National parliaments have largely been overlooked as development actors and partners in MDG achievement. Yet, ensuring inclusive and open parliaments is critical for promoting “citizen expectations for voice, the rule of law and accountability”.
Although demand for inclusiveness is strongly voiced in the Arab region recently, it needs to be reflected in democratic transitions and wider development processes in all regions .
Evidence shows that the presence of a strong legislature is an unmixed blessing for democratization. Achieving the post-2015 development agenda must include interventions and support to parliaments and political institutions to overcome the hurdles that prevented the achievement of MDGs and ensure success of the new set of goals. Parliaments thus should act and be perceived as development actors involved since the onset of setting the new development objectives and be at the forefront of their implementation.
This digest will shed light on achievements and obstacles in achieving the MDGs in the Arab States and will shed light on the role of parliaments in responding to the developmental challenges in their respective countries beyond 2015.