A strong and representative parliament can make all the difference in building peace and fostering reconciliation in post-conflict situations. As part of its long-standing work in strengthening the Myanmar Parliament (the Hluttaw), the IPU and the parliament organized a three-day seminar on the role of parliament and parliamentarians in peace-building.
Over 600 people, half of them parliamentarians, attended the opening seminar, with 100 MPs participating in the thematic sessions which took place from 24 to 26 February in Nay Pyi Taw. Themes included how to use parliamentary functions—oversight, budget allocation and representation—to promote inclusive, peaceful and democratic societies as well as the importance of building coalitions across ethnic barriers in conflict zones.
Speakers at the seminars included international MPs from Hungary, Philippines, South Africa and Thailand with experience in managing peace processes as well as national actors such as MPs, government officials, civil society, and representatives of youth and women’s groups, who have been hardest hit by conflict in the country.
Representing the IPU, Ms. Agnes Vadai, MP from Hungary and Chair of the IPU Committee to Promote Respect for International Humanitarian Law, said “Turning peace into a daily reality for all the people of Myanmar will require a constant and conscious effort by all. The challenge resides in taking action and providing a space for all the people of Myanmar, including women and youth, in the decision-making process.”