The world’s shared challenges require collective responses, and Parliaments have a decisive role to play. This became evident to all those involved in four-months of online training starting from 05 July to 28 October 2021, the third intake of the PCAsia Programme on Parliamentary Diplomacy (PCAsia-PPD).
Fittingly, the main objective of the PCAsia-PPD is to provide trainees with knowledge, skillsets and techniques that will enable them to better support their Parliamentarians in their increasing role in international/foreign affairs.
Thirty trainees from AIPA Member Parliaments, including from the AIPA Secretariat, attended the two main parts of the programme. The first part consisted of 10 online sessions, featuring lectures from parliamentary practitioners and experts, including from the French Senate and National Assembly, the European Institute for Asian Studies through Mr Xavier NUTTIN, who joined our BoD this June, the Swiss Parliamentary Services, the Max Planck Foundation, and Dr SOK Siphana, from the Asian Vision Institute (AVI). During the training, a number of subjects were delivered including International Law, the differences between Diplomacy and Parliamentary Diplomacy, Parliamentary Diplomacy activities of the French Parliament and of the Swiss Federal Assembly, and a presentation on ASEM/ASEP. Trainees were also taught the methodology on how to draft background memos and country position papers with PCAsia’s facilitators by incorporating gender and human rights-based approaches into the analysis. Course materials were provided over an e-learning platform.
Part two was a week-long simulation exercise, giving the trainees an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills they acquired in order to negotiate and to reach consensus in a mock ASEP meeting. The result was the delivery of a final report of their discussions and a final joint declaration on the assigned topic on Women in Peace Building and Conflict Resolution. At the closing ceremony of the programme, PCAsia Executive Director Mr KIM YEAT Dararith and Professor Michel FOUCHER jointly expressed their appreciation to participating AIPA Member Parliaments and the AIPA Secretariat for their contribution to this training, and to all participants for their commitment and effort. Finally, Mr KIM YEAT Dararith expressed his special thanks for the cooperation and financial support of PCAsia’s financial partners and their ongoing commitment to its programmes.