GPG Blog Series On The UK’s Devolved Parliaments
As part of our Parliamentary Responses to Crisis series, we have published perspectives from each of the UK’s devolved Parliaments, in Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland, with
All of our other blogs are available on our website. Thank you so much to everyone who has contributed, if you would be interested in submitting a blog for publication, please contact Maria.
Role Of An MP Course
As part of GPG’s Sudan parliamentary project, this week we are preparing the launch of an online course that will cover the key themes of the ‘Role of an MP’. The team has been working hard to create this course over the past couple of months, and we are excited to be able to finally share it with our partners.
GPG associates produced videos and written guidance material, some of them include Stephen Twigg, Alistair Burt, Margaret Curran, Rt Hon Jacqui Smith, and Aileen Walker. The modules in the course include: building your parliament, fundamentals of representation, institutional skills of a parliamentarian, strengthening human rights and inclusion, public engagement, and the role of parliament in conflict resolution and consensus building.
Revolution Is A Woman
In light of the current social and economic crises that Lebanon is going through, and the global pandemic the world is facing, it’s becoming difficult to navigate and overcome the challenges that the country is facing in order to spot the light on the importance of increasing women’s political participation.
Under the female political participation project “Stronger with women”, GPG and partners finalized the preparation, translation, and videos subtitling of the “Gender policy and your political party” online course that encourages women in the political parties to prepare and negotiate support to implement a gender policy within the party that opens the space for women to participate in the upcoming elections and to handle decision making positions inside and outside the party. The FPP financial report was submitted on the 13th of July, and the narrative report two days later, for the first quarter of the second financial year
During July, the British Embassy in Beirut (original funder of this project) allocated a minimal budget for GPG and Fiftyfifty to carry on the delivery of the online course. In the meantime, GPG is looking for other funding opportunities.
Escalating Economic Crisis and Rise of Domestic Violence Cases
Having started with a promising performance as Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kathimi is currently facing several challenges either with the Parliament or with Iran-backed groups. His government’s decision to adopt austerity measures by reducing government employees’ salaries has put Al-Kathimi in trouble with MPs and political forces who opposed such decision, resulting in weakening his cabinet’s political position. On the other hand, his decision to arrest 14 members of an Iran-backed group was considered the boldest move taken by any Iraqi leader against Iran-related groups to undermine their power to conduct any attacks against foreign forces in Iraq.
During the previous month, GPG team continued to develop the online course for the Parliamentary Directorate on Responsive Parliamentary Oversight, and for the Speaker’s Office on Effective Strategic Communications for Parliaments. Moreover, our work with the Finance Committee has progressed by supporting the committee on conducting an economic reforms programme that would include banking sector reforms which would then be submitted to the government to address the Iraqi economic crisis. Due to the urgent need for a Domestic Violence law in Iraq, we continue to provide direct support to the newly elected Chair of the Women Committee to progress the issuance of the law. Furthermore, our team has attended a Webinar organised by Iraq Foundation which brought together MPs from the Women Committee, civil society, regional and international organisations to discuss the importance of the law in light of the rapid increase of the reported cases since the COVID-19 outbreak.
Since last month’s event on ‘Establishing a Regional Approach to HTFL’, GPG has been building on the relationship with the National Committee to Counter Trafficking (NCCT) and particularly, with the Chair of the NCCT and Undersecretary of the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), Siham Osman. GPG has now submitted a revised version of a draft MOU based on the Undersecretary’s feedback and we are hoping to sign it in the coming month. An MOU would formalise the relationship with the NCCT and hopefully smooth some of the delays when engaging with the NCCT.
Parallelly, the team is planning to host a session with some members of NCCT on how to access the online platform. The first session will not focus on content but rather accessibility to see what kind of support they would need, and if with the right support, the platform could be an asset for end-users. Once this step is over, the team will aim to move into delivery of modules.
This week GPG ‘s project under the Modern Slavery Innovation Fund is being evaluated by an Independent Evaluator hired by the Home Office. This is an important feat for GPG and will partly inform next year’s fund priorities.
Uzbekistan – Asian Forum
GPG has progressed to the next stage with CSSF requesting very comprehensive due diligence for the project focusing on: Establishing a Parliamentary Human Rights Committee to monitor progress on Uzbekistan’s international human rights commitments. We are hopeful this will result in more strategic funding in a relatively new context for GPG.
As part of our efforts to engage with Uzbekistan GPG has been invited to attend the Samarkand Forum on Human Rights on August 12-13, 2020 by the National Centre of the Republic of Uzbekistan for Human Rights. The event will be held online rather than in person and will be a follow up to the Asian Forum on Human Rights that was held in Samarkand in 2018 and mark the International Day of Youth (12 August). As a part of the UN75 initiative, the Forum will discuss the role of youth in sustainable development, preventing crises and ensuring gender equality, realising human rights and building a culture of peace, which constitutes the core of the United Nations Youth Strategy ‘Youth 2030: Working With and For Young People’. The draft concept of the UN Covenant on Youth Rights, which is being developed by Uzbekistan and partner countries, will also be discussed. The President of Uzbekistan and UN General Secretary will address the conference participants.
Now that the proposed DFID-FCO merger is underway, delays and temporary suspensions in calls for procurement have been extended until after an integrated review, which is expected to conclude in the Autumn. This is likely to mean that decisions regarding several pending proposals will be further delayed.
A business development strategy has been developed and various internal tools and resources are currently underway as we seek to diversify our donor portfolio and develop a more sustainable financial outlook.