Joint Parliamentary Peer Group
ICT Workshop in Zambia
A school class visiting the National Assembly of Zambia
The official launch of the Educational Programme for Zambian Learners on 15 October 2019 in Lusaka was attended by a large number of pupils and teachers, members of parliament, representatives of various departments of the National Assembly of Zambia and both partner Parliaments. The Austrian Parliament was represented by the Vice-Clerk, Dr. Susanne Janistyn-Novák, who emphasized in her introductory words the importance and value of sound democratic education for young people, who, through their active role and participation, have a say in the future of a country.
Hon. Catherine Namugala, First Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Zambia, thanked the donors and cooperation partners for their collaboration in creating the Educational Programme, which addresses and engages different audiences through its diverse activities. The Educational Programme has been developed over the past two years in an intensive peer-to-peer exchange between the public relations departments of the Zambian and Austrian Parliament within the framework of the NorthSouthDialogue of Parliaments.
The Educational Programme for Zambian Learners aims to provide children and young people with a comprehensive understanding of the functions of a parliament, of democracy in general, the value of democratic institutions and the possibilities of active participation. The central components of the programme are the five aspects "Open Parliament", "Active Participation", "Spirit of Democracy", "Access to Information" and "Freedom of Expression". These were also graphically implemented and placed on the wall of the visitor center of the Zambian parliament.
"Your SDGs - Your Voice" was the title of the first Youth-INDABA at the Austrian parliament, which was held on Friday, April 26 2019 within the framework of the NorthSouthDialogue of Parliaments. The declared goal of the event, namely to give the young people a voice in shaping their future, was made possible by the active participation of around 90 young people from three different school classes from Upper Austria and Vienna, as well as the PROSA (School for All) project.
Through the discussions between the present MPs of the Joint Parliamentary Peer Group, Hon. Nicho Marchetti, Hon. Eva-Maria Holzleitner and Hon. Alma Zadić (by proxy of Hon. Stephanie Cox), the Sustainable Development Goals and their objectives were brought to life by experts and pupils. It is crucial to set the course now for the achievement of the SDGs and thus a sustainable future for the youth. In this context, the exchange between young people and political decision-makers is of particular value.
The format of the event was based on the Youth Parliament. It was important, as in the parliamentary process, to obtain expert opinions and to work out compromises, as Parliamentary Deputy Clerk Susanne Janistyn-Novák emphasized. The results of the discussions in three workshops and in the plenary session were documented on drawing boards as graphic records, which will be handed over to the respective school classes by the members of parliament.
The current Report (July 2019) informs on the project activities, including the two INDABAs in Lusaka and Vienna and presents the cornerstones of the Educational Programme for Zambian Learners.
Last week the news of Hon. Patricia Mwashingwele’s, chair of the Zambian Joint Parliamentary Peer Group, sudden passing reached the NorthSouthDialogue of Parliaments. We are deeply saddened by this news. She was a wonderful person and the project felt honoured to have known her and worked with her. Her calm, reflective and still very strong personality will be truly missed in our cooperation.
Our most sincere condolences go out to the National Assembly of Zambia and the family of Hon. Mwashingwele.
From the 23rd to the 25th of January 2019, the NorthSouthDialogue of Parliaments accompanied a Zambian delegation around the Minister of Higher Education, Prof. Nkandu Luo, on their visit to Austria. The visit was initiated by the Austrian members of the Joint Parliamentary Peer Group, Hon. Nico Marchetti, Hon. Eva.-Maria Holzleitner and Hon. Stephanie Cox, which is implementing activities perteining to education and youth with the Zambian parliament.
On the 27th of March a FAIRTRADE exhibition took place within the framework of the NorthSouthDialogue of Parliaments. The president of the National Council, Hon. Wolfgang Sobotka, stressed the importance of sustainability and an increased awareness about fair trading on a global scale. Many deputies are actively engaged in this respect, which serves an important role model funtion.
Austrian Parliament - National Assembly of Zambia
SDG Watch Austria is a plattform of civil society organisations supporting the implementation of the SDGs.
Der Jahresbericht 2018 des Wiener Instituts für Internationalen Dialog und Zusammenarbeit (VIDC) gibt einen Überblick über die unterschiedlichen Aktivitäten des Instituts, u.a. auch über jene des Parlamentarischen NordSüdDialog.