UNDP organizes first forum on legislative coordination in a federal system in Sudan

12 Dec 2010

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Khartoum - Ensuring the proper implementation of a decentralized governance system in Sudan, was the main theme of the first forum on “Legislative Coordination in a Federal System” held in Khartoum on 12-13 December 2010.

The forum- which was organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in collaboration with the Council of States and the Federalism Research and Capacity Building Centre, reviewed the existing federal system in Sudan and helped identify elements that constitutes effective federal systems from a human development perspective.

Participants were also able to examine, analyze and vigorously address the challenges facing the issue of legislative coordination among the different states in Sudan and ways to promote coordination between them. Discussions helped generate solutions tailored to the Sudanese context.

Discussions touched on principles governing intergovernmental relations, particularly legislative and fiscal relations between the federal government and the states.

Cognizant of the importance of endorsing such an initiative, UNDP Deputy Country Director Mr. Auke Lootsma noted in his opening remarks that “The impact of political decentralization, on the whole, seems to benefit the poor, while fiscal decentralization has more muted effects. Fiscal decentralization requires appropriate mechanisms to ensure reporting and transparency, as well as resources. Effective decentralization also requires transferring power.”

Among the many participants was former member of the German National Parliament Ms Anna Luhrmann, who stated that "Decentralization can be an important tool for enhancing Human Development, if implemented properly. Not only responsibilities, but also power and necessary funds have to be devolved to sub-national levels of government.”

One the cornerstones of UNDP work in Sudan involves governance reforms which places special emphasis on decentralization, the creation of new institutions, and significant capacity building at all levels of government.

To help both governments in Sudan to meet this challenging task, UNDP Sudan is implementing a comprehensive governance programme that addresses public administration reform, decentralization, local governance, civil service development, civil society participation, the judiciary, political parties and elections.

UNDP has previously organized in 2007 UNDP a consultative forum with representatives from the Council of States, the National Assembly and State Legislatures.