Wednesday 24th November, 2010
Deputy Speaker Attends Meeting on the Validation of Benchmarks for Democratic Parliaments
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has recognized and is placing great emphasis on the need to have minimum standards for democratic legislatures in the region. Member countries of the Community met recently in South Africa, and the purpose of their meeting was to validate a draft benchmarks which will serve as a referencing instrument for National Parliaments within the SADC region, once approved by the Plenary Assembly by the end of the month.
The meeting was attended by members of the Democratization, Governance and Gender Equality committee, and the Chairpersons of the Standing Committees of the Forum. The National Assembly of Seychelles was represented at the meeting by the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Wilby Lucas.
“The Benchmarks are intended to provide a mirror for self-assessment, measuring parliamentary performance of SADC parliaments. Key to this process is the overreaching objective of strengthening the role and functional autonomy, as well as the capacity of parliament as an elected institution in government and in governance” said Hon. Lucas
Such benchmarks include; accessibility of the parliament to the citizens, civil society and the media; ethical governance such as high standards of accountability, transparency and integrity by members and staff; establishment of a Parliament Service Commission with highly trained and competitively-remunerated professional staff, among others.
Participants at the meeting were also appraised on the core areas of the 2011 – 2015 strategic plan. They will all meet again in Namibia where the final draft of the benchmarks will be adopted at the 28th Plenary Assembly. Once the benchmark is approved, the obligation will lie with each parliament in the SADC region to implement the necessary reform to meet those core benchmarks if necessary with the assistance of the regional or international donors.
For more details contact:
Ms. Shelda Commettant
PR, Communication & Protocol Officer