NDI and the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) have signed an agreement to collaborate on efforts to enhance representative government around the world. The association is a group of national and subnational legislatures of the Commonwealth, representing some two billion citizens from all faiths and ethnicities from six continents.
A memorandum of understanding was signed in Nairobi Sept. 8 by the secretary-general of the CPA, William F. Shija, and the president of NDI, Kenneth Wollack. Shija attended the signing ceremony in advance of the 56th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference hosted by the Kenyan Parliament. Wollack was in Nairobi attending NDI's first board meeting held outside the United States. NDI Board member Tom Daschle, former U.S. Senate majority leader, also participated in the ceremony.
NDI and CPA will continue to work together to develop and promote the use of the CPA's "Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures," a guide to good parliamentary practice developed in 2006 by a CPA Study Group that drew on a number of technical inputs, including an NDI discussion document. The CPA benchmarks are being used around the world to help parliaments self-assess their procedures and processes to identify areas where democratic governance can be improved.
Wollack and Daschle noted NDI's past successful cooperation with the CPA and looked forward to additional partnership at the global level and in Commonwealth parliaments where NDI has a parliamentary strengthening program. For his part, Shija welcomed the formal partnership as a vehicle for the 175 national and subnational legislatures of the Commonwealth to work with NDI to strengthen developing parliaments.
NDI and the CPA also collaborate with other international organizations on parliamentary strengthening, including the United Nations Development Programme and the World Bank Institute.
- International organizations seek consensus on parliamentary benchmarks»
- Toward the development of international standards for democratic legislatures: a discussion document for review by interested legislatures, donors and international organizations (English & Arabic)»
Pictured above: Kenneth Wollack (left) and William F. Shija at the signing ceremony in Nairobi
Published September 21, 2010