A seminar entitled “Impacts and Response Mechanisms to Climate Change in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Thailand” took place on 28 February 2018. This event was co-organized by the Parliamentary Institute of Cambodia (PIC) and the General Secretariat of the Senate.
The 120 participants included the Secretary General of the Cambodian Parliament, parliamentary staff from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Thailand, and representatives from development partners and from international organizations and Embassies in Phnom Penh.
After the opening session, the parliamentary researchers from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Thailand presented their research papers, focusing on five aspects of the impact of climate change in different sectors including:
- Water resources
- Natural disasters
- Policy and mitigation strategies.
The presentations were followed by a debate moderated by PIC’s senior parliamentary research instructors.
In his speech, H.E. Mr. Oum Sarith, the Secretary General of the Senate, said that this event symbolized the great cooperation between AIPA member Parliaments and PIC in building the capacity of parliamentary staff. He praised the hard work undertaken by all of the Fellows saying that “The information that has been presented by the research trainees in today’s seminar is clear and precise. The causes, effects, policies and strategies relating to the impact of climate change in the four countries have been well articulated.”
He also stressed the importance of the accuracy of parliamentary research: up-to-date, timely and well-researched information is crucial for Parliaments to effectively perform their legislation, oversight and representation functions, he said.
He concluded that Parliamentarians must be equipped with appropriate information so that they are aware of the issues and can raise the right questions to the right people, at the right moment. In this way, they would be better able to engage in the political process. In conclusion, H.E. Oum Sarith said that Parliaments needed to have core teams of well-trained and qualified researchers to support them with neutral, fact-based and analytical research.
In his speech, the Executive Director of PIC, warmly welcomed all participants and distinguished guests. He emphasized that: “today’s seminar is the culmination of the parliamentary research undertaken by Regional Fellows from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Thailand. From September 2017 until now, they have not only built their skills in the basics of parliamentary research but they have also shared knowledge and experience”.
The Executive Director extended his deepest gratitude to national and international experts who had been supporting the Fellows in the completion of their research papers by providing feedback and by sharing their insights on climate change issues. He also commented that this regional fellowship program encompasses knowledge and capacity development for staff of AIPA member Parliaments, and thanked the Parliaments of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and the PIC board members for their support and active participation in the event.
Mr Kim-Yeat concluded by stressing that: “PIC’s regional mandate has been reinforced by the resolution of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) on the Capacity Development Program for staff of AIPA Member Parliaments with PIC that was adopted during the 37th AIPA General Assembly in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, in September 2016.”