On 26 January 2017, Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the House of Councillors of the Moroccan Parliament during a conference on climate change legislation.
The partnership agreement sets out a framework for cooperation between WFD and the House of Councillors of Morocco between 2017 and 2020. It outlines three key areas on which WFD will support the strengthening of parliament:
- Building the capacity of the parliamentary research centre to ensure MPs have access to high quality briefings that enable them to hold the government to account
- Providing training in public policy evaluation to strengthen the oversight role of parliament in line with the vision set out in the 2011 Constitution; and
- Supporting parliament in fulfilling its roles in upholding human rights and delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals.
(Above: Karen Betts, UK Ambassador to Morocco, attends MOU signing between WFD and House of Councillors)
The event, organized by the Moroccan House of Councillors in partnership with WFD and LSE’s Grantham Research Institute on Climate and the Environment, focused on the national legislation needed to implement the international climate agreements reached in the United Nations Climate Conference ‘COP22’ held in Marrakech in 2016 and ‘COP21’ held in Paris in 2015.
MPs and experts debated the timetable for legislative action with reference to the Parliamentary Action Plan on Climate Change adopted by the 134th assembly of the Inter-parliamentary Union (IPU) held in Zambia in 2016 and discussed the requirements for parliaments to harmonize national legislation with the Paris Agreement, as agreed by parties during COP22.
Parliaments will need to pass new legislation or revise existing laws to meet commitments made in the number of areas relevant to climate change. These include mitigation, adaptation, financing, transfer of technology, transparency and accountability. To this end, the conference adopted a new “Parliamentary Action plan on Harmonization of National Legislation with the Paris Agreement” and launched a new “Parliamentary Research Unit on Climate Change”.
Looking forward, WFD will provide technical assistance to the Moroccan Parliament, supporting its on-going efforts to implement climate change legislation, and deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals.
(Above: Speaker Benchamach announces renewed partnership with WFD at press conference in Morocco)
Addressing the plenary session, Karen Betts, UK Ambassador to Morocco said: “through this partnership our two parliaments have become collaborators and friends. This modern pillar [strengthening the research capacity for the House of Councillors] is another building block for a strong relationship that exists between our two countries.”
WFD’s Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Dina Melhem, added: “today’s MoU signature with the house of councillors builds on our long-standing cooperation and work since 2011. We launch a new chapter in our partnership today, focused on the key strategic priorities of the House of Councillors and its leadership.”