In celebration of the International Day of Parliamentarism, the World Bank co-organized a special Facebook Live Conversation with Parliamentarians on Partnering for Development Impact on June 30, 2020 jointly with the International Monetary Fund and the Parliamentary Network on the World Bank and IMF.
More than 2,000 viewers connected to hear from two vibrant young Members of Parliament (MPs): Honorable Anna Adeke MP, Uganda; Shadow Minister of State for Children and Youth Affairs and Chair of the Uganda Parliamentary Forum on Youth Affairs; and Honorable Ricardo Leite MD, MP, Portugal; Vice Chair of the Parliamentary Network on the World Bank and IMF; Founder and President of UNITE - Global Parliamentarians Network to End Infectious Diseases.
“We are the link between the executive and the people. Without us we would never hear the stories from the businesses and health workers,” Anna Adeke MP, Uganda
They shared their perspectives on the role of parliaments in shaping national plans and strategies around the needs of the people as well as in ensuring greater transparency and accountability at national and global levels. The conversation illuminated how parliaments and parliamentarians have contributed to the COVID-19 response by representing citizens and overseeing the government response to the public health crisis, as well as contributing to a resilient recovery. In Uganda, Parliament created a special committee tasked with monitoring the management of the crisis on the ground through conversations with frontline health workers and businesses as well as visits to border check points. They then report back to Parliament on the distribution of funds.
“The [Parliamentary] Network gives us that sense of belonging to a community that is fighting for something greater than all of us.” Ricardo Leite MD, MP, Portugal; Vice Chair of the Parliamentary Network
They emphasized how dialogue with peers and exchanging best practices through the Parliamentary Network has helped them better serve their citizens in overcoming challenges. “It helps to share experiences and knowledge because the crises that we face on this side of the world are always comparable to what is being faced on the other side of the world,” said Hon. Adeke. They also discussed the value of engaging with the World Bank and IMF to support their work, “It’s not about money…(it’s) about keeping us together and achieving a global goal,” said Hon. Leite.
Finally, while the COVID-19 crisis has presented an unparalleled health and economic emergency, it has also been a catalyst for positive change. “COVID has given us a wake-up call that this can happen to anyone. We need to be just and fair,” stated Hon. Adeke. In Uganda it has been the occasion for innovation with the creation of new applications and use of technology by parliament to work more efficiently and greener. Hon. Leite pointed out that it was an opportunity to fight for a different world and refocus economies on the well-being of people.
“We need to come together and use this momentum to make the world a little bit better for generations to come.” Ricardo Leite MD, MP, Portugal; Vice Chair of the Parliamentary Network
Watch the full conversation here.