role of parliaments in ensuring that countries adopt a gender-responsive approach to climate action and disaster risk reduction.
“I am honoured to welcome our colleagues from across the region to Trinidad and Tobago on this important occasion, ParlAmericas’ 10th annual gathering dedicated to gender equality. Over the course of the next three days, we will assess the principal resources at our disposal to strengthen climate resilience and women’s empowerment — issues which must go hand-in-hand,” stated the Honourable Bridgid Annisette-George, MP, Speaker of the House of Representatives (Trinidad and Tobago), host of the gathering, and member of ParlAmericas Board of Directors. Speaker Annisette-George further emphasized that, “The identification of the available principal resources, however, is not enough. Gender responsive budgeting must be employed as a mechanism to help ensure that climate change and disaster risk reduction are addressed in a manner that effectively responds to the needs of all members of society.”
For the last ten years, the ParlAmericas Parliamentary Network for Gender Equality has been promoting women’s political leadership and gender mainstreaming in the agendas and operations of the national legislatures of the Americas and the Caribbean. It creates diverse and inclusive working spaces to further promote the shared agenda for gender equality in close collaboration with civil society partners.
Member of the Chamber of Deputies Karina Banfi (Argentina), President of the Network, commented that “Women are more likely to live in poverty and experience compounded social, political and economic barriers. They are therefore more likely to also experience greater risks related to climate change. We must include, value, and invest in women [and] remove the barriers to their participation in climate decision-making spaces.”
Senator Marcela Guerra (Mexico), President of ParlAmericas, affirmed that this gathering will be of critical importance, as “Parliaments play a vital role in achieving a development vision that recognizes the inherent links between gender equality and climate change impacts. In that sense, cooperation among the countries of the hemisphere is critical to promoting the exchange of best legislative practices for the adoption of gender-responsive climate change policies.”
May 7, 2018
Parlamericas Participated in the UNFCCC Talanoa Dialogue and Workshop on Gender Responsive Climate Action
On May 2-6, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) launched the first session of the Talanoa Dialogue, in Bonn, Germany, to collect information on efforts being taken by non-state actors to prepare for the next round of commitments that countries will take under the Paris Agreement through updates to Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). The ParlAmericas International Secretariat was invited to participate in the Talanoa Dialogue in a technical capacity to share information about the essential role of national parliaments in accelerating progress to combat climate change, and about the importance of updating national legislation to integrate climate change adaptation and mitigation measures. The ParlAmericas Secretariat also provided an update on recent and upcoming gatherings of the Parliamentary Network on Climate Change, and initiatives being taken by national parliaments across the Americas and the Caribbean to combat climate change. As part of its participation in the Talanoa Dialogue, ParlAmericas was featured in a video to support the launch of Talanoa Stories, a social media campaign to highlight actions needed to accomplish the goals of the Paris Agreement.
While in Bonn, the ParlAmericas Secretrariat also attended a workshop on the differentiated impacts of climate change on women and men, and on integrating gender considerations in climate change policy. The workshop provided an opportunity to coordinate with multilateral stakeholders and to brief experts who will be participating in the 10th Gathering of the ParlAmericas Parliamentary Network for Gender Equality on Gender-Responsive Climate Action, being hosted by the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago in Port-of-Spain on May 22-24, 2018.
April 25, 2018
The Honourable Javier Ortega, Member of the National Assembly of Panama and president of ParlAmericas’ Parliamentary Network on Climate Change participated in the opening of the Fourth Congress of the Ibero-American Federation of Green Municipalities
From April 16 to 20, Member of the National Assembly Javier Ortega (Panama), president of ParlAmericas’ Parliamentary Network on Climate Change (PNCC) participated in the Fourth Congress of the Ibero-American Federation of Green Municipalities, titled “Municipal Institutional Transformation: the key to an inclusive and sustainable country”. Organized by the Association of Municipalities of Panama (AMUPA), the Congress brought together mayors, parliamentarians, and Latin American specialists to address problems related to sustainability and climate change at the municipal level.
Delegates acknowledged that cities and urban areas contribute more than 70% of global energy-related CO2 emissions and are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Moreover, it was mentioned that the current scale of urban expansion offers an opportunity for cities to implement plans that in the future will be the basis for a sustainable and resilient society.
During the Congress, Member of the National Assembly Ortega, who participated in the opening panel, invited the audience to reflect on the priorities for cities, emphasizing that municipalities must “implement policies and practices based on evidence to resolve local problems; guarantee diversity of opinions in decision-making, including women, young people, indigenous communities, and residents living on the outskirts of the city; as well as create and build up collaborations with researchers, legislators, and professionals for a more effective effort and better informed-policies to take action at the municipal level”.
The president of ParlAmericas’ Parliamentary Network for Climate Change underlined the importance of working collaboratively with different state actors and the vital role that legislators play in strengthening the legislative agenda to combat climate change and its impacts in the hemisphere and in promoting actions aligned with the Nationally Determined Contributions adopted in the Paris Agreement.
April 9, 2018
On Wednesday, April 11 and Thursday, April 12, ParlAmericas, in collaboration with the Congress of the Republic of Peru, will host the third gathering of the Open Parliament Network: Open States for Democratic Governance against Corruption, in the city of Lima in the framework of the VIII Summit of the Americas.
The gathering, which will be held on the premises of the Congress of the Republic, serves as the official parliamentary gathering of the Summit of the Americas, in which legislators from more than 20 countries in the Americas and the Caribbean will discuss the importance of open states for democratic governance against corruption, as well as the crucial role that legislatures play in developing and implementing solutions to this problem.
ParlAmericas Open Parliament Network promotes open parliaments through transparency and access to public information, accountability, citizen participation, and ethics and probity, with the aim of fighting corruption and strengthening citizens’ confidence in the hemisphere’s legislatures. It will be an opportunity for parliamentarians from the hemisphere to exchange knowledge and experiences with respect to ethics and probity and gender mainstreaming in the fight against corruption, and to establish guidelines for the formulation of open parliament action plans. Moreover, two new tools will be presented and made available to legislatures: the Toolkit for Citizen Participation in the Legislative Process and a follow-up mechanism for open parliament commitments.
“This gathering is a major opportunity for legislators from the hemisphere to work together with the aim of developing strategies that will enable us to eliminate the causes and impacts of corruption at all levels. On behalf of the Congress of the Republic of Peru, it is an honour to welcome parliamentary delegations from the Americas and the Caribbean who will join us in continuing to make progress on this agenda,” stated Member of Congress Luis Galarreta, president of the Congress of the Republic of Peru and host of the gathering.
For her part, Senator Marcela Guerra, president of ParlAmericas, affirmed that “parliamentarians play a vital role in the fight against corruption, not only in exercising our powers of representation, legislation, and political control, but also by promoting actions on legislative openness, which facilitate interactions between citizens and legislatures, access to public information, and citizen empowerment.”
Consult the agenda and be sure to follow @ParlAmericas on social media using the hashtag #ParlAmericasOPN to get the most recent updates on the gathering.
February 20, 2018
Parliamentarians and experts to meet to develop new parliamentary protocol on disaster risk reduction in the Americas and the Caribbean
On Thursday, February 22, and Friday, February 23, parliamentarians from the Americas and the Caribbean will meet in Panama City to discuss disaster risk reduction in the hemisphere. This activity, which will consist of two days of working sessions and a field visit, is being undertaken as the result of a partnership between ParlAmericas and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and in response to a call by signatory countries to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030.
Participants will provide information on relevant legislation that currently exists or is being drafted in their respective countries in order to support dialogue between parliamentarians, experts, and civil society representatives on the fundamental role of parliaments in the implementation of disaster risk reduction action plans. The meeting, in addition to serving as a space for the presentation of technical knowledge that can contribute to reducing disaster risk in the countries of the hemisphere, will initiate the development of a new parliamentary protocol on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.
Member of the National Assembly Javier Ortega (Panama), president of the ParlAmericas Parliamentary Network on Climate Change, stated that “this dialogue is a space for exchanging ideas and knowledge in order to identify key elements that must be considered when promoting legislative reforms and making informed decisions on risk and climate change adaptation.The agenda for the next two days has been designed to facilitate the effective implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in our legislatures.”
For further information and updates on the meeting, consult the agenda and follow @ParlAmericas on social media using the hashtags #ParlAmericasCC and #Switch2Sendai.
January 23, 2018
On January 24-25, ParlAmericas, in collaboration with the Parliament of Jamaica, will convene an inter-parliamentary meeting in Kingston titled Partnerships to Transform Gender Relations, hosted by the Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport. This meeting will bring together lawmakers from the Anglophone Caribbean and Canada to examine how collaboration across various sectors can foster positive cultural transformation and advance the gender equality agenda.
Integrating the expertise of civil society practitioners, academics and government representatives, the meeting will highlight good practices and critical moments for change that can facilitate alliance building. The Honourable Minister Grange emphasised that this meeting “presents an opportunity for legislators across the region to learn from each other and to develop partnerships towards transforming gender relations and advancing gender equality in our individual countries. Gender equality is about ensuring that men and women equally enjoy the socially valued goods, opportunities, resources and rewards and I am very happy to welcome all our delegates to Jamaica and I look forward to our discussions and the impact that they will have on our societies.”
Topics on the meeting’s agenda include national strategic plans for gender equality and legislation on workplace sexual harassment. Delegates will also consider the powerful role of the media and the arts in awareness-raising, as well as the importance of men’s active participation in gender equality initiatives. Finally, drawing on the meeting’s themes, delegates will conduct strategic planning for the commemoration of International Women’s Day in their countries on March 8, 2018.
According to Dr. Saphire Longmore, Senator of Jamaica and Member of the ParlAmericas Board of Directors, “This gathering deliberately centres culture and social norms in the conversations about tackling gender inequalities through our legislative functions. The ParlAmericas Network for Gender Equality is an important forum for knowledge sharing in these areas; I look forward to sharing with our international colleagues the progress Jamaica has made.”
For updates, including the live graphic recording of this event, follow @ParlAmericas on Twitter and join the conversations using #ParlAmericasGender.
ParlAmericas extends its thanks and recognition to the Bureau of Gender Affairs of Jamaica, as well as to Global Affairs Canada for providing support to this meeting.