President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom today inaugurated the Seventh Conference of SAARC Speakers and Parliamentarians.
In his speech at the inauguration ceremony held at Bandos Island Resort, President Yameen said it was now imperative that countries in the region focus on the relationships between parliamentarians and executive branches, to ensure that the true and full benefits of democratic governance are realized by the people.
He said while checks and balances are the bases of democratic systems, cooperation and collaboration between the legislatures and executives was an essential prerequisite for strong and good governance.
Moreover, the President said the role of parliaments â especially in young democracies and small states â extend far beyond constitutional and legislative enactment and amendment.
âThe parliament, in our part of the world, also serves as a safeguard against fundamental rights violations, oversight of independent ombudsman institutions and approving state budgetsâ, he said.
Highlighting the themes to be discusses during this Conference, President Yameen underscored that the outcomes of the Conference will âhave a strong bearing on the future development of SAARC Members Statesâ.
âWhile parliamentarians deliberate on such varied discourse, we are also mindful of the plight of over a billion people. Reducing income disparity and poverty alleviation will feature for many more years to come. Governments must be encouraged and assisted to uplift the wellbeing of their citizensâ, said the President.
The two themes for the Conference are âStrengthening democracy in the South Asia region through institutional developmentâ and âDemocracy and inclusive development â achieving SAARC MDGsâ. Women Parliamentarians will also be holding a meeting under the theme âOpportunities and challenges for womenâs political participation and representation in South Asiaâ.