The United Nations Development Programme launched the first ‘Situational Analysis of Region and State Hluttaws in Myanmar’ at Rose Garden hotel in Yangon yesterday.
The publication uncovers how State and Region Hluttaws function, how they interact with their respective local government, and the role Members of Parliament take on in their elected constituency’s governance. The analysis is published based on close work with the Hluttaws of Mandalay Region, Taninthayi Region, Mon State, and Shan State.
The report was introduced by the Deputy Speakers and MPs of the participating Hluttaws and development partners. The funding for this project was provided by Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID).
In his opening remarks, the UNDP Resident Representative Peter Batchelor emphasized: “Region and State Hluttaws and Governments will have an elevated role in the future of Myanmar’s governance, with more responsibilities and a mandate to represent Myanmar’s political and ethnic diversity. Therefore, the success of the Hluttaws’ development will also be an important factor for Myanmar’s democratic transition. This will increase the requirements on the Hluttaws to do more and perform better. The Situation Analysis will be useful to the Hluttaws, because it provides them with the evidence they need to plan their development, in order to perform well in a more decentralized Myanmar.”
It is expected that the report will serve as a valuable reference guide for the future development of all Region and State Hluttaws, and many originate in identified good practices, so that a positive development in one Hluttaw may be considered by its peer Hluttaws for adoption. The UNDP said they will submit the report up to the Union level.
U Aung Myo Min, Executive Director of Equality Myanmar, said the report does not focus on the degree of success of the Hluttaws but rather on what they are doing. He said other Hluttaws can observe the positive aspects outlined in the report. He said there currently isn’t a lot of opportunities for the sub-national Hluttaws to communicate with each other, share experiences, or discuss on overcoming challenges, and the report attempts to shed light on that aspect for all the Hluttaws.
After the launch ceremony, a discussion was held under the title of ‘The role of State and Region Hluttaws in the future towards a decentralized system of governance in Myanmar’. Dr. Aung Naing Oo, the Deputy Speaker of Mon State Hluttaw, Carl DeFaria, former Minister and MP of Ontario Province, Canada, Mael Raynaud, Head of Research at Urbanize: Policy Institute for Urban and Regional Planning, and U Pe Aung Lin, Chairman of The Myanmar Center to Empower Regional Parliaments (MCERP).
U Aung Myo Min, who was also involved in the UNDP’s publication, said the role of the Hluttaws was not just about protecting the individual, but should be more concerned with safeguarding with the current situation and deciding on how and what laws to enact. He said just as MPs need to be well acquainted with their Constitution, they need to be thinking of how to address the circumstances in their state or region within the law, or if there are new laws that need to be enacted. He also mentioned that the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw was gaining momentum.
The UNDP has stated ending extreme poverty and reducing inequality are part of its 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and is supporting over 170 countries to achieve them, according to their reports.
— Ye Kaung Nyunt
(Translated by Zaw Htet Oo)