The Parliamentary Institute of Cambodia (PIC), in collaboration with Cambodian Parliament, has organized the second edition of the Training Seminar entitled “An Overview of Parliamentary Responsibilities: Strengthening the Institutions” in Siem Reap.

On the 7th of October 2019, PIC was delighted to welcome delegates from nine ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) member Parliaments, namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam, for a total of 42 participants.

In his welcome remarks, PIC’s Executive Director, Mr. Dararith Kim-Yeat, has explained that the training seminar builds on the needs assessment conducted by PIC with target countries in order to offer need-oriented learning opportunities for parliamentary staff in the region, but also to foster interaction and exchanges. The theme selected for the first module of this second edition focuses on providing a general understanding of parliamentary functions and the Secretariat support services. The topics selected provide not only knowledge about how roles are performed in various legislatures, but also examples of good parliamentary practice. The hope is that this module will inspire reflection about how good practices can be adapted to the realities and contexts of different administrations, and that this will eventually contribute to institutional strengthening.

In her opening speech, Mrs. Nguyen Tuong Van, the newly appointed Secretary General of AIPA, has reiterated the importance of the AIPA General Assembly Resolution on the “Capacity Development Program for Staff of ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly Member Parliaments” that was adopted during the 37th AIPA General Assembly and recently reconfirmed by AIPA member Parliaments during the 40th General Assembly of AIPA in Bangkok.

AIPA Secretariat has provided substantial coordination with AIPA member Parliaments, inviting participants to join a number of PIC’ regional fellowship programs on a number of subjects, namely parliamentary research, parliamentary diplomacy, and the training seminar on parliamentary responsibilities.

The morning session was dedicated to “Parliamentary Work, Challenges and expectations of ASEAN Countries”. The main goals of Session 1 were to (1) provide brief information about the political systems and the parliaments of participating countries in ASEAN; and to (2) allow participants to get to know each other, share their work, challenges, and expectations.

The afternoon session dealt with “Various Political Systems and the Parliaments of France, the United Kingdom and Canada” with guest speakers coming from the European Affairs Committee of the French Parliament (Ms. Sylvie Boulle), the Legislative Research Services of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, Canada (Ms. Susan Viets), and from PIC itself (Dr. Jan Taylor).

Objectives of Session 2 were to (1) familiarize the ASEAN participants with various political systems and the Parliaments of France, the United Kingdom and Canada; and to (2) address questions such as whether political systems impact the effectiveness of parliamentary functions? What are the tools and mechanisms for the implementation of parliamentary functions? What factors contribute to the strengthening of parliamentary functions?

The sessions were moderated by former AIPA Secretaries General, Mr. P.O. Ram, and Mr. Isra Sunthornvut, with the contribution of Mrs. La-Or Putornjai, Former Advisor on Legislative Procedure of the Secretariat of the Thai Senate.

The training seminar will go on for four days.