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Parliament of Maldives undertakes CPA Benchmarks self-assessment to focus on parliamentary strengthening and reform

A delegation from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Headquarters visited the People’s Majlis (Parliament) of Maldives from 12 to 16 February 2024 to support the Legislature’s self-assessment against the CPA Benchmarks.

The CPA’s Recommended Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures provide a framework for excellence in Commonwealth parliamentary and legislative practice and were updated to include the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG16 on strong and sustainable democratic institutions. In recent years, 26 Commonwealth Parliaments have undertaken further assessments against the updated CPA Benchmarks.

The Clerk of the Seychelles National Assembly, Tania Isaac and Good Governance Project Manager from CPA Headquarters, Fraser McIntosh travelled to Malé to provide technical assistance to the Parliament. As part of their visit, the CPA delegation met with Hon. Mohamed Aslam, Speaker of the People’s Majlis, Fathimath Niusha, Secretary-General of the People’s Majlis, Members of Parliament, parliamentary staff, government officials, representatives of The Maldivian Electoral Commission, the Auditor General, and civil society and media groups.

CPA delegation visit the Parliament of Fiji

The CPA delegation met with the Speaker and MPs as well as parliamentary staff and other key stakeholders.

CPA delegation visit the Parliament of Maldives

The CPA delegation met with the Speaker and MPs as well as parliamentary staff and other key stakeholders.

CPA delegation visit the Parliament of Fiji

The CPA delegation met with the Speaker and MPs as well as parliamentary staff and other key stakeholders.

Speaking about the self-assessment, the Speaker of the People’s Majlis, Hon. Mohamed Aslam, said,

"My aspiration for The Maldives Parliament is to facilitate the alignment of its powers and practices in a manner that effectively serves the nation's needs, while upholding the Constitution without external interference. We must ensure that it delivers for the people in accordance with international rules and standards. Furthermore, I endeavour to foster an environment where Members of Parliament actively contribute to the ongoing development and evolution of the parliamentary system. Assessing ourselves against the CPA Benchmarks will provide a valuable opportunity for us to evaluate our progress and to identify areas for improvement. As the CPA has been a longstanding source of support to the People’s Majlis, we are eager to renew our engagement, especially since recently rejoining the organisation. Attending the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference and other CPA workshops has been instrumental in our capacity building efforts for MPs. With elections on the horizon, the timing of the self-assessment is ideal for us to reflect on our performance and to strategise for the future.”

At the conclusion of the process, a report from the self-assessment will be formulated with recommendations for reform to strengthen parliamentary institutions in The Maldives. The outcome reports will play an important role in developing the effectiveness of the People’s Majlis and contribute to its implementation of the UN SDGs.

CPA Secretary-General Stephen Twigg added,

“Effective Parliaments are the cornerstones of good governance and the CPA works to ensure that Legislatures can function to their maximum potential. Self-assessment against the CPA Benchmarks ensures that Parliaments can vigorously scrutinise their practices and procedures to become better performing Legislatures. In addition, CPA Benchmarks self-assessments have strengthened parliamentary outreach and engagement work, building confidence in the central institutions of democracy.”

The CPA Benchmarks self-assessment was supported with funding from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). The CPA supports Parliaments to fulfil the outcomes of self-assessments through Technical Assistance Programmes, which could involve updating the Legislature’s rules of procedure, providing training for Parliamentarians and parliamentary staff, or developing corporate policies. These project outputs will strengthen parliamentary institutions for improved good governance in The Maldives.

To find out more about this project please email hq.sec@cpahq.org. The CPA's Recommended Benchmarks for Democratic Legislatures are also available to download from the CPA website.

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