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Camp: Patna, 18 February 2018: The 6th Conference of CPA India Region, which was inaugurated by the Lok Sabha Speaker Smt. Sumitra Mahajan on 17 February 2018, concluded today. Smt. Mahajan observed that India had committed to SDGs, which were earlier MDGs. She appealed to all the States to devote some time for discussion of SDGs in each Session to understand SDGs and to monitor their implementation. She further said it is the crucial responsibility of the parliamentarians to ensure responsible, inclusive, participatory and transparent administration and for this, they need to continue working on the journey of development. Smt. Mahajan shared with the Delegates that Speaker’s Research Initiative (SRI) which was set up in 2015 organizes Workshops, Seminars for the Members of the Parliament. In SRI, domain experts, civil society members and academicians, interact with the parliamentarians on subjects of topical concern. She informed the Delegates that a National Women Conference was conducted in New Delhi in 2016 and continuing in that series, another Conference on theme “We for development” is being organized on 10 and 11 March 2018. Smt. Mahajan said that there must be a focus on knowledge building, institutionalization of the best parliamentary rules, practices and procedures in a way that will facilitate the engagement of the lawmakers with the development agenda at the regional, national and sub-national levels so as to maximize the welfare of their constituents. She thanked all the Delegates for their meaningful and constructive participation in the Conference. Smt. Mahajan thanked all the dignitaries and the associated agencies for their whole hearted cooperation in making the Conference a grand success. Delivering the Valedictory Address, Hon’ble Governor of Bihar, Shri Satya Pal Malik said that the genesis of republic and democracy can be traced back to 6th BC when Vaishali Janpad first experimented it. For a successful parliamentary democracy Dr. Ambedkar believed that besides the social equality, presence of strong opposition, political maturity of the masses, the constitutional probity by the people and their representatives is very important. Dr. Ambedkar also desired to see the parliamentary democracy in the form of social democracy. Shri Malik said that Parliament and Assemblies are those democratic institutions that reflect the public aspirations. These institutions are also the symbol of national pride and national importance. To strengthen a parliamentary system it is important to develop the necessary legislative procedure and business. Every nation has a distinct feature in their parliamentary system and Commonwealth is a platform where best practices can be shared. He observed that today, we have greater question of how to fulfill the growing public expectations in the prescribed time frame and how to continue dialogue between people and their representatives. In such conditions, interactions between Assemblies and their members with the people is desired, he added. The Secretary-General of CPA Mr. Akbar Khan pointed out that as a guarantor of democracy itself, Parliament has a duty to represent the people it serves – and it can only do this by being an inclusive, accountable, open and transparent institution. Parliaments are the primary location in which the diversity of the population is represented in a forum for both dialogue and decision-making. The success of SDG 16 thus requires legitimate, effective and democratic Parliaments, and in turn the success of SDG 16 will underpin the effective implementation of the SDGs, he added. Speaking at the Valedictory Session, Bihar Vidhan Sabha Speaker, Shri Vijay Kumar Choudhary on behalf of people of Bihar thanked the Speaker Lok Sabha for giving privilege to Bihar to organize the Conference. He also thanked the Chief Minister and Government of Bihar for extending huge cooperation. Shri Choudhary informed that in the Bihar Vidhan Sabha, a practice has started to devote two hours in each Session to discuss SDGs to ensure that the State is not lagging behind in the international commitment on SDGs. Yesterday, Hon’ble Speaker, Lok Sabha Smt. Sumitra Mahajan had chaired the Plenary Sessions. Delivering the Keynote Address on the theme ‘Parliament’s Role in the Development Agenda’, Hon’ble Chairman, Estimates Committee, Lok Sabha, Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi said that all the 17 Goals of SDGs require comprehensive and contiguous deliberations and discussion. One of the goals of SDGs speaks about inequality. He cautioned that economic inequality brings social instability, and social instability brings huge turmoil. He underlined that Parliament works for “Sanshodhan, Sudhaar aur Alternative” and is the right platform for debate and discussion of SDGs to ensure people-centric development. Speaking on the second Plenary on the theme Legislature and Judiciary – Two Important Pillars of Democracy, Hon’ble Minister of Law and Justice & Electronics and Information Technology, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the Indian democracy has matured and today even a common man knows that he has the super power of voting and electing a government of his choice. Accountability of the Executive is towards the Legislature and ultimately to the people. Courts can neither frame laws nor govern. Similarly, Parliament has no say in matters related to Judiciary. The inner strength of our democracy can be enhanced only if all the three pillars work in unison and exercise self-restraint. As many as 22 Presiding Officers participated in the Plenary Sessions. After the conclusion of the Conference, Hon’ble Lok Sabha Speaker Smt. Sumitra Mahajan interacted with the media in the Bihar Vidhan Sabha premises. She shared information about Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and its varied activities and also about CPA Regional Conferences. Smt. Mahajan said that such Conferences facilitate sharing of best practices as also help in building up networks with Presiding Officers.



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