Long-term sustainable development can only be achieved when there is a balance between economic, social and environmental imperatives. As part of its lawmaking, oversight and representative roles, parliaments need to have a central role during the development, implementation and oversight of national development policies. Its active engagement does not only enhance domestic accountability of the use of public funds and other resources, but can also help assure that these policies are pro-poor, minority- and gender-responsive, and environmentally sensitive.
Parliaments and the Extractive Sector
Extractive sector governance is to ensure the sustainable management of a nation’s oil, gas and minerals. Parliaments play a key role in ensuring that natural resources are managed in a sustainable way, where good governance and economic development are at the centre.
The three core functions of Parliaments; representing constituents’ interests, legislating, and overseeing the executive branch are crucial along the Extractive Industries Value Chain. From the initial decision to extract a resource, to establishing the fiscal terms and legal framework, to finally, overseeing that revenue from extractive industries is spent well, and in the interest of the people. Parliaments must be involved. Every step of the way.
The Centre worked to support the Parliament of Ghana during the establishment of a legislative framework for the oil sector – one that would be based on public consultation to capture citizens’ views and to meet the highest international standards.
For more information about our work in extractives, click here.
Parliaments and the Environment
Parliaments can play a key role in ensuring that natural resources are managed in a sustainable way, where good governance and economic development are at the centre. They can also act as watchdogs and put pressure on governments to respond quickly and effectively to emerging environmental challenges, such as issues due to climate change, and to address agreed environmental priorities.
The Parliamentary Centre can equip parliamentarians with increased understanding of the relationship between socio-economic and environmental issues, and build their capacity to incorporate environmental considerations effectively into all stages of the budget cycle. The Centre can also help parliaments strengthen their oversight capacity of key natural resources, such as oil, gas and mining, by promoting effective collaboration with civil society and the media.
Parliaments and Economic Development
Economic development and a sustainable economic growth are essential for human development and to fight poverty. Rising public expectations over better economic and employment opportunities puts parliaments at the centre of ensuring sound financial policies, efficient fiscal management and resource allocation, as well as transparent, adequate and properly enforced laws and regulatory systems.
The Parliamentary Centre can help parliaments identify and develop policies that will best generate a sustainable economic growth, provide increased opportunities for meaningful employment, as well as ensure equal opportunities for men and women.
Parliaments, Poverty Reduction and the MDGs
Fighting poverty is one of the biggest development challenges. The Millennium Development Goals are internationally determined goals and targets to reduce poverty and improve lives around the world by 2015 and have come to inform the framework for national development plans and strategies. As the elected representatives of the people, it is essential that parliaments be involved in the process of poverty reduction to ensure sustainability of the process and its legitimacy. Poverty reduction is central in all of the Parliamentary Centre’s work.
The Centre can assist parliaments in developing legislation and budgets that have a pro-poor perspective. It can help strengthen the capacity of parliamentarians to use their oversight responsibilities, influence on budget matters, and legislative leverage to insist on delivery of commitments made to reduce poverty within the context of the poverty reduction strategies and the MDGs.
Parliaments and Aid Effectiveness
International aid is an essential resource to fight poverty and to ensure a sustainable development in many countries. To enhance the effectiveness of aid and improve the way it is delivered, implemented and managed, leaders around the world have committed to the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the subsequent Accra Agenda for Action.
The Parliamentary Centre can support parliaments in advocating for a strengthened role during the preparing, implementing and monitoring of national development policies and plans. The Centre can also assist parliaments in building capacity to hold governments to account for the results of development spending.